Cinnamon. Pumpkins. Cider. Apples.
I often suggest that couples choose locations that are meaningful to them, not simply ones that are a pretty backdrop. Part of crafting a successful engagement session is just as much about what you feel as how you look.
This is one of the reasons I mix a lot of prompts in with my poses. Full disclosure: I was in a few pageants as a kid so I know how painful a fake smile can be AND how that can be felt in photos. And picking the right location helps with this, too. If it’s a place where you feel joy, where you have history with your partner, or even if it has sentimental value for other reasons, that feeling will make for a strong foundation for the session.
Steph and Andrew’s engagement session was at Eckert’s-Boyd Orchards and Keeneland. As we walked around Drew talked about how he had a job there when he was about 16. He laughed and said not that much had changed. How cool is that? Years later being able to take your fiancée there and walk hand-in-hand past the apple trees.
When you walk into the orchard store you are greeted with bins and bins of apples… and a full spectrum of apple colors. Reds. Yellows. Greens. And all the colors in between. You smell the cider donuts, the treat that puts them on the map. When I mention I have a session here the standard reaction is ‘ooooooh… those donuts’.
They also have the most epic playground in the area. This is where Steph and Andrew wanted to start their session. They seem like kids at heart and it’s so much fun to be around. When they aren’t laughing together on a playground or adventuring around Kentucky, they’ve got some pretty serious careers (he is an electrical engineer and she is an RN). Therefore, a little adventure, and playground time, can only be good for the soul.
The second part of the session was at Keeneland, they go together every year. Keeneland is such a neat place to shoot and although I know it well from doing sessions there, the vibe is completely different than during the races. I love taking couples out by the track right near sunset when the world is calm and we’re the only ones around. It’s such stark contrast to the hustle and bustle and loudness during October and April.
Without the crowds, without the noise, we can use the golden light however we want. We can take our time and enjoy the stillness, try to make it last forever, especially on a nearly-perfect fall day like this one. Now if only we could have brought some of those cider donuts with us to enjoy by the Keeneland track…