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Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

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If you’re recently engaged and starting the amazing journey of planning your wedding…Congratulations!!! The engagement phase in a relationship is so exciting and you’re probably going to get sick of answering the questions that all of your friends and family members will throw at you (I.E….How did he pop the question? Have you guys set a date? Can I see the ring? etc…) Let’s be honest though…Telling the story of your proposal will probably never get old!

Now, you may be the type of person who has Engagement Photos as the first thing to do on your list…or you may be the type of person who thinks, “We don’t need engagement photos because we already have tons of pics of ourselves on our phones!” You might even be somewhere in between maybe wanting some engagement photos but having so many questions in your head. No matter which of these molds you fit into, I’m going to give you 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must so you can document this amazing time in your lives and be able to look back decades from now and relive everything with your precious family you’ve built over the years! So here we go….

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Reason Number 5: Awesome Photos

Most couples would be shocked that this isn’t the #1 reason to get engagement photos taken (more on this later)! Every couple needs amazing photos (that aren’t cell phone selfies) for save-the-dates invitations, and announcements. Most couples love their engagement photos so much that they can’t wait to show off a gorgeous piece of Wall Art or a keepsake album. Plus you can elevate your social media game with dramatic and bold PROFESSIONAL images that will set your pages apart from the pack. Hopefully, this time in your lives happens only once…so make sure you invest in a pro who will help capture your unique love!

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Reason Number 4: Being Your Best Selves

You waited your entire life to get engaged! Now that you’re finally here, it’s your time to SHINE! So be sure to make the most of it! Go a little outside of your normal everyday “look” and put your very best selves forward! Wear that stunning dress and pair of heels you’ve been wanting to try out. Get your hair and make-up professionally done. Have your partner stand out in that suit and tie you love them in. You will most likely get multiple wardrobe changes, so why not use one to look (and feel) like movie stars for a short time and live it up?

Close your eyes right now and imagine it’s 10 years in the future and you’re sitting down looking through your engagement photos. Picture one of the images in your head. Do you see yourselves in t-shirts and jeans in front of a brick wall? Or do you see yourselves in a Killer black dress and black heels with your full bodied hair blowing in the wind laughing as your fiance in his black suit and tie holds you tightly as you sit in front of the beautiful sunset? When you look back 10 years from now on this very special time, how do you want to see yourselves?

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Reason Number 3: Intimacy

During your engagement session, you will get the chance to cuddle, hold hands, hug, and even kiss your fiance. It’s such a wonderful experience and many couples leave their engagement session even closer than they were before! Use an engagement session to enjoy being intimate with your future partner and build an experience for both of you to remember as one of the many you will have together!

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Reason Number 2: Gaining Confidence

As you look though other peoples’ engagement photos online to get ideas and inspiration, you may notice that they all look like models who have been posing for photos for years. You may get thoughts in your head like, “My photos will never look like that!” or “I never take good pictures because (insert insecurity here)!” Guess what? More often than not…those couples you’re comparing yourselves to felt the exact same way! A lot of couples are either shy or insecure in front of the camera and that’s totally OK! The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day, though, is insecure. That’s why it’s important to have an engagement session…so you can get some experience in front of the camera, and working with your photographer, so when you see your photos (if the photographer did their job) your insecurities will melt away leaving you stress free for your wedding day. Picking a photographer who is easy to work with and guides you every step of the way will help you build confidence and soon, some future bride will be looking at your photos online thinking that YOU were probably some model who’s been posing for pictures for years!

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And The Number 1 Reason That An Engagement Session Is A Must: To Build Trust With Your Photographer!

You don’t want the first time you work with your photographer to be your actual wedding day! If you’re not used to your photographer’s methods or techniques, you may be distracted, or even annoyed, by them on your special day. Plus, your photographer is the one person who will be right there by your side more than any other person (even your fiance)…so it’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you feel at ease around them and even enjoy it. You don’t want to find out on your wedding day that you can’t stand your photographer’s personality…TO LATE…you’re stuck with them for at least 8 hrs now! Consider an engagement session a “Trial Run” on building trust with your photographer. If you’ve worked with them before your wedding and know WHY they do things a certain way and get to see how awesome your photos turned out…then you will be totally at ease come your wedding day because you now TRUST your photographer. That trust is how your photographer gets the best wedding day images possible!

So…as you’ve just read, an engagement session is WAY more than simply getting photos taken. It’s an experience where you get to be your best selves, gain confidence, get intimate, build trust with your photographer, and YES…get some amazing photos of one of the most special times in your lives! So find that perfect Photographer for you (click HERE for my tips On How To Find The Perfect Photographer For You) and schedule an engagement session so you can experience everything you just read and get one step closer to having that perfect wedding day! Congrats!!!!

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701 741 1407




Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres - 2019 Bliss In The Barn

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres - 2019 Bliss In The Barn

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Late last Fall, I was having a talk with JoAnn who is one of the owners of Naastad Acres in Hatton, ND and we had an idea of putting on our very own wedding/bridal show right at Naastad Acres. It didn’t take long to decide that we wanted to bring that idea to life and so…Bliss In The Barn was created!

Over the next few months, we got together with some of the area’s leading wedding professionals and, together, we all started planning Bliss In The Barn. We wanted to do something unique where brides-to-be could not only talk to wedding vendors about products and services, but could also see those products and services “in action” during Bliss In The Barn’s 4 different styled mock weddings!

After months of hard work, April 14th finally came and we were so pleased with how everything turned out! We learned a lot throughout this process and we are already figuring out improvements for next year’s event because, after all, our goal was to create something that will be around for years to come!

We had 26 top notch wedding vendors, 48 V.I.P. brides, a V.I.P. Experience, 4 styled mock weddings, and even a Grand Prize that was valued in the thousands of dollars! And we can’t wait to do it again next year….and even bigger AND better!

All of our event’s wedding vendor’s were so amazing and you can see some of their incredible work in the photos below! Our vendors included:

Naastad Acres wedding venue and HOST

Shawn Morrissey Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer/video

Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling Wedding Planning, Floral, Event Design

Brooke’s Floral/Events/Styling Floral & Event Styling/Design

Tip Top Tux Formal Wear Rental

Kristen’s Bridal Wedding Dresses & Formal Wear

Katie Aasen Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Paola’s Pastries Wedding Cakes/Desserts/Bakery

Ground Round Food/Catering

The Pedal Health/Fitness/Wellness

Rodan & Fields Skin Care/Eyelashes

Generations Salon Hair/Spa

Signature Jewelers Jewelry

Jadie Shue Hair/Make up

Point Paradise Stables Horse & Carriage Rental/Stables

Dance Man Dan DJ/M.C./Reception Entertainment

Hud Sun Wellness Health & Wellness

Abbergail Graphic Design/Stationary/Invitations/Save-The-Dates

Oh For Heaven’s Cakes n’ More Bakery/Wedding Cakes

An Elegant Affair   (Decor and rentals

Harmon Entertainment   (DJ and Music)

Bon Voyage Travel   (Travel Agency)

Herbie The Photobooth Camper owned by Gathered - Boutique Rentals & Events     Moorhead, MN

Deitrich Bus Service Bus Rental

Heart & Soul (Live Musicians/Band)

And a very special THANK YOU to my models before the event Klaudia & Nick Holkup who are a past wedding couple of mine and I enjoy working with again and again!

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If you were one of our Bliss In The Barn Brides and are in need of a photographer/videographer for your wedding…I would love to sit down with you and hear all about it! Let’s go grab some coffee or drinks and chat!!

 

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Julia & Kameron's Grand Forks Wedding At The Myra Museum

July 29th was finally here! For Julia and Kameron, it meant they can finally get married! I've been getting to know Julia and Kameron since November of last year and I can honestly say that they have been super excited about their marriage the entire time!

Their engagement session in May was one of the more fun ones I've done in quite a while. From us almost getting pulled over for illegal U-turns downtown right in front of a police car (oops)...to coffee, to talking about favorite movies and some life experiences...I really got to know them and it was that day that I knew I would have a great time spending the day by their side capturing all the amazing moments of their wedding come July 29th.

Like I said earlier...July 29th was here and man...was it a hot one! It was 97 degrees and humid and lucky for us all...we would be outdoors most of the day! (Light sarcasm). As me, Kameron, and all the groomsmen took off to get some pics in front of Ralph Englestad Arena...I knew I was gonna be a sweaty mess the entire day! I quickly had to shed my button-up dress shirt and immediately felt much respect for the entire wedding party who were in tuxedos and beautiful dresses all day and didn't complain a single time!

Everyone met up at Myra Museum and as we would photograph one group, everyone else sheltered themselves inside in the air conditioning and awaited their photo-op! Time flew by and soon it was time for Julia to walk down the isle. The ceremony was perfect as family and friends watched Julia and Kameron exchange vows, I couldn't help but notice how big the smiles were on the bride and groom's faces! All of their excitement to marry each had been building for the last 8 months and now they were letting it all out!

Everyone continued the celebration at the reception and as the sun began to set and the air cooled a bit, I pulled the bride and groom outside for one last photo...and as I left for the night, I knew I was lucky to watch 2 people as their life long dreams were coming true in front of my eyes (and lens). As happy as that made me...I was MORE happy to get home, sit down, and crank up the A.C. as cold as it would go!

Congrats Julia & Kameron!! 

Venue: Myra Museum  2405 Belmont Rd, Grand Forks, ND

Florist: East Grand Floral 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721 218-773-3400

Cake: O For Heaven's Cakes N More 1726 S Washington St Ste 68, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201701-757-2253

DJ: Killin' It Entertainment  1234 s 14th st, Grand Forks, North Dakota, ND 58201701-317-8044

Hair: Dawn @ Ultimate Look  701-330-2574

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Kathy & Kevin A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church and The Alerus Center

Last winter is when I met Kathy and Kevin for the first time. Right away, I could tell they were the perfect couple for me to work with and I was so excited when they chose me to photograph their special day! 

It was late morning when the hustle and bustle of the day began in St. Michael's Church. I could hear laughter filling the church basement as I arrived and I could see everyone's excitement in their body language while they prepared for the ceremony to come.

I really enjoyed chatting with members of both families, as well as, friends of Kathy and Kevin's throughout the day and the photos seemed like they were taking themselves! As the start of the ceremony neared...the church got quiet as everyone took their places. 

One of my favorite things about photographing Catholic wedding ceremonies is that I love the art and symbolism used. St. Micheal's is a beautiful historic church and every time I photograph inside...it feels different somehow. 

As Kathy and Kevin's ceremony went on, emotions ranged from tears to laughter as the couple exchanged vows, kissed, and took their literal "first steps" as husband and wife back down the isle and out the church. 

The celebration continued at the Alerus Center where family and friends met to share heart-felt speeches, drinks, great food, cake, and dancing to help the newlyweds ring in their first evening as husband and wife. By the end of the evening I realized 2 things: I ate WAY too much gourmet popcorn! More importantly, I realized how blessed I was to be a part of such a meaningful day in the lives of such great people! 

Venues: St.Michael's Church   520 N. 6th St., Grand Forks, ND 58203  701-772-2624

              Alerus Center             1200 42nd Street South Grand Forks, ND 58201  701.792.1200

Florist: All Seasons Garden Center 5101 S. Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-7777

DJ: Backspin Productions   1815 Demers Ave., Grand Forks,ND 58208  701-757-4300

Dress: Affairs By Brittany   224 N. 4th St., Grand Forks, ND 58201    701-772-3022

           Designer: Maggie Sottero

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Engagement Session With Crystal & David-University Park, Downtown Grand Forks, And Sunflower Silo Farms In East Grand Forks

When I first met with Crystal and David, I had so much fun talking with them that I knew they were going to be a blast to work with! Before their engagement session, we met a few times...and each time, it felt like I could've stayed and talked with them for hours. The last time we met, we set a date and a time for their engagement session and looking at the forecast a week ahead of time...it looked like it was gonna be a scorcher! (97 and humid). We were all sort of dreading that, but it was the only date we could schedule.

Luckily...when the day finally came, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect evening! I think it was 82 degrees and not humid at all. So we accepted our perfect evening and began at University Park. The mosquitoes were instantly eating us alive so we worked fast, had some great laughs, got some sweet photos, and packed up to head downtown. 

As we walked all over downtown, we were able to share some life stories in between photos and really enjoy ourselves and before we knew it...we had already been shooting for a couple of hours! But before we called it quits...we had one last stop!

Earlier this summer, I reached out online to small business owners in the local area looking to see if anyone had a unique venue, space, or business property that they would possibly let me showcase in an engagement (or Bridal) session. Ashley, from Sunflower Silo Farm in East Grand Forks, was awesome enough to give us access to their amazing property and we took full advantage! We got to the farm right as the sun was setting for some of my favorite photos ever! Thanks so much to Sunflower Silo Farm for their gracious hospitality!

As we finished up for the evening, I was covered in bug spray, sunscreen, sweat, and my feet were aching from the thousands of steps we took...but it was all worth it because I think we all had such a fun time. It was a pleasure spending time with Crystal & David (again!) and I can't wait for their wedding this fall! Thanks Guys!!

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: University Of North Dakota, Downtown Grand Forks, Sertoma Park with Kitty & Scott

When I first met Kitty and Scott in the late Fall of 2016, we had discussed doing a "split" engagement session with some Winter photos AND some Spring photos. Engagement photos are one of my favorite things to shoot, so I was all for it.

The only downside is that getting photos outside in the snow in North Dakota without everyone involved freezing to death is easier said than done. So when the day we scheduled to shoot our outdoor winter engagement photos came...it was the coldest day of the year at -22 degrees (without the wind chill).

Luckily, we set up a "backup plan" and had scheduled to use Merrifield Hall on UND's campus just in case! So we had some fun AND stayed warm! 2 days later it was supposed to be 30 degrees ABOVE zero so we figured we'd try again for some evening outdoor pics.

That worked out much better, but it was still really cold out and we had to work fast! I have to admit that we captured one of my all time favorite photos that night in front of the paddle wheel in town square. 

Fast forward a few months after the snow melted, it warmed up enough, and everything was green...we met once again for our Spring session at Sertoma Park. Though, it was just a modest 64 degrees outside, it was still 85 degrees warmer than our first session together! 

All in all...I enjoyed BOTH sessions and I had such a great time getting to know Kitty and Scott. With their July wedding fast approaching, I am honored to be the one they chose to tell the story of the happiest day of their lives! I can't wait! 

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Sertoma Park & Downtown Grand Forks With Julia & Kameron

With their wedding fast approaching (in July), I was eager to finally get to work with Julia & Kameron who I first met back in October 2016! With everyone's hectic schedules, the Spring Holidays, and all the cold rainy weather...finding time for an engagement shoot was quite the task. 

We set Saturday, May 20th as the day we would try for our shoot. Friday's outlook for Saturday's weather had it 50 degrees and raining from 8am-11pm...so things didn't look good which made me super nerveous! Our shoot was scheduled for 9am at Sertoma Park in Grand Forks, but I showed up around 8:15 am and other than being a bit chilly...things looked pretty promising.

Once Julia and Kameron showed up, we had the entire park to ourselves and it was a fun and peaceful start to our session! As time went on, the park started filling up, so once we got all the shots we wanted, we packed up and headed downtown where we met at The Ember to warm up and refuel with some caffeine! 

Once we were warm and recharged, we walked all around downtown and got some great shots while exchanging stories about some of life's adventures! When it was all said and done, we spent the entire morning getting some great shots, getting to know more about each other, and what was supposed to be a drab, cold, rainy morning ended up being a super fun-filled adventure! 

I had such a great time and I am anxiously awaiting Julia and Kameron's wedding in July!

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