Jess and Dan | — Vesta Irene —

Jess and Dan

Dan and Jessica's River Square

Usually, when someone wants their engagement shoot done by the Truckee River, we meet at Java Jungle, a coffee shop downtown, which is right by the river and about a thirty second walk from the Riverwalk Towers, where we live. But sometimes we meet in our apartment, which we also use as a studio, because we want to do studio shots or shots off our balcony.

Ken wanted to shoot Jess and Dan with the city below, so we had them up and did a series of shots of them on the balcony. I love being out there, but I confess sometimes I get a little vertigo, because I’ll sit at a table we have out there and read and when I do that, I tend to forget where I am, then when I look away from my book and look down, just for an instant, I might get a little vertigo and a fright. But that doesn’t keep me from going out there.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 103

If you’ve looked at various wedding blogs or bridal magazines or even some of the professional photos taken of your friend's engagement shoots on Facebook, where their smiling, laughing, hugging and kissing each other, then you have a pretty good idea of what an engagement shoot is all about and this session we did with Jess and Dan is pretty typical of the kind of engagement work we do.

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Some couples don’t think they need one and that’s okay, you don’t have to have one, but we think it’s a good idea, because it’s a good way for you to get to know your photographer. Even if you and your wedding shooter are friends, an engagement shoot is a good idea, because it’ll help you get comfortable with the camera. And even if you’re used to being in front of the lens for hours at a time, as you will be on your special day, an engagement shoot is still a good idea, because what couple in love can ever have enough pictures.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 101

That’s what an engagement shoot is really all about, documenting a couple in love, taking the kind of pictures they’d like to share with the world.

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Engagement shoots are a lot of fun and this one of Jess and Dan was especially so, because they have such wonderful outgoing personalities. We got along with them very well, but then I imagine everyone they meet does as well.

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If you google engagement shoots and surf around the web, you’ll see that I’ve already covered the main reason most photographers think a young couple need an engagement shoot. But I think there is so much more than getting to meet your photographer and learning how he or she takes pictures. I think it’s about recording a very special and important time in a young couple’s lives. A time when they’re still in that bloom of falling in love. A time that’s going to change their whole future.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 107

Yes, I’ll admit, it’s important for a future bride and groom to get used to having a camera inches from their faces (we try not to do too much of that). And it’s important for them to kind of bond with their photographer, but it’s the pictures, those shots of them at this very special time of their lives that they’ll treasure forever, that’s really what an engagement shoot is all about.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 108

Anyway, back to Jess and Dan. After we finished with the shots on the balcony, we took the elevator down and walked over to the Truckee River. But before we took any shots of them with the river in the background, I wanted a shot of them kissing. I can’t help it, I’m just a romantic at heart.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 109


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This shot and the one below and the one above where Jess and Dan are in the center of the photo, the one with the great big blue sky and all those buildings are surrounding them, were taken with a wide angle lens for a kind of different look than the rest of the photos.

In the one above, Ken held the camera as high as possible and shot down. Yes, I know, it kind’ve looks like he’s hovering above them, but he’s really just standing only a couple feet away.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 111

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 107

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Toward the end of the engagement shoot, Dan told us they wanted us to shoot their wedding, which we did. We’ve also done a family session with them and a Christmas shoot, and when Jess’ parents got remarried, we photographed their wedding up at the Galena Fish Hatchery—which isn’t really a fish hatchery anymore, but one of Reno’s gorgeous parks—as well.

Jess and Dan Engagement Photo 105

Jess and Dan are just about the easiest people you’d ever want to meet to like and it’s because of people like them that I love my job so much. I do, I really do. I love my job, because I get to meet people at the best time in their lives, when there love is still new and fresh. I just love it.

Vesta Irene Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503 
Phone: 775 393-9529