Linda and Bryan | — Vesta Irene —

Linda and Bryan


Linda and Bryan Engagement Photo 101


Billy Crystal as Harry, when he meets Meg Ryan, who is playing Sally on New Year’s Eve, says, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Vesta says that line just before we start every engagement shoot. She loves young people in love, loves taking photos of them. I do too, but Vesta is over the moon about it.


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Every wedding is different, but engagement shoots, not so much. We do most of our shoots in San Rafael or Idlewild park. Sometimes we go up to Sand Harbor and sometimes the newly engaged couple will have a place special to them for us to go.

So, you can see for some, it could get old. Maybe even me, but not so me, because Vesta approaches each and every engagement shoot like a kid dashing for the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. And that kind of enthusiasm keeps all of our shoots fresh.


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Well, the fact that she haunts Pinterest and wedding photographer’s websites from Pasadena to Paris, Boston to Bangkok and everywhere in between for new ideas helps too. Her excitement about engagements keeps us smiling during the shoot, keeps us engaged with the couple we’re shooting and keeps us focused on doing the best job possible.

We’re never bored, not when we do the shoots and not when we developed the photos in Lightroom and Photoshop.

And actually, we’re never really board with San Rafael park either. It’s where we do some of our best work. Maybe that’s because for four years our back gate opened into the park and we shot there every lickin’ stickin’ day. We know every inch of it. And every inch of it is gorgeous, even though they’ve let some parts of it go, we still see the beauty in those places.

So, we can’t help getting excited, me a little, Vesta a whole bunch, whenever a future bride says she’d like her photos done there. And that’s where we did Linda and Brian’s engagement photos.


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They brought a lot of props and that’s always a good thing, because we get to do something even more different than what Vesta had planned on, and she’s always planned something, always has a bunch of photos she’s copied from some website or other, something we haven’t done, but that she’d like to.

However, with Linda and Brian, we didn’t have to do any thinking. They did the planning for us. How cool was that? The props and the changes of clothes they brought made everything easy for us.


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I love this engagement portrait Vesta made, because it looks so free and natural. Maybe it’s because of the way the wind is ruffling Linda’s hair, I don’t know, but it works and they look so happy.


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When Vesta and I photograph an engagement session in San Rafael Park, or any park for that matter, we can’t help but think about how being among nature can really show off a couples feelings for each other. Plus, nature really seems to bring out the smiles, the real ones, not the smiles done in the studio that sometimes seem forced.


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This is the kind of nature portrait that really shows of the couple, but even as they’re framed by the gorgeous christmassy looking pine tree behind, you can’t help but think that a squirrel might come flying out of that tree at any second. Maybe sort of like what happened in Chevy Chase’s movie ‘Christmas Vacation.’

Flying squirrels aside though, nature photos taken in natural light can be very intimate, plus they can put the couple at ease. And that’s a big part of shooting our couples with nature’s beauty, it helps them relax and with a lot of the tension of being in front of a camera gone, they feel less stressed and we do too and that makes it a whole heck of a lot easier to get engagement portraits that look genuine and not forced.


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We encourage changes of clothes for our engagement sessions. After all, this is supposed to be one of the happiest photo sessions a couple will ever have (we are assuming, of course, that the photographs made on their wedding day will be of an even happier occasion, but you get what I’m trying to say here) so why shouldn’t you have them taken with different outfits. Your engagement photos don’t have to look all the same, in fact they shouldn’t.

And looking at the photo above you can see how really happy Linda and Bryan are, showing off they’re tee shirts. Can you tell they’re Chicago Blackhawks fans?


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We also encourage our engagement couples to bring along any props they may have and Linda and Bryan brought along this leaf with their save the date info on it. Such a small prop, but in a photograph like this, such an important one.

We’ve photographed couples who had their save the dates on chalkboards and on the bottoms of their shoes and on signs they’ve made up, but I have to say, this one on a leaf, that’s pretty original.


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It’s always okay when a couple brings props along with them for their engagement session, like the LOVE prop Linda’s holding in the photo above. Portraits with props can oftentimes tell a heartfelt story about a couple in love.

Also, since Bryan is carrying Linda here, I think it might be a good time to mention our two rules of photography.

1. We have been know to pose people near the edge of a five or six foot drop at Sand Harbor up at Lake Tahoe, because the view of the lake behind is just gorgeous. And also sometimes we pose people right on the edge of Herman’s Pond in Rancho San Rafael Park.

So to make sure that photographs, like the ones mentioned above, come of without a hitch, our photographic rule number one is, “Don’t Fall!”

2. And often guys like to pick up their future brides for a portrait or two, so it just makes good sense that our second and last rule is, “Don’t Drop!”

So there you have it, our two rules of photography, “Don’t Fall” and “Don’t Drop.” But if we had a third rule, it would be don’t violate the first two at the same time. That would really be bad.


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A lot of couples want this shot and it’s one we like taking. It’s very romantic, a couple walking hand in hand off in the distance. And though they’e walking toward a blue sky, because we took these photos around noon, this photograph still works.

However, walking off into the setting sun, with the couple in silhouette, that really makes for a dynamic, romantic photograph. 

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