Julie & Luke: Green Villa Barn- Independence, OR Wedding Photography

Julie and Luke's wedding day was an extra special event. Not only did these two say "I do," they also became a family! The way these two love each other and their children is extraordinary to see.

Julie and Luke chose to get married at the Green Villa Barn in Independence, Oregon. We had never seen a more glitter filled ceremony and reception! Every sparkly detail the bride picked out shown under the barns dazzling twinkle light ceiling. Her maids looked lovely in their rose gold shimmering gowns and the Bride had the most amazing Cinderella shoes. Julie and Luke were so sweet to work with and we wish them and their little family all the best!

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Engagement Sessions

Congratulations, you're engaged!

   Now that you're engaged, you are likely busy sharing the exciting news with family and friends, posting ring shots on social media, and enjoying using the term "fiancé" in casual conversation. After doing all these fun things it's time for the real work to begin!  From picking out a date, to choosing a cake flavor, there are so many things to plan for. One big decision is hiring your photographer. While you may just be thinking about photography for the wedding day itself, documenting your brief time as an engaged couple is also important to consider when looking at your options.

At Focal Point Studios we include a complimentary engagement session with all of our wedding bookings.

Here Are the Top Three Reasons Why:

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1. We Want to Get to Know you!

We build a personal connection with each of our clients BEFORE the wedding day. The day of is one of the most personal and important days of your life, but it is also bound to be crammed full of events that leave little time to get to know each other. Doing an engagement session with you ahead of time allows us to get familiar with you as individuals and as a couple. Engagement sessions also help you learn more about us and how we work.

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2. Get Comfortable With the Camera

Unless you're a model, you probably haven't spent much time in front of a professional camera. Engagement shoots give you a chance to practice posing and see how we give directions in a low pressure environment. As we get to know you, we are better able bring out the best version of YOU in front of the camera. By the time your wedding arrives you'll already be old pros!

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3. Show Your Personality

Engagement sessions give us a chance to be creative together and really show who you are. These shoots are not as restricted for time as the wedding day. This lets us play around more with poses and locations. We encourage couples to choose a location for their shoot that is meaningful to them in some way. This could be as simple as a location you love the look of, to the place you first met or got engaged. Perhaps there is an activity or hobby you enjoy doing together such as hiking, snowboarding, or playing an instrument? Including things you love helps to make your shoot more fun and unique.

"What if we've already done engagement photos?"

If you've been engaged for awhile or already did engagement photos with another photographer, we still encourage you to do a pre-wedding shoot with us. Each photographer has a different style of working with their clients so the reasons above still apply!

Why wait? Get in touch with us to discuss your wedding and engagement photos!

Want to know more? Click the button below to learn about preparing for your engagement session. 

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How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

When you're getting ready for your engagement session, don't forget that this is supposed to be fun!  Many of our couples naturally have questions about what to expect from their engagement shoot and how to prepare. We've collected a few of the most common questions and created some tips to help you feel comfortable and ready.

     What to Wear?

Many couples choose to have two outfits, one casual and one that is more dressy. This can add more variety to your pictures. Another key to looking great in your photos, is to remember to COORDINATE instead of matching. Dresses or clothing with flowing fabric can add great movement. If possible, try to avoid small prints and patterns as these don't always translate well to photos. Also, remember that clothing with lots of writing or logos can be distracting. You may consider adding accessories with bright colors or some statement jewelry. These items can add that finishing touch to your look or be used to tie your outfits together. The most important thing when choosing an outfit is to feel comfortable and like YOU!  If you feel awkward in your outfit, it can show.

     Time & Location

We will work with you to set a time that fits your schedule, but ideally has great lighting. Often this is in the evening before the sun sets. We can help you to pick out the perfect location, or you can make suggestions of your own. We always encourage our couples to think about a place that is meaningful to them. It could be anything from where you had your first date, to a favorite hike. This helps make your shoot unique to you as a couple.

        Be On Time

Once we've set a time together, stick to it! If you're late to your session you may lose time due to a lack of light. While we can work around this with additional lighting, beautiful natural light is ideal. We understand that sometimes things do happen that are beyond your control. If at all possible, try to be on time so you can get the most out of your session and catch that gorgeous sunlight!

  Style & Appearance

The day of your engagement session is the perfect time to do your hair and makeup trial run. Not only do you get to test drive how your look appears in photos, it can also give you that salon-fresh boost of confidence for your session. Whether you choose to have your makeup done by a professional, or do it yourself, remember that slightly heavier eye makeup than you might typically wear can make your eyes POP in photos. Don't forget we will also be taking photos of your ring! Having neat nails and a clean ring can really make these shots shine.

       Using Props

We all see hundreds of those cute engagement photos with props on pinterest, but if you choose to use them, try to limit it to just a few that are personal to you. Too many props can be distracting from the real focus, YOU! Styles always change, so choosing props that mean something to you, or are a part of the wedding, prevents you from looking back on your photos down the road and wondering "What was I thinking!?" You might also consider bringing props that are practical for posing, such as a pretty blanket, umbrella, or cool couch or chair to sit on. We don't mind lugging around furniture for you to get that perfect shot!

   Relax & Have Fun

This tip might just be the most important. Like we said at the beginning, this is supposed to be fun! We don't expect our clients to be professional models coming into the shoot. We'll take the stress out of posing and help you feel confident in what you are doing. So take a deep breath and trust us!





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Stefanie & Brady: Rustic Barn Wedding - Portland, OR Wedding Photography

       Stefanie and Brady created a wedding day that was all about family, friends, and filled with plenty of romance. These two tied the knot at their family church and then moved on to their reception site to continue the fun. Stefanie and Brady took DIY to another level by building the barn for their reception at the Bride's parent's home near Portland, Oregon. Stephanie dreamed up decor for both venues that seamlessly blended vintage elegance with rustic charm.The bride and groom crafted bench seating for their guests from reclaimed railroad ties and adorned them with greenery and eclectic vintage plates. A romantic atmosphere was created by filling the barn with warm candle light and a soft glow from elegant crystal chandeliers.

       The bride herself could not have looked more lovely in her lace gown with cascading ruffles, accessorized with richly embroidered cowgirl boots. The groom matched her sophistication in a deep blue suit complete with suspenders and a bow tie that matched the bridesmaid's dusty lilac gowns. What stood out more than all these captivating details, is the love these two share for each other. Their love is so genuine you can't help but feel it in their photos. The details of this day combined with their wonderful personalities made for a dream shoot!

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Emily & Del: Gilgamesh Brewing Wedding Salem, OR- Wedding Photography

     Emily and Del's wedding was an event filled with laughter and memorable moments. These two tied the knot in a traditional ceremony at their church complete with gorgeous wooden ceilings and beautiful wooded grounds. They continued the party at Gilgamesh Brewing in Salem, Oregon which provided the perfect backdrop for their relaxed vintage decor. Their wedding was filled with lovely details including unique floral and blush bridesmaids dresses as well as a cherry red classic getaway car.

     We loved working with Emily and Del from the start as they showed off their wonderful personalities. From Emily dropping to do push-ups throughout the day (in her gown no less!), to cruising through Dutch Bros Coffee on the way to their reception, this couple showed they take their fun (and fitness) seriously. These two made for a wedding we will not soon forget! 

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