Julie and Stephen | Scottsdale Engagement Session

This was such a unique session and we had SO. MUCH. FUN! I mean hello I got to ice skate while working! Who gets to do that?! And for anyone that hasn't got to meet both Julie and Stephen, they are such a blast! Seriously, like I want to be friends and hang out with them they are so inviting, kind and just make you feel like you've known them forever! 

So for their engagement shoot Stephen was able to rent out an ice skating rink!! (pretty awesome huh?!) I've only ice skated once before while shooting a hockey team and even though its a bit of a challenge as the movement is a little different,  I actually love the fresh perspective to get fun shots at such a unique location! I'm going to let them tell their story and the significance of the ice to them, so I won't give you any spoilers except to say the rink is where it all started!! From there it was a quick shift in temperature as we headed out to Papago for the second half. Here we used the mountains where Stephen surprised Julie with the million dollar question as a backdrop for their sunset photos! Julie's red dress was so gorgeous and you can just see how comfortable they are with each other. This makes for the perfect setting! 
From the chilly ice at the skating rink, to the blazing summer desert, both played such a vital role in this couples story to get them to where they are now,  we just had to do both! 

Okaky so, for fear of ruining their story, I'm going to let them finish telling it, cause boy is it a sweet one! Julie and Stephen I cannot wait for your beautiful wedding day. You guys are legit perfect for each other and I'm so happy for you guys! 
See you soon!  - Jenn
"Stephen and I first met face to face in February of 2015, however, there is photo evidence that we had actually been within inches of each other in September of 2012!  One of my best friends, Shannon, had known Stephen and his friends forever and her and I ran into them on our way to a tailgate for an ASU football game.  We took a quick photo (attached) and went on our way, not realizing until later that Stephen had photobombed us.  I don't ever remember seeing him or talking to him that day, but when Stephen saw the picture he decided to stalk me on Facebook." - Julie   
"When Stephen found out that I loved hockey, he was immediately intrigued, and tried to get Shannon to set us up for about a year and half, to which I continued to say no thanks. However, when Stephen decided to friend-request me on Facebook (although I was convinced we had never met) I accepted, because why not? All I ever saw Stephen post about was hockey, and never thought much of it until the Red Wings were coming into town which was about a year or so later.  Of course, the game was sold out and I NEEDED tickets, so I figured I would awkwardly reach out to him since he seemed to know a lot of people in the hockey world. I thought he would be beyond pumped that I finally contacted him, but after sending the longest most awkward message ever, he simply responded with "How many?" Many more awkward messages were exchanged until Stephen pulled the ultimate move of, "I can only get two tickets..." So we went together, had an amazing time (Red Wings won, obviously) and we had 2 more dates lined up before the week was over. "- Julie

"Our first kiss..... It was the night of our first date after going to the hockey game. I didn't want the night to end so early, so we went out to meet up with what I thought was a few of my friends, but ended up being almost the entire squad, probably a bit overwhelming for Julie. I was eagerly waiting for the right opportunity to "make my move." I finally had a chance to do so at the end of the night, and needless to say, it must have been a good one, because look at us now." - Stephen
"Hockey is a huge part of our lives. I can safely say, if it wasn't for hockey, we probably would not have met. Julie grew up a Detroit Red Wings fan, watching games on TV, and going to games with her family. They still have season tickets and her parents still travel around North America to watch them play. I grew up loving the sport (weird being from Arizona), but I played hockey, grew up working at a hockey shop, taught private lessons, and still play to this day. One thing I am thankful for is to have found a girl that loves the sport as much as I do. It was our first date and we were watching the game and something happened that only someone who truly understands the game would have noticed, and there was Julie, screaming at the top of her lungs about it. At that moment, I knew I found a keeper. The rivalry between the Red Wings and Coyotes will live on with us!"- Stephen
"I realized that I was in love with Stephen pretty quickly.  On our second date we went to play tennis and I'll never forget his smile and laugh from across the court because we were both being so stupid and silly.  I had never been able to feel so like myself and relaxed with someone so quickly.  Within a few weeks Stephen was staying over on the weekends more and more and I remember dreading Sunday nights when he would leave.  I had always really loved living on my own and having my own space, but now I just wanted Stephen there every night.  I can't pinpoint an exact moment but within a few short months I knew I wanted Stephen in my life for a very long time." - Julie

"The one thing I love about Julie the most is her passion. Everything she does, she does 100%. She strives to be great, and will do absolutely everything she can to succeed. I learned this very early on in our relationship, and it is something I admire the most about her." - Stephen

"The thing I am looking forward to the most about our wedding is walking down the aisle with my parents and seeing Stephen waiting for me. I can't wait for that first look between him and I right before we say "I do."  Hopefully I'll have some really good waterproof mascara on because it already makes me emotional just thinking about it.  I just can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him." - Julie

How to be an awesome second shooter!

Last month I was able to do something I haven't done in years... second shoot! With my schedule this year I had some availability in June and an opportunity to second shoot arose and I took it! I was a little nervous I would be rusty, but actually walked away with open eyes on how much a second shooter is really able to do and how creative you can be! I thought I would compile some tips for anyone looking to get into wedding photography; starting as a helpful second shooter is a great way to start and here is how you can be of best service to your main shooter! 
DETAILS! As a second shooter you have more time on your hands to get creative with details. Hold on to the invitation and if the opportunity presents itself, take two minutes by grabbing a bridesmaids bouquet and set up a cool invitation shot.  Or angle yourself during portraits to get the bouquet, or bracelet on the bride. As a first I can never take enough detail shots and especially incorporate pieces throughout the day so please do it for me! I will love you for it! 

Here is an invitation I grabbed along with the bridesmaids bouquet and I took the baby's breath out of a jar on the table (and put it back when I was done : ) 
Take photos that help tell the story. It may just be some quick group photos at the cocktail hour  or candids of guests arriving to the wedding. They are all pieces of the couples' story and the more of these you can provide to help tell a better story of who was there and what was happening the better! Take initiative and get great shots while there is 'downtime' like before the wedding starts. 
Bridesmaids!! You guys, there is always that time of the day where there are a few bridesmaids just standing around looking cute while we take the bride portraits or family shots or whatever. Take the initiative to set up a 3 minute 'mini shoot' with the bridesmaids right where you are. Trust me they love it too! Shoot them with their flowers, them as a group or even individually. The first shooter rarely has time to do this and it really adds to the overall detail shots of the day! DO IT! 

Capture the people and moments that are candid and of 'secondary people in the wedding"! The first shooter is usually focused on the bride, groom, bridal party and family throughout the day... but there are so many other people and things happening. Take the opportunity to shoot "behind the scenes' of the people doing things around what is happening. People signing guest books, or flowers girls being cute. Take the shot! 

For Portraits of the bride and groom, chances are the first is focused on faces and the direct shot of the couple. Step to the side and get a different angle, or focus on the details up close. Your first photog will thank you for the originals! 
Get the main shooter water- often! Man, you get so thirsty shooting and TALKING all day! Directing family photos, asking for people to stand places, you really work up a thirst! I don't think I've ever turned down water when my second shooter offers so be cognizant and on a secondary note, let them eat first if there isn't much time to eat, as tired and hungry as you are, the first is always more wore down so offer to get the a plate or offer to keep shooting table shots while they eat and then you can switch off! 

Take reception shots while the light is good indoors! If the schedule allows, take some time during the family photos to go to the reception site ahead of time and take photos of the details during the day time. This makes for better light and will not make your first shooter stressed when they are trying to get every detail before they seat guests for the reception! Here are some details shots I took while the first was doing family photos and I wasn't needed. The room was empty and I could fire away in great light without being rushed by guests who want to grab their seat!

 Again! details details! These two cute Kate Spade glasses below weren't together in front of cute flowers, I grabbed them, arranged them and then took the shot. Take the extra minute to really set up your detail shots and get better results! 

Really think outside the box to get creative angles that your first isn't! The nice thing about not having to get the direct shot, is that you can really take a step back and get a cool angle and take a chance on shooting some original stuff. When you are first shooting you are really focusing on nailing a good shot, so you can't always take the liberty to venture around too much. But the second can! Give your first shooter something original when they are culling your photos! In the first shot I got " the shot" of what was happening, however in this second shot, I just took a minute to step behind all the guests toasting and it layered the photo beautifully. 

Then I stepped behind and got this below. 

Hoped that helped!!

Book your session at www.jenn-wagner.com