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I’m part of wonderful group of female professional photographers in the Denver area, which organized this gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot as part of shootout event last August. They picked real couples to model for small groups of 4-5 photographers, each of us getting a chance to pose and photograph the couples. I had such a rad time meeting so many photographers that I mostly know online in our little Facebook group. It was also a blast working with real couples, not professional models, as I had to pose and prompt them just like I do with my real clients. This is a the second part in a series of blog posts dedicated to the event. Check out the first part in the series here.

This sweet couple had such a great, unique style and totally fit with the free-spirited couples I love working with! As their engagement session got going, the skies grew dark and overcast, lending to a super moody vibe. I really couldn’t have asked for a better feeling with these two!

A gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountain engagement shoot with an indie dressed couple posing in the mountain meadows of Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen, CO under dark skies.

Something about those dark, moody skies makes this engagement session perfect!

Haven’t you always wanted to run through a mountain meadow hand in hand? 

A Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot featuring a tattooed couple wearing black and running through a mountain meadow in Evergreen.

This gorgeous couple was game for anything at their Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot.

Timeless black and white photography of this moody styled engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with photographer Erica Swantek.

Black and white photographs are so timeless.

The love between these two was easy to see. They both have a deep connection to their faith, their beautiful state of Colorado and each other.

These free-spirited, tattooed, lovers are snuggling into each other during their Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot in Evergreen.

Lovers snuggling into each other is always one of my favorite things to see.

A gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot at Elk Meadow Open Space Park in Evergreen.

Awesome Colorado stormy skies during this indie couple's engagement photo shoot in Evergreen, CO.

The stormy skies couldn’t cool the heat between these two!

The trail winding through the meadow among the pine trees was beautiful. We walked it for a while and found a spot with views of the mountains behind them.

A gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot at Elk Meadow Open Space in Evergreen, CO.

A gorgeous Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot at Elk Meadow Open Space in Evergreen, CO.

A couple has a steamy kiss at their Colorado Rocky Mountain engagement shoot in Evergreen.

These two are fire!

As we headed back to the main meeting point to switch up the couples for the shoot, I got a chance to have a few photos of these two in front of Polly, The Blue Bus Booth. I mean, I just can’t not take a photo of a couple in front of this epic VW bus! I seriously love them so much. It’s a good thing I don’t have a big yard, or I might have a collection. One is enough! 🙂

A free-spirited, indie couple holds hands in front of a vintage blue VW bus at their Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot in Evergreen.

No free-spirited engagement session is complete without a VW bus!

I had such a great time working with this awesome couple! They had such a fun vibe and were so in love. It was seriously the perfect Colorado Rocky Mountain styled engagement shoot as part of the shootout event! If you liked this shoot, you should check out the previous blog post to see one of styled wedding shoots as well.

Thanks to these vendors for making this shoot happen:

Hair & Makeup: Kim J Beauty

Polly, the VW Photo Bus: Blue Bus Booth

Organizer: Denver Photo Betties

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Hey, I’m Erica a sentimental wedding photographer for free-spirited and natural couples that love celebrating outdoors! I am based out of gorgeous Bend, OR, but I love to travel and I’m always looking for an excuse to get back home to CO! I still have some 2017 dates available, so if you are getting married, I would love to chat. Engagement sessions are included in most wedding collections, but I am also available to shoot engagement sessions without a wedding collection. Shoot me a message and let’s talk!

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Last August I had a chance to participate in an Evergreen CO photographer shootout event with a group of women professional photographers I belong to. The shootout featured four couples, with two sessions focused on weddings and two focused on engagements. We had real couples model for the event, and the photographers were broken into small groups of 5. Each group had about 40 minutes to work with each set of models, and we all took turns within the group posing and shooting. It was a great opportunity to learn some different posing techniques and to see how each of us interacted with clients. I love educational opportunities to further my career, and I respect this group of women photographers so much.

The first set of models we worked with are married and she’s a photographer herself (also a member of this amazing group of women). They had a fun Vegas wedding but wanted some mountain photos in their wedding attire, so they jumped at the opportunity to have so many different perspectives from the other photographers. I just love their classic style!

A gorgeous mountain backdrop at this Evergeen CO wedding styled shoot by photographer Erica Swantek.

The mountain backdrop at the Elk Meadow Open Space Park is absolutely gorgeous!

A beautiful mountain bride and her handsome hubby at the Elk Meadow Open Space Park in Evergreen, CO.

Strolling through a mountain meadow wearing high heels is not for the faint of heart!

A gorgeous couple models in their wedding attire at this Evergreen CO photographer shootout event.

Seriously, these two are so gorgeous!

A classic black and white image of a wedding couple wearing classy wedding attire at this Evergreen CO photographer shootout event.

A good classic black and white for this stylish couple.

A beautiful evergreen co mountain wedding styled photo shoot by Erica Swantek Photography.

These two had such chemistry together and are so in love!

An absolutely stunning bride wearing a knee length body hugging white dress in a mountain meadow with tall grass and a beautiful mountain backdrop at this Evergreen CO photographers shootout event.

Such a stunning bride!

After our initial time was over, I had a chance to grab a few photos of this couple in front of one of our props, Polly, the awesome Blue Bus Booth! The couple that our group from the Evergreen CO photographer shootout was photographing was changing outfits and we were waiting for them. Since I absolutely love and adore everything VW, I just had to get a couple of images of them by the bus! It also happened that a herd of elk was beginning to wander down through the parking lot and into the meadow. I mean, if this isn’t quintessential Colorado, I don’t know what is?!? I was so excited to have these majestic creatures make an appearance at our shootout event!

A gorgeous wedding couple poses in front of a VW van as a herd of elk wanders through the open space in the background of this Evergreen CO photographer shootout event.

A herd of elk grazes on the tall grass as this couple poses in front of the blue VW bus. Seriously epic!

I am so excited to finally have a chance to edit and share these images. Educational opportunities like this really help me grow in my profession and make me a better photographer! I can’t wait to share the other three sessions with you over the next couple weeks!

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Vendors that helped make this amazing Evergreen CO photographer shootout event possible:

Hair & Makeup: Kim J. Beauty

Flowers: Prive Events

Polly the VW Bus: Blue Bus Booth

Organizer: Denver Photo Betties

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Hi, I’m Erica a sentimental wedding photographer for free-spirited and natural couples that love celebrating outdoors! I currently live in Bend, OR but I grew up in Colorado and love to get home as much as possible. If you are getting married, I still have some availability in 2017. Drop me a message and let’s talk!

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Have you ever wondered why engagement photos are important?

There is truly something remarkable that happens during engagement photo sessions. Every couple shows up a little nervous and almost every single one tells me their don’t like having their photos taken. It’s no surprise to me, and I expect it. Engagement photos are important and this is why!

The first 20 minutes or so I spend warming up with you, as a couple. We pretty much always start the session with what I refer to as “the prom pose.” You know the one! Yeah, that somewhat awkward arms around each other, hip to hip, smile and look at the camera one. It’s an important photo. Parents usually love this one and it gives me a chance to test the light and break the ice. But it’s not who you are as a couple and it doesn’t reflect your deep love and commitment and the reason why your taking this journey into marriage with your partner. Don’t worry though, we’ll get there with your session, even if you don’t like having your photo taken. The engagement session is your experience and your chance to be you!

A gorgeous fall engagement session in powell butte, oregon.

Testing the light and getting you used to the camera.

I get it, it’s a little strange to show love and intimacy with a camera pointed at your face! 

I promise you, as we begin to work together, you will forget the camera is there and that’s when the magic happens. Working with you is my chance to get to know you more as a couple. Sure, I send out a little questionnaire that gives me some insight, but there is nothing like one on one time with people to learn who you are. This is such an important step before the wedding day and one of the biggest reasons why I feel engagement photos are important. Wedding days are hectic and if we don’t have much of a relationship other than the papers we signed, it’s harder for me to get real emotion in the short time we have for portraits on your big day. Those real authentic emotions are what I strive for in all of my couples’ portraits. It’s what really connects us to our photographs. We can look at the photograph later and remember the story of that moment.

A couple looks tenderly at each other at their outdoor engagement photo session in Bend, OR.

Seeing how couples look at each other really makes my heart skip a beat.

I will always give you little cues to help bring out real, authentic emotion. 

As we work through your engagement session, I strive to get to that real emotion. Whether it’s a gentle touch, heartfelt embrace, laughter or tears, getting there is important. I want to tell your love story through my images.

What do you think he whispered in her ear to get her to laugh like that at her Bend, OR engagement session?

I wonder what he said to her?

Engagement photos are important to help bring out real emotion like this gorgeous session from Bend, OR photographer Erica Swantek.

A gentle kiss while his arms are wrapped around you.

An engaged couple walks hand in hand through the snowy Oregon landscape with their sweet dog during their engagement photo session.

Just walking hand in hand is a way to connect.

A couple falls over each other in laughter during their engagement photo shoot by Bend, OR photographer Erica Swantek.

Hey, whatever it takes to make you laugh is fair game!

So, in the end, the engagement session is my getting to know you tool. It’s a chance to have fun together and get some gorgeous portraits in a location that special to you and reflects who you are as a couple!  I want to know you. I want to learn about you. So, when you ask if you can skip the engagement session, I want you to understand why the engagement photos are important. These are the photos that you will truly cherish, I promise.

A gorgeous engagement photo shoot at Shevlin Park in Bend, OR.

The love between these two is sweet.

Your engagement photos are important, just like the love between you two! 

To see more engagement photos take a peek at these past blog posts:

http://www.ericaswantekphotography.com/powell-butte-ranch-lifestyle-engagement-session-oregon/

http://www.ericaswantekphotography.com/fall-shevlin-park-engagement-photography-bend-oregon/

http://www.ericaswantekphotography.com/dutchman-flats-snowy-engagement-session-matt-courtney/

http://www.ericaswantekphotography.com/river-meets-industrial-engagement-session-bend-sarah-joe/

http://www.ericaswantekphotography.com/brewery-engagement-photos-crux-bend-rochelle-ben/

All of my full day wedding collections include an engagement session for this reason, but I do offer sessions a-la-cart as well. If you are getting married soon, I would love to chat! I still have some 2017 dates available and would love to see if we are good fit for each other. Fill out that contact form, give me a call or send me an email and let’s talk!

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Hi, I’m Erica and I specialize in lifestyle wedding photography for sentimental, free-spirited and natural couples that love the outdoors.

 

 

 

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