Ringing in the New Year: Our Favorite 2018 Ring Shots

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Happy New Year! Post-Christmas winter sometimes gives me the blues, but then I remind myself that it’s engagement season! And on top of that, it’s booking season for us at CGP! We get inquiries all year round, but most of our bookings come each year between January and March, because as soon as our couples put a ring on it, they jump right into the planning! No long engagements for CGP couples!

Since just about everybody seems to get engaged this time of year, it’s only fitting that we RING in the new year with our favorite ring shots from 2018!

Are you newly engaged and planning your wedding? We are booking 2019 weddings now, so drop us an email to say hello and see if we're available for your wedding day!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements
Behind the Scenes 2018

Our Favorite 2018 Engagements

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Whether we do the engagement session early enough for Save the Dates to be sent out or wait until just a month or two before the wedding day, I LOVE spending a beautiful evening with each of our couples. I hear their love story, see them interact, and walk them through posing. And when their wedding day comes, I’m so excited to see them get married and being in front of my camera feels natural and not intimidating at all!

Three of this year’s engagement sessions took place at our FAVORITE venue, The Norfolk Botanical Garden! And I also found some awesome new spots in Colonial Williamsburg with Cindy and Scott!

But my favorite thing about this year’s engagement sessions is how different they look from last year’s sessions! My style has grown a lot and I purchased a new lens that would help me achieve the look that I’ve been wanting for years! I love it!

Enjoy our Best of 2018: Engagements & Portraits!

If you're wondering where all these ladies’ gorgeous rings are, just wait! We’ll be ‘ringing’ in the new year with all those pretty diamonds soon!

Are you newly engaged and planning your wedding? We are booking 2019 weddings now, so drop us an email to say hello and see if we're available for your wedding day!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
2018 Best of Weddings
2018 Best of Engagements
Behind the Scenes 2018

Amber & Andrew - Formal Norfolk Botanical Gardens Engagement Session

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They met their first week of freshman year at Christopher Newport University. They lived in the same dorm, on the same hall. They had an instant connection and almost immediately became inseparable. As time went by, they found their home in CNU and in each other. So many of their memories together took place on campus. The first time he laid eyes on her. Their introduction on a casual walk around campus. Their decision to officially date. So naturally, Andrew could think of no better place to propose.

But first, he sent her off on a scavenger hunt, with a beautiful love letter and her two best friends to guide her. Amber & Andrew are some of the most loving people you will ever meet, and it even shows in the way Andrew planned his proposal. His scavenger hunt not only led Amber to 8 of their favorite spots, but it led her to 14 of her favorite people in the world, who each read her a letter filled with their love and favorite memories together. He planned a day to show Amber how much she was loved and valued, not just by him, but by everyone else in her life.

Amber and I met in 2015 while working a wedding together. She was part of the amazing wedding planning team at Antonia Christianson Events, and I immediately saw how hard she worked to give the bride & groom the wedding day of their dreams. Later that year, Amber told her mom Keri that she should book us for her wedding day. At Keri & Ryan’s wedding in 2016 (one of our first as a husband and wife team), you could tell that Amber & Andrew wouldn’t be far behind them. And I was so honored when Amber asked us earlier this year to photograph her wedding day as well.

We are so excited for their wedding day with Antonia Christianson Events and Isha Foss Events at Three Oaks Estate and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Just a few more weeks!

Ashley & Tim - Summer Engagement Session at Norfolk Botanical Gardens

The first time he asked her on a date, she said no. The second time he asked, she said no. It was hard to deny the feelings that they had for each other, but at the same time, the deep friendship they had was so valuable. Was it worth risking? They’d been friends for 3 years, since their first week of medical school. And now that they were in a smaller group doing clinical rotations, their group felt like a family. Disrupting that with an unsuccessful dating relationship would break apart their entire world.

Finally, she caved in and agreed to go on a date with him. And each day that followed proved that Ashley & Tim were perfect together.

In 2015, Ashley & Tim knew they didn't have time to plan a big wedding, but they also didn't want to wait any longer to get married, so they said their vows at the courthouse. A year later, they had a son. And now that (most) of the craziness of their careers are behind them, they are excited to celebrate their marriage with friends and family at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

We did their ‘engagement session’ exactly a month before their wedding day, so you won’t have to wait long to see their gorgeous faces here on the blog again! I know I'm counting down the days!

Cindy & Scott - Colonial Williamsburg Engagement Session

Cindy & Scott - Colonial Williamsburg Engagement Session

Scott knew the perfect way to propose to Cindy. They were enjoying a beautiful spring day on the beach, and as he often does, Scott tossed Cindy up on his shoulders to do some squats. Cindy and Scott often train together and squats like this have become a regular occurrence. They attracted the attention of a few spectators, one of whom pulled out a cell phone to film. So Cindy and Scott hammed it up a bit for the camera. Scott tipped Cindy off his shoulder and as soon as her toes hit the sand, he knelt and reached for the ring box in his pocket.

The Engagement Session: 10 Final Tips

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If you've been following along with my engagement session series, you're probably brimming over with location ideas and outfit inspiration. Today we're finishing up that series with a few tips you may not have thought of!

- Eat before the engagement session. Unfortunately, we often have to plan engagement sessions right around dinner time, because of sunset. I think it's a great idea to go out to eat after we've finished the session, but grabbing a good snack before will help you make it through without any stomach grumbling!

- Bring water, especially if it's going to be warm!

- Be sweet and loving to each other on the day of the session. You want to be able to enjoy cuddling during the session, so this might not be the best day for a stressful conversation about the guest list.

- Choose mints over gum. Chewing gum is never flattering in pictures!

- Check your outfits for panty lines. And if you have noticeable tan lines, keep that in mind when choosing your outfits!

- Plan your regular salon visits (hair color, eye brows, nails, etc) before the session. And don't forget about your fiance's hair cut too!

- Professional makeup will make your skin look FLAWLESS in photos, so think about investing in another session with your makeup artist that day. If not, a little extra eye makeup is perfect.

- Stop by the jewelry store and have your ring cleaned so it will be sparkly and ready for a close-up! My macro lens sees every speck of hairspray residue!

- If you're worried about sweat stains, make sure you're bringing two outfits so we can change halfway through!

- If you want to use more than one location, I recommend a total walking distance of 1 mile or less, something we can easily walk in 15-20 minutes. (I use google maps to plan this out.) That gives us plenty of time to meander and stop frequently for portraits. If the distance is much more than that, we'd be doing more walking than portraits. The same goes for driving from one location to another, about 10-15 minutes is ideal.

Want to read more tips for your engagement session?
Choosing a Location
My Favorite Hampton Roads Locations
What To Wear
What Not to Wear
Shopping for an Engagement Session Dress
What Happens if it Rains
The Purpose
Getting to Know Your Photographer
How I Chose My Outfits
10 Final Tips