Phil and I are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing and talented people. So when Kristina Smith offer to take our engagement photos around Rochester, as an engagement present, we were beyond thrilled to say, yes! Kristina is a close family friend, basically a second mother to Phil. Her and her family quickly became so important to me too. Family parties, casual Sunday dinners, sporting events, the list goes on and on. Our time with the Smith Family is always filled with fun and love.
During our engagement photos, Kristina was in the process of closing her photography business, and we may have even been her last official photo shoot. It’s such a same because we LOVED Kristina’s work and her approach to photography. And honestly, I’m really difficult to please when it comes to photography, simply from dealing with so many photographers in the wedding world.
But as good as Kristina is at photography, she is 100 times better as making food. Is that even possible you ask? Trust me, she really is. The reason Kristina closed her photography business was to open her amazing new catering business, Gioia Mia Catering. If you live in Rochester you really should go try her Italian food. It is fabulous! But enough about food, back to the photos…
When it came to our engagement pictures, we wanted (or more like I wanted) beautiful backdrops around Rochester. But we also wanted some photos in significant places that had meaning to us.
For beauty, the George Eastman House is truly spectacular, especially in the warmer months when the flowers are in full bloom. After some finagling, we got out to the garden to take some photos.
For anyone interested in taking photos at the George Eastman House, just reserve a time with them or get something in writing. I called before our photo shoot to ensure we didn’t have to do anything to take photos outside, and they assured me I did not. The man on the phone told me they only require it for photos inside, or wedding parties; however, when we went on property we had trouble getting to the garden we wanted to take pictures in, due to some construction. After some back and forth with various staff members, we finally got to take some photos. I was worried for a moment there, which is why I’d recommend to anyone, get some documentation.
We had one outfit change and were going to do so at the Genesee Valley Club. When we got there Phil convinced us to take some photos on the Valley Club property, and I am so glad he did. These are some of my favorite pictures from our photo shoot. Partly because we look great in them, and also because the GVC is, as they say, our home away from home. We have made countless life long friends there, and so many wonderful memories being members.
The GVC is a private club, so access to the property is most likely only limited to members. However, the George Eastman Museum is an excellent alternative if you are looking for the Mansion feel with beautiful grounds.
After an outfit change, we made our last stop to Java’s. This is where Phil and I had our first date, after meeting online. We honestly hadn’t been back there together until our shoot. It was a great moment over 4 1/2 years later, sitting in the same seats from our first date and getting the same drinks.
Overall, we spent a good long Sunday afternoon taking photos, and Kristina was so flexible with us. It definitely took a while to get Phil warmed up, so hopefully it will makes things a little smoother the day of the wedding.
Through planning with clients, I hear some say they don’t want to do engagement photos. I always knew we wanted them, and I am so glad we did. It’s not only great “model” practice for the wedding day, but it’s also great to have photos more authentic to what you would wear in everyday life.