Kemil Beach | eighthandsweddings.com

Engagement Session

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When most couples are choosing a wedding photographer they, understandably so, decide using the portfolio of several different companies.  It’s not often the case that we get to come face to face with our prospective clients so that our personalities and photography work make the first impression at the same time.  This is usually only the case at wedding expo’s.  We don’t typically do them but at the beginning of this year we decided to give one a try.  Between Rue’s design skills catching passerby’s eyes and my ability to talk someone’s ear off until they are forced to pretend to like me, we stood a decent chance.  

That expo is where we met Kendella.  We chatted for quite a while and I knew instantly that we were going to get along great.  You meet so many people at expos that it is sometimes hard to remember ever personality so I put her at the top of my list to contact as soon as possible.  Anyone who knows how we run Eight Hands knows that we love to send video texts to new clients to introduce ourselves and show our faces.  I made my video for Kendella just hoping I would hear back from her and have the opportunity to work for her.  For the first, and still the last time to this date, Kendella responded unlike any other client has before.  She responded with a video message of her own.  That right there sealed the deal for me, I didn’t care what needed to happen, I wanted to be a part of her wedding day.

Screening clients through multiple methods prior to booking helps Rue and I make sure that it is a couple we really want to work with.  We spend so much time getting to know our couples that we need to really like them.  We don’t buy into the volume business models but invest heavily in quality.  Quality comes from making our couples comfortable with us and in front of the camera.  From comfortability comes trust.  From trust comes real moments.  From real moments comes beautiful candid memories from your wedding day.

We chatted with Kendella and William over a group text after the initial consult to nail down engagement dates and locations.  After a lot of discussion they decided on Kemil beach.  My favorite couples are the couples that include each other in the decision making processes just like Kendella and William.  After a few more phone calls discussing the location, timeline, and outfit/session pointers, we were ready to shoot.  

William was pretty quiet on the phone calls/texts/zoom meetings so I didn’t have a good handle on who he was as a person yet.  From the second we started talking at the beach prior to the engagement session I felt like I connected with him.  He was genuine (my favorite, and pretty rare, human quality), happy, and truly in love with Kendella.  You could see his joy through every little and big smile he sent her way.   The two of them said they had really never been photographed professionally so getting them comfortable was number one.  I won’t give away all of our tricks but there was plenty of talking and games that went on to create the real moments that we try so hard for.

The session was incredible as you can see for yourself.  How could it not be? Kendella and William are so happy, so in love, and so beautiful together.  Meeting up with them to reveal their  engagement photos and build their engagement album just solidified my feelings toward all the time we put into making them as comfortable as possible on their engagement session.  They were so happy with the result and told me numerous times how much fun it was and how happy they were that it wasn’t awkward.  We can’t wait to capture their wedding day in October and hope to continue our friendship long beyond their wedding day.

I guess my summary of this post could have been left at the above paragraph but I still feel like I haven’t hit the important things I really wanted to get out to the future clients or others browsing our site.  The big takeaway I want everyone to have here is that your wedding photographer should be so much more than just a wedding day photographer.  I know I am biased but I truly believe it is one of, if not the, most important aspects of your day.  Photographs and video are the only documentation of the entire day.  That can’t be left to just anyone, or someone you don’t know or trust.  Get to know the actual photographer that will be there on your wedding day, not some random person assigned by a big company.  If they aren’t interested in getting to know you, are they really interested in your wedding?

Chicagoland Sunset Engagement Session on Lake Michigan

Engagement Session

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Dreamy. Candid. Beautiful. Full of love. Magical. Magazine-worthy. Fun. High-end. Special.

It has been a challenge to come up with the right words to start this post because so many emotions ran through my mind while photographing this beautiful couple during an engagement session. We laughed together, cried together, laughed so hard we cried together, and witnessed some of the most amazing moments we have seen so far between two human beings. This was an unforgettable experience for sure.

Meet Macy and Dustin, two people obviously made for each other. You can see it in every way they function together and apart. Their eyes are almost always on one another and when they aren’t they are touching. During the first phone consultation and the entire engagement photo session they were smiling and laughing about some inside joke or something that was happening in the moment. It was truly magical to witness.

How did you two meet? What was your first date like? Tell us your story.
We met at a wedding and I (Macy) pursued him because I knew I wanted to be with him and I didn’t want him to get away. He texted me one day when he happened to be in the area that I lived and finally asked me out. We went out to dinner and then headed for the beach to sit by the water and talk. It started pouring rain but we were both enjoying it so much that we stayed in the rain just to be together. We finally packed up and went back to his car to find that his battery was dead. So there, drenched with rain on our first date, I met his parents when they came to give his car battery a jump.

The Session
Macy and Dustin decided on two locations with two different looks: a casual, cozy forest vibe and then a serene beach session. The first half, the cozy session, was full of warm sweaters and laughing snuggles. The second half featured Dustin in a sleek, navy suit and Macy in a gorgeous dress from Sheln, finding their deep connection for each other on the sandy dunes overlooking Lake Michigan.

What is your favorite date night like?
Our favorite date night is just a simple Friday night drinking wine and watching Dateline. We just cuddle up on the couch enjoy being together. Other than that, board games are our jam. We could lose an entire night playing “What Do You Meme?” or “Cards Against Humanity” (Their favorite card in the game, while funny, was a little to risqué to end up in the blog post).

I feel like I would normally have more to say but I think the photos speak for themselves. This couple truly has me at a loss for words. What an incredible evening with these sensational human beings.

If you want to see some other locations, go check out our 6 Stunning Chicago Locations for Engagement Photos blog post.

Winter Beachfront Engagement Session at Kemil Beach