Have you ever looked at a photograph of your newly engaged friends thought “Man, I have never seen them look like that!” Maybe it’s a friend wearing a suit when he’s clearly a shorts and t-shirt kind of guy. Maybe it was a girlfriend sitting daintily in a park when you know she would rather be hiking. Maybe it was you standing in the middle of a city block when really you and your fiancé love to go four wheel-driving in the mountains. No matter how pretty the backdrop or how epic the scenery – if someone puts you in a place where you feel uncomfortable or unnatural it will reflect in the photograph. So here is a radical idea for you, what if engagement photography could actually be a ton of fun? What if you could get pictures that make you genuinely laugh or cry, and that make your heart sing. Pictures of you and fiancé that everyone will look at and think “Wow that is SO them!”
When I started to transition to documentary photography + my love for real stories and moments, I wanted that to spread into my engagement photography as well. To me being engaged is a pretty crazy and unique time of life. You’ve moved past the “we are a couple” stage into a new stage that says, “we are going to be together forever” but you haven’t officially said, “I do.” It’s a time of deep love, eager anticipation and naturally a good deal of stress. It’s usually a fairly short time in the grand scheme of things but it’s incredible in its emotional power.
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So it makes sense then, to capture the depth and breadth of this crazy time one would want photography that is as unique as this period. I knew when I first started talking with Amanda and Tyler that they would be on board with something more along the lines of an adventure. When they asked for recommendations for a photographer for their upcoming wedding they specifically said, “someone who will be able to capture us as we are since we are pretty quirky and not very cookie cutter.” I knew we would be a good fit after that!
We messaged back and forth, throwing ideas around about different date options. My leading question is always “If you had a day with just the two of you to connect and spend time together, what would you do?” For Amanda and Tyler, the response was – explore a castle! Unfortunately, the nearest real castle is a ferry ride and long drive away so we found a second-best option as our solution – a local fun park that is aptly named Castle Fun Park.
Amanda and Tyler are self-proclaimed nerds and love all things cosplay, Ghostbusters and Disney. We started their date with a quick lunch at the Storm Crow Tavern (a nerd bar) where the walls are lined with board games and the menu full of things like “butter beer” and “Romulan Wings of Vengeance.” After a couple rounds of Jenga, we headed to the fun park. There they had so much fun mini golfing and hitting up the arcade for some Dance Dance revolution. The day was full of laughter and ice cream and the combination left their hearts full, and me knowing them so much better.
Looking over their images I discovered something surprising about myself that I wasn’t expecting. It made me realize that I personally have slim to none pictures of my dating and engagement years – just some blurry snap shots and cell phone images. What Amanda and Tyler now have is a documented day of what their life was like when they were dating. In 5, 10, 15 years when little ones are running amuck in the house and the season of their life changes again they will be able to show their kids who they were when they met. They’ll be able to relive these moments together over and over. That’s what I want for all engagement sessions – a snapshot of a time that is quickly gone but so unique that it is worth capturing in detail.
About Christina Voorhorst: I live in the beautiful province of British Columbia and am constantly in awe of the sheer amount of beauty around me every day. I get to spend my time with my husband Tyson and our two sweet boys Luke and Jack. Most often you can find me exploring new parks and rivers, and documenting our life as well running a documentary wedding and Family photography business. I crave chocolate more than ever, would eat a bowl of fruit loops at any given time and love a good sci-fi movie. I use photography as a creative outlet and the more I learn about peoples stories, the more I crave to photograph those times. Website // Instagram // Facebook