engagement photos

Grumpy Guys- How to prep your man for a photoshoot

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Let’s be honest… I don’t know if I’ve ever met a man in the world who is EXCITED about pictures. Whether its his wedding day, an engagement session, newborn session or family pictures… feeling apathetic about the session is pretty typical. Most of the time they don’t see why its necessary, they would rather spend their money elsewhere (or not spend it at all), they don’t like how stressed their wives get about every single detail beforehand, and really…. they kinda think its a waste of time… and definitely not something they would call “fun.”

Even when it came time for me to do my OWN branding session with my husband and kids… don’t think I didn’t hear groans about money, and time, and importance and blah, blah, blah! You can only imagine my reaction when my hubby questioned the necessity of photos! Lol, It wasn’t pretty!

Because ultimately, I know that BOTH you AND your man’s attitude determines SO MUCH about how a session goes. The kids notice, I notice, its noticeable in the poses and the lack of connection, its noticed in their eyes. Turns out “i’d rather be anywhere but here” is pretty evident in photos! :) So I knew I had to get my man not just on board about the photos (frankly, he had no choice, lol) but at peace with them!

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Thankfully, as a photographer who has had MANY, MANY sessions over the last six years, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve for getting guys to cooperate… and now i’m here to share them with YOU!

1.) Empathy

Typically, guys walk into a photo session grumpy because they’ve had a bad experience in the past! Whether its a drill sergeant photographer on their wedding day, an unorganized session, a session where the kids screamed and cried and the photographer didn’t know how to handle it, a surprise $500 fee at the end to actually receive the pics, or a 5 hour photo session straight from Hades… all of these are enough to tarnish a man’s view of photo sessions forever!

Try to understand where your man is coming from and then let him know that you get it…. that sometimes sessions have stressed you out to. But that the reason you chose me is because a “stress-free” experience is what I deliver my clients in every single step from booking to session to delivery! One of my favorite compliments ever that I typically hear from a husband of an expecting woman (because they got married most recently and it’s fresh on their mind) is, “I wish you were our photographer on our wedding day!” Seriously, i’ve heard this MULTIPLE TIMES! I always tell him, “I know, its such a shame that photo sessions have such a bad rep! Now go everyone you know about this experience so we can change that.”

So sit down with your hubby, listen to his concerns, take them into consideration and have him watch this video that is LIVE right after I finished a family photo session where the dad himself unrehearsed has something to say to allllll the other dads (around 1:55 on video)!

2.) Expectations

Now that you’ve let them know you understand their pain… they will be more likely to listen! So here’s what I want you to do! Men are a lot like toddlers! But don’t tell them I said so! ;) I’ve noticed that if you take the time to tell them what to expect and set realistic expectations it really empowers them to handle the whole entire process better. . Here are some typical things to expect:

  • You will ask his opinion on outfits, tell him to pretend to care (and because he really doesn’t, feel free to email me, text me, or facebook message me for my opinion if you want ;) )

  • The day of the session, you will probably be feeling insecure, nervous, and a little stressed because you haven’t been in front of a camera in a year and you don’t like ______________ about yourself, so now is not the time to get mad and grumpy at you for planning this in the first place.

  • Let him know that the kids might cry a time or two and that’s okay! It will be okay! Plus, if you don’t normally bribe your children, now is great time to let him know that it may happen….

  • Explain to him that getting kids ready for a photo shoot is NOT easy and you are going to need his help by doing __________________. Whether it’s helping get them bathed and dressed or keeping them clean after you get them dressed.

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3.) Involvement

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You know how when already have a toddler and you are having a new baby in the family how you ask for that toddler’s help after the baby arrive’s (ex: can you be my big helper and go get a diaper for mommy!, etc.). Well, men react better if they are involved or at least FELL involved in the process. Nobody likes being told what to do, especially if it seemed like a waste of time. Let’s be real, if my hubby told me I had to sit and watch golf with him for the next 2 hrs, while the kids are screaming and crying and I couldn’t leave or be on my phone, then I would be really ticked.

So let’s start including our guy in the process, even if they don’t THINK that’s what they want!

  • Tell him why photos are important to you… and “its for the Christmas card” or “to post on social media” doesn’t count! I’m talking about digging deep and telling him why having photos of you during this stage are important. Maybe you tried to get pregnant for years and never thought it was going to happen… maternity photos are always going to remind you of that blessing. Maybe its because your kids are driving you nuts, your tired and weary, and you find that when you look at photos of them it re-energizes you and keeps you invested in that relationship. Maybe its because you were adopted and don’t have any photos of your past to call your own. Maybe you want your kids to see photos of them hanging all around your house so that they have confidence and know that they are loved. Whatever the reason, explain it to him! Because he loves you he will see that your reasons for wanting photos aren’t superficial and he will care about it more!

  • Show him why you chose me! Take him to my website, have him watch my branding video, or show him that one blog post that you loved so much! Take him to my facebook and show him how each week I post about authentic motherhood and how every time you read it you feel like I get you, like you aren’t alone, and it encourages you! Show him the sneak peeks and the live videos and all the things that when thrown together made you say, “I choose her!”

  • Have him fill out the questionnaire with you! If you’ve been a client of mine in the past you KNOW that after selecting a date and time! I send you a bunch of resources that will help you plan your shoot (because knowledge is power, right!?!) but I also send you a questionnaire and I ask you to fill it out together! Why? Because it really gives your significant other insight into your life and you into his. It forces you to pause, take a deep breath, and remember your story. Remember why you chose each other and why you continue to choose each other every single day. It develops feelings of connection and empathy in you both as you open up. It allows you step out of autopilot and have a special moment where you fall back in love with each other all over again! On this questionnaire I ask a variety of questions about your past, present and future. Not because i’m giving you busy work…. but because as a creative i’m inspired by your story! I allow your story to change details about the session! The poses I choose, the social prompts I use to get certain expressions, the location, etc. All of it is used to create a session that feels like you as a couple… you as a family!

Involve your guy in the process and he won’t just pretend to care, this whole thing will become not just YOUR thing but his too!


Best of Luck!

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Shelby + Jake Central Illinois Engagement Session on the Family Farm

Shelby and Jake approached me a couple of months ago about their November wedding! I just HAPPENED to have that date open and after meeting her at the consultation I knew we would be a perfect match! When planning her engagement session she wanted to have the location be a place that was meaningful for the both of them so their first location was one of the firehouses that her fiance volunteers for and the second location was their family farm! Firetrucks, cows, chickens, ducks, sheep, kittens and the like were all involved making this engagement session one of the most memorable ones for sure! Enjoy some of my favorites from their session!

Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography
Photos by Ariel, Central Illinois weddnig photographer, illinois wedding photographer, lincoln illinois wedding photographer, bloomington illinois wedding photographer, normal illinois wedding photographer, photos by ariel, springfield illinois wedding photographer, peoria illinois wedding photographer, decatur illinois wedding photographer, ariel dilworth, ariel dilworth photos, engagement photos, engagement photos on farm, firehouse engagement photos, firetruck engagement photos, engagement photos at firehouse, fireman engagement photos, engagement photo ideas, engagement photographers, wedding photographers, wedding photography

Motherhood is something special!!!

As a mother, holding your sweet newborn and snuggling all day long, you think, "it cannot possibly can get any better than this." But then you get to begin every single day with your sweet little one staring straight up at you from their crib, grinning from ear to ear with their big toothless grin and its somehow even better than before. This is motherhood. This is the pattern of motherhood. 

Capture this pattern of motherhood before it's too late. Message me here to find out more information or book your Baby's 1st Year Photo Session! A customized package where I photograph your child at different milestones throughout their first year so you are sure to never miss a thing! 

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Brady and Kelsey's Engagement Session

Wedding season is upon us and I JUST LOVE IT! I had the opportunity to work with Kelsey and Brady last week and my heart was just melting during their entire session! They are just the sweetest couple and they snuggled and giggled the entire time. The cold weather and snow on the ground made them extra cuddly! You can see how they love each other in every photo I took and I couldn't be more in love with these two! 

Enjoy some of my favorites from Kelsey and Brady's engagement shoot and leave them some love in the comments below! Can't wait for their beautiful wedding day! 

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