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My First Engagement Shoot…Ever (Part 2 THE Shoot)

Last week I blogged about my first camera and how the ball started rolling towards my First Engagement Shoot ever. After those first few photos you saw in that post on Christmas Day 2007, I started learning about my camera by recalling photography basics I had learned from my high school photo courses and purchasing a more extensive manual for my camera. I took my camera everywhere – to the beach, to relative’s weddings, to my brother’s Air Force Academy graduation and to a trip to Virginia to practice.


Bryan took my interest in photography and began encouraging me to dream about being a Photographer. As I played and practiced photographing at different events in my friends and family’s lives, I was drawn towards wedding photography. I really appreciated our own Wedding Photographers, and since my wedding was such a special day in my life and I found our photos to be invaluable, it seemed to me that Wedding Photographers had a pretty cool job photographing such a fun, beautiful and special event in a couple’s life.

Eventually, I began looking for a new lens on Craigslist. When Bryan and I went to pick up the lens, Bryan recognized the husband (what a small world!) and we began to chat. Jessica and David are Wedding Photographers in Pensacola, FL originally known as Beach Bum Photography – now David & Jess Photography. They were so sweet and I felt so blessed that a Craigslist deal could be so wonderful. Later on, I had the amazing opportunity to tag along with my camera for a Portrait Session and trip to St. George Island where they were taking photos for travel brochures, where I realized how truly fun, warm and amazing they were.


Having learned a lot from watching David and Jess interact with clients, I kept up my practicing and learning. When one of my best friends Heather got engaged, I told her all about David and Jess, and she booked them for her Wedding and Bridal Session. I can’t remember if I was courageous enough to ask or if Heather mentioned it…but nevertheless, I agreed to take some engagement photos for her and her fiance’ Jason. I was about to be a first shooter taking Engagement Photographs of a BEST FRIEND and her Fiance’ – NO BIG DEAL. I offered to do this for her for FREE since she was one of my best friends and I knew how I could possibly screw this up.

RAW confession: I was so nervous that I asked my MOTHER and her mom to come so they could be there for moral support. I was a hot mess – at least our Moms are close friends and we frequently hang out together – Heather really was a perfect God send first candidate bride. I was SO nervous that I literally printed out photos from google and stuffed a collage in my camera bag in case I drew a blank with posing or ideas. The Moms proved valuable in their assistance in ideas and comfortable conversation, and I was so thankful Jason and Heather were patient, easy going and enjoying the day with me!

What Heather did for me that short few years ago was priceless. It brings tears to my eyes to this day that she gave me a chance. She gave me the opportunity to try a scary, risky new path in my life while metaphorically holding my hand and without words communicating

I believe in you, and if something goes wrong, or the photos don’t turn out,

I will be just as happy to have some fun memories with my new groom-to-be and my best friend.


Honestly, without Bryan’s unconditional support and without Heather, who gave me permission to try something with the comfort of friendship cushioning the possible sting of failure – I would never have come this far a few years later. Because of my opportunity to photograph Heather and Jason, I am still learning, still pursuing my dreams, and still photographing what I cherish most -love. I am just so thankful and proud of that first victory over my fear Photo shoot. And I am finally giving something 100% once again, and that is much more fulfilling than letting my fear of failure win. 🙂