Vibrant, colorful, natural, artistic and fun– you won’t want to miss the fall beauty of this McCann School of Art wedding engagement…
Brigid explained, “I am known as the photographer for my family and friends, I just love photos. So having amazing pictures of Chris and I was incredibly important to me. I did so much research to find the perfect photographer! I wanted someone that could capture personality, beauty, moments and do it all with creativity. After meeting with you I knew that you would be able to do it all, and have fun doing it!”
Chris weighed in, “To be honest I didn’t care who the photographer was as long as Brig liked them– photos are super important to her. I was surprised how much fun I had during our photo shoot. I am actually looking forward to seeing all of our engagement photos just as much as Brig is now!”
They chose to have a two part engagement session in their wedding photography package as they wanted to capture two different aspects of their relationship: the funky, fun, gritty, downtown pub atmosphere that is their favorite hangout (Boxers) and the outdoor, artistic, romantic setting of McCann School of Art with its autumn colors (above) and unique, sprawling grounds…
Brigid shared, “McCann is the first wedding location we looked at and we just loved it. While it did not work for us as a venue, we loved the indoor and outdoor aspects of it and wanted to find a way to incorporate it in some way. Having our engagement photos at McCann School of Art was a perfect solution!”
She went on, “McCann is just this beautiful, artsy place with amazing outdoor areas. Autumn is also both of our favorite times of year so taking photos outside in fall was important to us.” Here Chris gives Brig a twirl in front of McCann’s Circle of Life Sculpture Garden. Their expressions are priceless :).
Chris shared, “Brig is so much fun to be around! She has an incredible passion for nearly everything she does. I love to just hear her talk about things that make her happy, which in turn makes me happy. I love how much she supports me with the good and the bad.”
He continued, “She listens to my stories from work and is there for me when I get bad news. When I get home from work at night and I am with her, for a brief moment, everything is right in the world. Brig has an independent personality. It can be frustrating at times, but at the same time I admire and respect it.”
Here is another photo of them twirling, for this image I focused on Chris and the way he was looking at Brigid and she laughs and twirls. I think it captures his admiration and affection for her as well as her passion and spontaneity, even a bit of that brief moment of feeling that everything is right in the world…
Brigid shared, “There is so much to love about Chris, but for one, he is true a gentleman… He supports me in anything I choose to do in life. I can always count on him– Chris is always there for me to lean on during the good times and the bad. That is incredibly reassuring and one of the things I really appreciate about him.”
Brig literally jumped on Chris’ back here, and I just love that while it is a more traditional photos in a way their joyful expressions really shine through. I also think it visually captures the emotional sentiment of supporting, trusting and being reassured and having someone you can count on throughout life…
One of my favorite spaces at McCann and don’t get me wrong I have many, was the Circle of Life sculpture garden.
The C. Barton McCann School of Art grounds literature explains, “The Garden features sculptures imported from Florence, Italy. These sculptures form the circle of life; beginning with the Mother and Child and traveling through childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Here I framed Brigid and Chris in two statues that seemed to be dancing together. I love how the light lightly brushes the statues and illuminates Chris & Brig. Their bodies seem to perfectly fill that little window of space…
“Chris is very caring and loving. We both love all things brewed and he will turn the tea kettle on for me when I’m ready for a cup of tea, it’s those little things that I appreciate most. He is an incredibly thoughtful person.”
Here orbs of light move across the frame from Chris to Brigid. I love capturing little photographic anomalies, they seem to make it all the more authentic and real– symbolizing that deep, almost spiritual connection between a couple…
Chris shared his proposal story:
He explained, “I planned out the night I proposed right down to the spot I wanted to pop the question. Brig had mentioned a date night idea that she had always thought would be fun– a restaurant tour. I thought it would be a perfect way to propose and began looking for the perfect locations.”
He continued, “I decided to pick a few places we have been to and a few we have never been to. Places we have memories in and places to create new ones. I made reservations at a few restaurants in Downtown Harrisburg and waited a few months for everything to fall into place.”
How thoughtful, right? I love the way these two look at each other, how comfortable they are together and the way their body language says so much…
Chris honestly admitted, “As for most plans, nothing really goes as planned, haha! I missed a golden opportunity right before appetizers to propose to Brigid on the Walnut St Bridge at sunset.”
He continued, “But, I had it in my head I had to stick to the plan. As we were taking our chilly walk along the river, on our way to get dessert, I got down on one knee and told her I want to be with her for the rest of my life. I asked her to marry me and she said yes. We never made it to dessert!!!”
Brigid and Chris loved the door in the photo above and even remembered the back story of how it was brought to the property from a downtown location and how the designer had bought the entire downtown building in order to acquire the door that now serves as an entrance to the McCann School’s Studio House.
The lighting on the door itself was dark and shadowy, something I could overcome with creative aperture settings when I was only photographing the area just around the door. But, when I wanted to also capture the entire atmosphere including the surrounding trees, the blue sky, the warm brick and wood siding, I needed to get more creative.
I ended up programming one of my flashes and placing it to the side of the couple to illuminate the stoop, while telling it when to fire via radio signal. It was a little complicated logistically and mathematically to get everything just right, but I am super pleased with the result and how it really captures the entire environment.
I was really stuck between whether or not to post this image in black and white or color– while the color of Brigid’s long locks is absolutely stunning and something that I sought to photograph throughout the session there is something that the black and white does to highlight the authenticity of her candid “wrinkled-nose-smile” and freckles.
It just feels so intimate and fresh in black and white…
I complimented Brigid’s colorful, flowing dress that was also super comfortable and practical and really allowed her to move around and explore the grounds of McCann and also get some knock-your-socks-off twirling action in as well. 🙂
She laughed, “The dress situation was kind of funny! I had ordered something from Rent the Runway but it didn’t end up working, so once I figured that out, I purchased two back-up options online (can you tell I’m a planner? haha), but both were being shipped to me and neither had arrived by the morning of our engagement session!”
She continued, “Literally, ten minutes before we left to go to the session, this dress arrived– I tried it on and it was perfect! Talked about being stressed out until the last minute!!! But it all worked out in the end.”
The light was pretty spectacular on the evening of their photo shoot. It had been quite intense earlier on, which allowed me to capture dramatic contrast and vivid color. Now as “golden hour” approached, all of the autumn colors were even more intensified and the light became soft and gentle.
At one point as we were traveling from the Studio House to Lake Jeanette, I stopped several times to snap photos in that spectacular golden glow… again I love the natural candid feel of this photo, just how comfortable they are together with the light and lines of the woods and trees in the distance:
Brigid recalled, “Lake Jeanette & its island, bridges, dock and gazebo was one of the elements that really attracted us to The McCann School of Art initially.”
Here they sit together on that very dock surrounded by the saturated yellows of autumn…
Here I crouched down in the brush, framing the couple in a window to capture this sweet moment– what gorgeous architecture!
Inside the structure, I was able to silhouette the couple against the backdrop of the forest with its fall leaves…
I love how distinct their profiles are– they almost look like one person and their heads sort of form a heart together:
Brigid and Chris, I absolutely loved exploring the McCann School of Art with you for Part I of your engagement session. I am super excited to post Part II, at Boxer’s Pub involving leather jackets, cold brews and waffle fries to the face, haha… and then we also have your Rolling Rails wedding coming up in the State College area!
So much to look forward to– I can’t wait to hear what you think of these :).