Category Archives: Engagement Sessions

Engagement Session Uptown Charlotte

Paulina & Travis engagement session uptown Charlotte. They both work uptown and love the urban vibe of our beautiful city!


Their story:  It all began in December 2013, when I met Travis at our company’s Christmas party. As we were standing near each other, I recalled seeing him before, but thought I was mistaken. So, I decided to ask him if he attended VCC and he confirmed he’d been going there for several years and then began to talk about church music.

Over the next few weeks, Travis started to stop by my desk and we talked more about VCC, as I  had been going there for most of the year. He asked if  I wanted to “do lunch” and I didn’t realize he had an interest in me until he asked me out to a basketball during lunch.  I politely made up an excuse on why I couldn’t go to the game.

Then one Sunday, as I was leaving church, Travis was waiting there in the lobby and as I was putting on  my coat, he helped me to put it on. He asked for my number and I was intrigued by his persistent, yet gentle approach, so I gave him my number. I can’t believe we took the risk of dating given we worked in the same department and attended the same church. But we are happy and excited to be here now…we truly believe that love found us!


Engagement Session – Colonel Francis Beatty Park

Brandi & Colton’s engagement session – Colonel Francis Beatty Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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I met this cute couple when I photographed Brandi’s best friend’s wedding recently. You can view HERE.  Brandi & Colton were both in the wedding. They were super fun and completely adorable! So I was super excited when I got an email  from Brandi saying she wanted to schedule an engagement session with me at Colonel Francis Beatty Park.

I love when couples bring things to their session to make it unique & personalized. So I was thrilled that Colton would be bringing his Harley Davidson as a prop! Which I affectionately called his “Steel Horse”, as my mind wandered back in time to Bon Jovi’s song, “Wanted Dead or Alive”.

Some couples just look like book-ends perfectly paired from the beginning of time. That is Brandi & Colton. I could feel their deep love for each other, as well as I could feel the staggering humidity after the recent storm. I loved the way Colton looked at Brandi and the way she smiled and laughed so easily in response to his gaze.


Engagement Session – Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Julius & Katrina’s engagement session at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

I met this lovely couple at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden for their engagement photos. The weather was hot and humid and very sunny!  To avoid full sun shots, I scouted for good light in unique places that I hadn’t shot before. I love when a situation stretches my creativity and I have clients that are game for whatever I want to try!Inspiration & Design Photography_2154

Katrina and Julius did a great job with harmonious clothing that allowed THEM to be the focus of the portraits. Katrina’s make-up was flawless and perfectly brought out her pretty features. One of which is her incredible smile. They warmed up quickly to my instructions & were natural & comfortable as they got affectionate, playful & snuggly.  Julius did a great job bringing out the joy in Katrina’s heart. She commented “yeah, I like him”. LOL!

She also commented,  “fake eye lashes are the Devil”.  I replied, “But they look so heavenly”! As we wandered the beautiful gardens Katrina limped along in her what I call, “sit & look pretty shoes”. Katrina however had a less affectionate term…TORTURE SHOES! Which she finally had enough of and swapped out for the comfy flats. I’m sure Julius was thinking how thankful he is to be a guy.

You guys were super fun! And in spite of the heat, torture shoes & devil eyelashes, you guys looked effortlessly happy & beautiful together. Thank you for trusting me to capture the essence of your love for each other. I can’t wait to photograph your wedding in September!


Engagement Session – Uptown Charlotte

Leslie & Jason’s engagement session at 1st Ward Park, uptown Charlotte.

It was a fabulously sunny & breezy day when I met Leslie & Jason for their engagement session at 1st Ward Park. This adorable couple let their fun and romance shine through in spite of being a bit camera shy.

I love the clothing choice Leslie decided on. The more dressed up feel went great with the city vibe and the colors were perfect for the water backdrop and variations of blue in the buildings. I love the color harmony.

This hardworking couple have been together 7 years! And Leslie remarked that she thinks they kissed more during their engagement session, than they have their entire relationship! my bad, LOL! See how fun an engagement session can be? Wink, Wink.

Leslie & Jason you guys did awesome! I can’t wait to photograph the wedding in October.

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Engagement Session – Waxhaw

Lindsay & Wally’s engagement session – Waxhaw, North Carolina.

This cute couple met in highschool 7 years ago and have been together ever since. They met at a party and they just “clicked”. Lindsay is a bubbly beauty who is perfectly balanced by her strong & silent type fiancé, Wally. Wally is a Charlotte firefighter. I want to take a moment to thank all the firefighters out there who put their lives in danger on a regular basis, to help/save others! Thank you for all that you do!!

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Engagement Session – Charlotte NC

Kara & Stephen’s engagement session at UNC Charlotte botanical gardens & Romare Bearden Park – Uptown Charlotte, NC

Wedding Palisades Country Club - Inspiration & Design Photography_0326 Kara & Stephen met in undergrad at UNC Charlotte. He is from Winston-Salem and Kara is from Woodstock, Georgia.  Kara now lives in Georgia finishing up graduate school studying physical therapy. She will Graduate next year, so the wedding date was set for after the medical boards examination.

Stephen proposal last July, at a metal table. So when I saw these metal tables in the park I thought it would be fun to reenact the proposal…okay maybe cheesy but kinda cute.

They will be getting married here in Charlotte, since it is such a special place for both of them.  Which will make for a two year engagement! Well on the bright side, that leaves plenty of time to plan the wedding!

At the end of the session, I suggested taking off their shoes and getting close to the water falls in the park.  After a few quick shots both mine & Stephen’s pants were wet from the knee down, which felt quite refreshing, for me a least.

The previous session the night before, my couple laid in the lake for the last few photos and left wet and sandy. I jokingly told Stephen & Kara,  my new standard is to make sure each client is wet by the end of the session!

The Proposal:
I was at my first clinical rotation in Stockbridge, GA and it had almost been a month since the last time we had seen each other. Stephen hadn’t mentioned anything about planning a visit to come see me and I began to get frustrated with him thinking he didn’t want to come visit me. Little did I know, he had a plan up his sleeve for a surprise weekend trip in Atlanta. Long story short, he spilled the beans and told me his surprise he had been planning to further prevent me from getting upset! Little did I know of the other surprise he had planned for the weekend!

I stayed down at clinic during the week and would travel back home on weekends. The only clothes I had during the week were work scrubs, so I needed to make
a trip back home to get some “normal” clothes to wear for this surprise weekend! Stephen created an itinerary (being the ops guy that he is, and me being the former college athlete) with TBD activities listed with what clothes I would need for the weekend.  I went home that Thursday night before to pack my clothes and drive back down to Stockbridge the following morning to finish out my 2nd week at clinic. (more…)

Engagement Session – Rankin Lake Gastonia

Jessica & Josh’s engagement session at Rankin Lake, GastoniaWedding Palisades Country Club - Inspiration & Design Photography_0303


I finally had the pleasure of meeting this sweet couple in person. They had entered my wedding giveaway earlier this year and were chosen as runners up in the contest.  It was a special pleasure to work with them.  They have been through an amazingly tough journey during their 3 short years together.  Including:  loss, death, birth, cancer, surgery, health issues…and through it all remained strong for and committed to each other. Those are very hard life struggles to endure for anyone and even harder for a couple so young.

Additionally, they have NEVER had professional photos done and it was very important to them, especially Jessica, because let’s be honest…most guys aren’t into the whole photo shoot thing.  We worked through Jessica’s nervousness with several emails and photo texts of clothing choices until it was perfect! Jessica liked the idea of canoe photos, which I thought was such a cute idea! Unfortunately when we got there we discovered we had only 30 minutes of rental time before the canoe had to be turned in. So that meant canoe photos in the bright sun, instead of closer to sunset like planned. That being said, we made it work with just a little sweat here and there, haha.

I consider the opportunity to create these loving, romantic images for this couple an incredible blessing.  I know it means a lot to them and I am blessed to be able to give them something so important to them.

Jessica & Josh, keep doing the amazing job of being there for each other through the peaks and valleys ahead. Keep making each other laugh. Hold each other tight on the bad days. And remember you’re totally awesome!!  I pray that the wedding of your dreams comes true for you both. Jessica I hope you find the perfect black wedding dress! You do look fabulous in black!

I hope these pictures bless you and much as you blessed me by sharing your love for each other that Saturday night…

HUGS, Tess