Krystle and Rich's Engagement Shoot


Krystle contacted me to do an engagement shoot for her and her fiance Rich. They are from the Bay Area but decided to come up here to the Sacramento region in hopes of capturing a location that has a different look than what they have in the Bay Area. They ended up booking time at the Grand Island Mansion located about 40 minutes outside of Sacramento. It was a beautiful location to shoot at, and we had the entire place (inside and out) to ourselves!


The first thing I did was to scout out the location. As Krystle and Rich were getting ready, I went to every room in the mansion looking for places to take our photos. We had two hours of time, but two hours can evaporate pretty fast during these types of sessions. The mansion was vast with 3 levels. Each level had multiple places that we could shoot at. Figuring out the order in which to shoot so that we could maximize our time together was crucial for me.


One of our first locations to shoot was the grand staircase. The mansion had an elegant staircase with a classic vibe. We just had to get a few shots on it. I was shooting both natural light and flash at different times to see what worked best in a given area. I thought using the flash really gave the photos taken here a richer tone. The photo above was taken with a flash, however, we did do a few using natural lighting as well in this area. I think it’s good to have both done so in the end we can pick the ones we prefer.


The main ballroom was a must-shoot location as it provided us with a gorgeous, elegant backdrop. I had to pull out my ultra-wide lens to capture the entire room. Having a multitude of lenses at your disposal is really key in getting a huge variety of different looking shots. Many of my favorite photos from my photo sessions come from ultra-wides as they create an image that very no other lenses can accomplish. I understand that some photographers like to go light and use maybe just a 35mm and an 85mm on a shoot… but I find that I can’t do that! It’s just too limiting!


Krystle came with a number of poses that she liked via google searches of engagement poses. I LOVE that she did that as it really helped me pose them in ways that they wanted to be posed in. I, of course, have ways of posing people, but I know that clients have expectations of their photos. Getting a client the look that they want is really a key to the photo sessions that I do. I made sure to get the poses they wanted in as well as give them some looks that I had - then they get the best of both worlds!


As if the inside of the mansion wasn’t big enough, there were many gorgeous locations outside as well. We had fountains, pillars, gazebos, statues, not to mention the actual mansion itself. It was a beautiful, but hot, day when we shot. Thankfully we did have some clouds in the sky to make it have some nice texture. It was extremely bright during our session time, but I thought we were able to make it work. I typically recommend shooting outdoors during the golden hour, but if we can’t then I do my best to make the best of it!


Krystle and Rich were amazing to work with and I’m so glad they found me! Overall we shot hundreds of photos during our session. As always, I provide every single shot that we did as an unedited proof. They also received a large number of hand edited photos in high resolution so they can use them in prints.


I absolutely love shooting engagements. If you or anyone you know is looking for an engagement or wedding photographer, please let me know! I’d love to help out!