About Zach and Kaitlyn’s shoot

My friends Zach and Kaitlyn were just about to get married a week before our shoot. Knowing that I was looking into doing portraits on a professional level, they were kind enough to invite me to do their engagement photos and I gladly obliged. This was the first time I ever had anyone pay me to take their photos. It was also one of the first few times I had ever put any thought process into posing.

Prior to this shoot, I was mainly a landscape photographer who occasionally took photos of my family as keepsakes. But as you are likely aware, portrait work (and weddings) are where the money is at in photography. At least for a small-timer like myself, anyway. And you’ve gotta start somewhere, so I was happy to help my friends and gain some experience at the same time.

After the initial butterflies wore off – I still get them at every shoot to this day – I got into my groove. And although there is room for improvement here, I’m proud of the images we created that day. It was a solid start to what I hope will be a promising career in portrait photography.

By the time I’m finally writing this, Zach and Kaitlyn are already married – congrats to them. They’re a super cute couple!

Gear used

Sony A6500Sony 50mm F/1.8 lens, Flashpoint Zoom Mini Flash


Water Works Park (Des Moines, IA), Badger Creek State Park (Van Meter, IA)

Other random info

If you’ve never checked out the sunflower field at Badger Creek, make a point of doing so next summer, if possible.

The sunflowers are in bloom mid-July through the first week of August. There’s about a two-week span when they’re in bloom before they start to wilt away and die off for the season. It’s truly one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen in person – and it’s a great spot for astrophotography, as well!

One thing I learned during this shoot

With every shoot I do, I always try to take away at least one new thing. Photography is all about the learning experience, which if done right, will never end. For this particular shoot, I learned that posed shots aren’t nearly as easy to do as I imagined.

There’s a lot of detail that needs attention when you’re looking for the perfect frame. Also, posed shots aren’t always the best – the biggest thing I took away from this shoot is the importance of candid moments; those natural happenings usually make for a much better photo, in my opinion.

That’s a style I’d like to gravitate towards.

My shots