Engagements, Announcements

Carly’s Gorgeous Mountain Engagement Portraits at Tibble Fork

Carly and her fiancé are somewhat new to Utah, and love the beautiful mountain ranges that are so close to civilization. For her engagements, she wanted a canyon with a view, so we shot at Tibble Fork. I love this area because you can see the back side of Mount Timpanogas in the background which has an elevation near 12,000 feet. The air is so clear and fresh in these canyons, and we started our shoot as the sun was setting. For the first set of photographs, I used Mount Timp as our backdrop, framed by the diagonals of American Fork Canyon.

I created a trio design based on these first set of images because they looked so great together as a set.

And with some easy, short walks we were able to get a variety of mountainous backgrounds for Carly. Here we used the trees to frame them, creating a vivid green background.

Or showing the water as the sun was setting, framed in by vertical tree trunks.

And as the sun set, the cool canyon air mixed with the water and turned a gorgeous misty blue in the distance. That lone tree in the background made for a great balance point for this set of romantic images.

And notice that no matter the time of day or angle to the sun, this couple always looks gorgeous and their backgrounds look gorgeous. Utilizing master lighting techniques means that they have great skin tones, eyes that pop, and the background is vivid and real.

Sadly, other photographers may use great locations too, but because they use “natural light” (which is haphazard), their photos turn out with blotchy skin, dark eyes, and their backgrounds and faces are often washed out (a modern trick to save poorly shot images). This is sad because photography is the one thing we keep from our wedding for our entire lives.

Hopefully you can see the difference. I work to create true heirloom quality photographs that your kids will fight over once we’re all dead. And the secret starts with great lighting, mixed with great chemistry and body language, to create a shoot with tons of wonderful images to choose from.

Before we left, we did a casual clothes change to get more images with their cute dog. This was one of my favorites. They look great, the dog is perked up and happy, the lines and colors of the background are awesome, and the mist is peaking through the trees creating even more dimension so that it feels like you’re there in the canyon.

Finally, I took some of my favorites to create this 9-up collage. I love the variety and personality in this design.

And of course at sunset I couldn’t help but shoot one photo of Mount Timpanogas off in the distance, lit by the setting sun. I love the mix of warm and cool colors in this.

If you’re getting married, give me a call. Let’s talk about creating some gorgeous photographs for you, 801-728-3317. We can do engagements (like this shoot), bridals, the wedding day, or any combination.

And until next time, America.

Amber’s Spring Engagement Shoot, Outdoor & Studio

I’ve been really excited to share the engagement shoot of these two. They are great together and make a wonderful couple. A few weeks ago in early spring we did this incredible shoot for their engagements. We did a mix of studio and outdoor portraits. And later I’ll have to share images from their wedding reception this weekend at the beautiful Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club because it was all just magical. But first, we need to see these from their engagement shoot.

This first photograph was one of the top favorites, and part of their wedding invitation design.

And this painting was finished as a canvas for their reception display, and will go above their fireplace in their home. 

I love these paintings. You really have to see them in person to see how wonderful they are. But here’s a shot of it displayed at their Utah wedding reception.

I love these outdoor photos. The gorgeous colors and dramatic sky really pop with master lighting techniques on location. And you can see how great these two are together. Their expressions say it all.

This next image with mixed lighting creating the dynamic shadow lines, was one of the top picks and part of the invitation design. 

And here are few more favorites from the studio, with a change of clothes and lighting styles for more variety.

This trio was one of my favorite things from the shoot. 

I hope you can see how great these two are together. I’m honored to have been a part of their wedding and wish them decades of future happiness together. And don’t worry, I will for sure post some of their wedding reception images too. You’ll want to see them, but I do have a bunch of other fun shoots that I want to share with you first.

In the meantime, if you’re getting married there is no better wedding investment than your photographs. Of all the things you spend on, well-made photographs are the only thing you keep after the wedding. So give me a call and let’s talk about creating your dream portraits, 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Audrey’s Studio Engagement Portraits

It was a joy to photograph Audrey and Juan together in my studio for their wedding engagement photos. Their wedding will be here in the Salt Lake City area, and engagement shoots are perfect for wedding announcements as well as beautiful displays to be shown at their wedding dinner and home later. Here are some of our favorites from the shoot. First, their double-sided wedding announcement portrait.

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And this wall collage is great because it shows a lot of variety and personality without taking up a ton of wall space. It’s designed with visual balance and to keep your eye moving around to each of the images over and over.

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And these trios are stunning. They tell a story in a beautiful, framed design that is perfect for a table easel or wall. And see what I mean about these two being great together? 🙂

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I’m very excited to photograph these two on their big day coming up. They’re a wonderful couple, they’re very photogenic, and I look forward to meeting and photographing their families and being a part of their big day.

If you’re engaged and would like some wonderful images, photographs that you will love your entire life, give me a call at 801-728-3317. I’d love to create some beautiful portrait heirlooms for you.

And until next time, America.

Alex and Kali’s Wedding Engagement Shoot

This week, Alex and Kali were married. But before their wedding, they came in for a really fun and romantic engagement shoot so that I could produce their wedding announcements and display portraits.

Here are some of their favorites. We started in the studio creating some really fun b&w images. This was one of my top favorites and theirs too.

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We also shot outdoors in my very green and lush studio gardens. (Note: if you want to shoot outside, we only have a couple more weeks of this deep green look before the colors turn to fall.)

I like giving people a variety of looks, both inside and outside, and even changes of clothes. It means that my clients have more choices, but the variety also works well when designing composites and other products as you’ll see. My Utah photography studio location makes it easy to shoot both indoors and outdoors quickly.
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And here are some more beautiful studio images. I shot these in color but imagined them b&w. But in the end, I think they looked even better in color.

The studio look is very hot right now. Yes, lots of people ask for outdoor because that’s all they see on social media – mostly because new photographers don’t have studios, plus lighting people is incredibly difficult especially indoors.

But I can offer clients a mix session of outdoor and indoor and see what they like. And it’s always amazing that people’s favorite images are mostly close-up studio images. I personally think it’s because there’s an emotional punch and a timeless appeal with such an image. And it’s also completely different from everyone else’s images. Most photographers are new and cheaper, and they’re learning as they go. They don’t have studio gear so they shoot on location in a beautiful location that catches our eye, but their lack of lighting causes dark and often blotchy faces which they hide with filters. Comparing that to great lighting that makes skin glow, and perfect expressions, you can see why people are asking more and more for a studio portrait.
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Here is a composite design I made up for their wedding reception…
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…and two gorgeous trios. These come in various sizes and are framed, ready to hang on your wall. Trios are great for telling little stories in three images.brycox_alex_engagement_01
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And to end, here are two gorgeous photos of these two in dark colors on a dark background. They look happy to be together and I wish them lots of success and love in their marriage.

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If you’re getting married, I’d love to create something wonderful for you, outdoors or in my studio. Give me a call and let’s create your dream portrait. 801-728-3317.

Unconvinced? Here’s a 1-minute video on why you’ll look even better when I photograph you, and why my studio is named, “Celebrity Style Imaging™.”

And until next time, America.

See Bry Cox’s Creative Wedding Approach, Images, Albums, and Finished Products

When I started full-time in my portrait studio over 20 years ago, I started as many people do – loving photography and wanting to offer people the best possible photographs for a better price than the competition. I was never the “cheap” photographer and I always felt my work was great, but I did shoot an average of 100 weddings a year in addition to other shoots too. I continued to shoot daily while also getting recurrent training to be a PPA Master and PPA Craftsman. Over time my skills improved, my equipment improved, and my mind was opened to new ideas and new levels of quality.

I realized that I could offer my clients something even better, something so incredible and amazing, something that just wasn’t available. I could offer them even more personal touches and connection for the best photography on their wedding day, as well as the art and design of the best possible album to showcase that incredible photography. But putting this much time into one wedding would mean limiting the number of weddings I shoot and putting a lot more time into each one. What I wanted to do meant a vast investment in time, money, and expertise.

It meant not doing what everyone else was doing. It meant not hiring teams of cheaper photographers to go shoot for me because no one can quite read the light or people’s personalities and bring out the best of both lighting and personality as I can. And for the finished product, it meant no peal-and-stick albums, no “drag-and-drop” or “auto-design” software, no cheap online books, and not sending the design off out of the country to some cheap designer that wasn’t at your wedding and doesn’t understand your personality. When I shoot your wedding, I get to know you and I also pick up on your inner-fears of what you like and don’t like about yourself. I know how to direct you and light you to make you look your best, I know how to bring out your true personality. And that personal one-on-one experience helps me know how to retouch you and design your book so that you absolutely love every single image and every single page design.

There’s a special skill in knowing how to make people look amazing in any condition, in any weather. And there’s another skill in delivering heirloom products to my clients. I work to provide the best of both. It means I’m not comparable to the cheaper photographers around, but I believe strongly in photography. Of everything we spend our money on in weddings (flowers, food, dresses, locations), photography is the only thing we pass down to our children. And I want to create something that you love your entire life, something that makes you happy every time you enjoy one of my images. And I want to create something that your kids fight over when we’re all dead and gone.

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I can help you over phone and answer most of your questions about your wedding day. Call me and let’s chat, and if it sounds good to you, then let’s visit in person too so that you can see my albums first-hand. Cox_Albums-119

When I shoot your wedding, albums are not an add-on – they’re included. I only shoot weddings when I can do them right, and part of that is finishing them perfectly for my clients. I have a number of wedding collections in varying price options, and larger packages include larger albums. Available in 4 sizes: 9½ x 13 (on the right), 12×16 (middle), 14×18 (not shown), and the largest 16×20 (on the left).Cox_Albums-117 Cox_Albums-115

To learn more about me, see lists of awards, or to see more images go to my main website, BryCox.com. And call me at 801-728-3317 to talk more about your wedding, get general pricing, and to ask any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

And until next time, America.

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary to Brandi & Cory

Happy 9th Anniversary Brandi and Cory! It’s amazing how time flies, and I love being able to look back on the images I’ve created for people over the years. And on this day in 2007, these two got married and I wanted to share some of their engagement photos that I created for them back in 2007 in my Utah studio and outdoors in the studio gardens.

I know these two are having a wonderful life together and I hope your day today is extra grand. Happy Anniversary you two!

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And if you’re getting engaged and need some wonderful portraits, whether it be for your wedding invitations, your home decor, or your family history archives, give me a call. I’d love to create someone wonderful for you that you can look back on years from now and love. Give me a call at 801-728-3317, and until next time, America.

Matt & Treva’s Beautiful Engagement Shoot

This week I’ll be photographing Matt and Treva’s wedding. And recently I had the privilege of shooting their engagements and printing up their wedding announcements. Here’s some of their beautiful images.

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We created a variety both in the studio for some black & whites, along with some beautiful color images here in the outdoor studio gardens. They way my Utah studio is designed, we can do both quickly and easily, in one location. And both Matt and Treva were great in front of the camera, and we had a big variety of wonderful images to choose from.BryCox_MattTreva_Engagement_002

I took some of their favorites and designed up this wall collage to be displayed at their dinner, and it’ll look great in their new home. Collages like these are best designed with a variety of expressions and looks, while keeping an artistic uniformity. I love how this turned out.BryCox_MattTreva_Engagement_003

The shoot went great. We all had a great time, and their excitement and emotions about being together and getting married really showed in their images. I can’t wait for their wedding.

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If you’re getting married, give me a call. I’d love to create some wonderful and emotional images for you. I can shoot everything (engagements, bridals, and wedding day) or just some things – whatever you like. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 and we can discuss your dream portraits.

And until next time, America.

Liz & Dewayne’s Engagement Portraits

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to photograph Liz and Dewayne’s engagement portraits. They are a great couple together, and we created so many wonderful and romantic images that it was hard to narrow them down. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Being a photographer based outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, I’ve got a lot of options right here at my studio. For a lot of variety, we shot both outside in the studio gardens as well as inside the studio, and in color and black and white. And I always like to do a few images of the bride and groom individually too. For these I went with my high-contrast black and white series and these two images look wonderful together.

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I also can’t wait to share the bridal portraits, as they are really out of this world. But I will hold off until after the wedding so that the dress can be kept a surprise.

If you’re engaged and are looking for some wonderful engagement images, bridal images, or a killer wedding day album, give me a call at 801-728-3317. And check this post out on how the way I shoot weddings is completely different and unique. My main website BryCox.com also has a lot of great sample images and info too.

Until next time, America.

Shasta’s Engagement & Family Portraits

We had such a fun time creating these engagement portraits of Shasta and her fiancé. We did a mix of outdoor and studio portraits and some of our favorites were high contrast black & whites from the studio.

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I took some of the favorites and created this 9-up collage. It looked so beautiful when it was finished and framed.

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Shasta also has 3 adorable little kids and we took the opportunity to create a new updated family portrait.

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Her kids were so cute and fun, that we did some individual portraits of them as well. I spent most of the shoot laughing with them because they were so funny. I think you can see that in the photos. They each had so many great images and each showed different sides of their personality, that I ended up using a few images of each child to create this collage.

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I am excited for this marriage and hope these guys all have a wonderful new life together, and I can’t wait to photograph this awesome family again.

If you’d like some new family portraits, children’s portraits, or even some engagement portraits for your upcoming wedding, give me a call. It’s a great time to come in before the fall rush. 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Marisa’s Engagement and Bridals

I recently photographed Marisa’s wedding and thought about posting her engagements and bridals here to celebrate her wedding day, but I didn’t want her fiancé Ben to accidentaly see the bridals before the ceremony. So I am now sharing these images and am excited for you all to see them. I’m starting with some of her bridal images. Because it was a cold fall day, we started inside in the warm studio to create these.

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Marisa looks so elegant and beautiful in these images. There were so many great images, it was hard to pick some favorites, but these were some of them.Cox_Marisa02 Cox_Marisa03

At one point, the rain seemed to stop so we hurried outside and shot a bit in the leaves. This dancing trio is a collection of some of our favorite images outside before the rain started up again.

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And here are some of Marisa and Ben’s engagements. We did a mix session with multiple studio backgrounds and lighting setups as well as some outdoor images as well in the studio gardens.Cox_Marisa05 Cox_Marisa06 Cox_Marisa07

These two were so fun to photograph and are such a great couple. We were laughing most of the time when we weren’t shooting. I think they look great together and I am excited that they found each other.

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I really love how these images turned out. They had a great variety of images and the display of images at the wedding reception looked amazing. Cox_Marisa10

And to close, here is a sneak peek of the wedding day. Though the album will take some time to design, this is one of my favorites from the day. I will for sure share their entire wedding album once it is ready.

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If you are getting married now is the time to give me a call and reserve your day as it is that time of year when brides are booking dates. Or feel free to just call me and ask any questions you may have. 801-728-3317

And until next time, America.

How to Pick a Wedding Photographer (part 1)

I was recently asked these questions for an article, and thought I’d also post my answers on my blog as well.

“What Should People Be Looking for in a Wedding Photographer?”

I take this subject seriously because weddings matter and photography at weddings matter. There are few buying decisions in our lives that actually can cause life-long regret, and wedding photography tops that list. You may spend a lot of money buying a bad car or even a couch that isn’t comfortable, but the problem is solved once you get rid of it and replace it.

But when it comes to wedding photographs, they can only be done once. People who have made a poor decision in this area will lament even 50 years after their wedding and will still hold regret. I’ve found that if one bride doesn’t hire me, it’s usually her regret afterwards that gets her friends to hire me. If a mother of a bride comes in with decades of regret from her own wedding, that feeling is usually enough for her daughter to spend the extra money to hire me.

The reason people worry about their wedding photography is simple, it only happens once, it can’t be re-done, and you don’t know what you’re paying for until a month or so after the wedding.

Of all the expenses of a wedding, the photography is the one thing you keep your entire life. And as people get older, their tastes change and improve and they become more educated. If their photography is faddish or sub-par, it will only get worse as the years go by and your tastes improve.

There are literally thousands of photographers in every state saying that they are professionals. Many of those lately are your friends, neighbors and relatives needing you to hire them for friendship sake and as a favor to them to help them build their portfolio. These are not photographers with credentials other than their love of photography and the fact that they are spending what seems like a lot of money to them on equipment.

Guilt of hurting a friendship or feeling the need to help build someone’s portfolio with your one and only special day are bad motivators. These should not be reasons you hire any photographer. There is a wide gamut of skill, education, abilities, and price options, but when it really comes down to it, price and quality are related very tightly in photography.

Weddings are incredibly difficult for photographers as they provide a wide range of variables, locations, lighting conditions, weather, body shapes, and people’s personalities. Despite all these, the photographer must create great images without excuse, and usually under incredibly tight time constraints.

A wedding photographer must be skilled, knowledgeable, and versatile, and at the same time creative. But these things are hard for a client to really see when they’re shopping around.

So my advice when shopping for a wedding photographer is to not trust the initial samples a photographer shows you, and that goes double for any sample images online – there isn’t enough resolution in web images to see the flaws.

You must get in and see the images first-hand in printed form as big as possible. You must meet the photographer and see how you like his/her personality. You must ask to see more samples than are shown, particularly entire weddings in album or printed form.

If they don’t have printed samples, and lots of them, spanning years and years of weddings that look wonderful, then they are too new for you to hire. They are either not making enough money yet to afford some samples and/or are too inexperienced for you to hire. You are not someone’s guinea pig for practice. You need a professional on YOUR one big day!

When you look at samples, look past the flowers, the dresses, and the things in the images, and instead look at the photography, the consistency of the images. Look to see if the bride looks thin all the way through, if she always looks good, and doesn’t look fake, plastic or “photoshop-ed.”

Also make sure to pay particular note to the sample album and how it is constructed and built. How many sample albums are there? Do they go back years? Are parts of the book coming apart?

Hopefully there are plenty of albums that span years, show all sorts of locations, lighting, and options, and despite lots of use and traffic from clients, the books should be holding up beautifully.

Keep in mind that most photographers will show their lucky shots taken on an easy day for lighting (usually called “natural light” images taken on a cloudy, overcast day). Those kind of lucky images require no real skill. They do nothing to show YOU how you will be photographed on your day in your unique lighting conditions.

So ask instead to see entire weddings in broad sunlight, or in the middle of the night outside. Ask to see entire weddings all the way through, and not just the photographer’s favorite samples.

Photographers on the cheaper end of the scale rely on their equipment and the law of averages, shooting thousands of images in hopes of getting something somewhat decent and saleable. They then cover up their images with lots of software and effects. They attempt to hide the common problems of bluish-grey skin and the dark eyes caused by bad technique, with effects like yellow tones and washed out looks.

To a new bride, these effects make images seem fun and “different,” but to the trained eye they just look bad and trendy. In fact they are not different at all, but very commonplace as almost all new photographers are doing the same thing.

A more experienced (and yes more expensive) photographer will shoot fewer images, all of which will be great, and he/she will do it under any lighting condition, and this will be done with control. The images will look great and will be powerful on their own without all the trendy effects. They will be emotional, will be hip and cool, but will also have a classic and timeless appeal.

Finally, one good way to gauge a photographer’s level of expertise is their credentials! Always ask about a photographer’s credentials and what it is that makes them “professional?”

How many years have they spent learning how to photograph people? How long have they done this as full time career? Where did they go to school and with what degree? Is this a new career or have they dedicated a large portion of their lives and their hard-earned money to continually learn and understand their profession?

You wouldn’t let someone without a license cut your hair for your big wedding day, and you shouldn’t let a photographer potentially ruin your wedding day photographs without having at least basic Certification. A bad hair cut at least grows back in a few months, but bad wedding photographs will live with you your entire life.

I believe that any photographer who calls himself or herself a professional should at least prove it by having Certification. On top of that, hopefully they’ve earned some national titles like Master and Craftsman. These titles and ranks help a prospective client know that a photographer is consistent in their skill and will do a better job. Photographers with credentials can be found under the “Find a Photographer” section of PPA.com.

You’re based out of Utah but you seem to travel all over shooting weddings. What do you think is the most important thing couples should look for in a wedding photographer …Value? Talent? Consistency? Quality? Why?

Yes, all of those. Price is always an early question, as everyone wants to save money on a wedding. But price is never the final deciding factor. Most people understand that nicer products and services must cost more, but still most people have some type of budget constraints. Yet almost everyone would still rather cut in some areas in order to have better images that they can enjoy the rest of their lives.

A photography business is not a cheap business to run when you want to produce great images. Every step of every process is expensive when done right. Some things we spend money on in life are mass-produced. Great photography is instead custom made each time for just one client.

A lot goes into each job in terms of expertise, constant training, equipment, computers/software, insurance, overhead, and the supplies that go into the final products. There are cheap ways of cutting back on all of these, but it always shows in the final images and album.

And yes, talent and consistency do play a huge factor. No ones wants to worry about how their wedding images will turn out and no one knows until after the event is all over with, how the images really did turn out. Knowing they have someone who consistently is proven to do a great job gives them peace of mind, and that makes the extra expense of travel totally worth it to them.

What are the brides-to-be and families generally asking about when they make first contact with you? Does this change as they go through the process of engagement photos, bridal photos and then during the day?

Yes, most people start off asking about price, mainly because they don’t know what to ask. But as the process moves forward, those who are really interested in the way that I work, will talk more about the things that are actually important to them like quality and style.

Interestingly, many of the people that complain most about price at first become life-long clients of mine, coming in again and again throughout the years. Once they get it, they love what I do and come in for everything. They schedule shoots of their new babies, events and other special moments, and I get to see them and their lives change over the years.

It’s especially fun to deliver wall prints to clients and see their homes already decorated throughout with canvases, collages and portraits I’ve done for them in the past.

I’ve seen research on how brides usually make decisions on a wedding photographer. After cost, how do brides evaluate your work?

Price may be the reason a bride doesn’t hire a particular photographer, but price is never the reason a bride does hire a photographer. Price may be the first thing people ask about, but both photographers and brides both say that quality and a photographer’s personality were more important than price in the decision making process.

(Continue reading part 2 of interview.)

 

Lisa’s Wedding Portraits

This week Lisa got married, and a few days before she came in for some fun and fabulous portraits with her fiancé.  This type of shoot is what I call a Pre-Session — a session with the bride and groom before the wedding.  It’s done before hand so that they have wonderful images on display at their wedding that are hip, classic, and emotional all at the same time.

I love Pre-Sessions, because unlike the wedding day there’s no feeling of being rushed.  On a wedding day, the couple is pulled in too many directions.  They are running ragged and everyone is constantly interrupting the creation time to talk or ask them questions.

But on a Pre-Session, we have the studio and gardens to ourselves.  The place is peaceful and creativity abounds.  The images here show the peace and love that the couple feels and this first image was their favorite!  It became their large piece that went on the easel at the reception and now will hang in their home.

On top of couple portraits, I always like to get some fun individuals of each, in case we use them in a collage or other wall art display.  The slight variations in lighting and positioning for each person help exaggerate her beautiful feminine features and his masculine features.

I love this next couple portrait of the two of them.  It is so affectionate and they look so happy and good together.  It’s fun to have the couple both in white and Lisa’s wedding gown was made by her mother.

Finally, we stepped out to work the my outdoor studio gardens, despite the freezing cold, just to get a few images in the wonderful fall leaves.

This is one of the things I love about my wonderful location — I have the ability to shoot indoors or outdoors all in one setting!  If people have taken off work, made their difficult schedules work, and come to the studio for their appointment but it’s a day that is freezing cold or snowing — no problem!

I can continue to create amazing and emotional images inside with complete control.  If people still want to venture outside anyway, we can do it quickly as things are set up ready to go here.  We simply step out and work quickly and come right back in again to get warm by the fireplace.  Mood is important when creating wonderful expressions, and here I can do that the best!

If you’re getting married or it’s time again for some new family portraits for Christmas, give me a call to schedule your appointment.  801-728-3317.  My shoots are so much fun and I know just how to make you look great.  And overall, you will LOVE your images!

And feel free to browse my main website, BryCox.com and my blog at BryCox.com/blog.