Allie & Russell’s Engagement Session


Allie and Russell are one of those couples who go together so well that they’re actually inspiring. They just fit perfectly; same quirky sense of humor, same outgoing personalities, and the same outlook on life. After spending a day with them, you feel like there’s nothing they couldn’t do together.

I’ve been working with Allie as a model since I first started shooting portraits; she posed for me years ago, endured being blinded by over-powered flashes, and took my pitiful directions and ran with them. She was my practice muse and, no exaggeration, the single person who most helped me develop my skills as a portrait photographer. So when she asked if I’d shoot her engagement photos, I really couldn’t say yes fast enough.

It’s a curious string of events that brought us both from high school in Vermont to within two hours of each other in Pennsylvania years later. But a fortunate one. We drove down to Philly on Saturday morning, on what turned out to be an absolutely perfect day, and met up with her and Russ at their place before heading off to our first stop, the University of Pennsylvania, where they both work (and Russ is a graduate student).

From there we headed into downtown Philadelphia (a first for me!), to Rittenhouse Square Park. The park is special to them, as not only do they spend a lot of time there people-watching and lazing on the grass, but it’s also where Russell proposed. It’s an absolutely lovely little park right in the center of the city and we got some great stuff there before heading off for lunch, where they treated us to Greek frozen yogurt and Shake Shack burgers.

Our last stop took us out of the city to the University’s Morris Arboretum. I can’t say enough about how incredible the arboretum grounds are, even though we only had about an hour there before we got rained out. We tried to run back to the car but didn’t make it halfway before we were soaked. Then it stopped anyway, and the sun started coming back out.

The rain turned out to be the best thing that could have happened – we were wet and a bit bedraggled, but I started shooting again as Allie and Russ began horsing around. It was purely spontaneous and completely fun and made some of the best images of the whole session. I wish I could get an unscripted rain storm on all my engagement shoots after this!


We spent a lot of time, and shot a lot of photos, for an engagement shoot. But it was just so much fun! And when I look at the images we made together, I think that Allie & Russ’ feelings for each other really show through. They’re in love. And it shows. Nothing beats that.

It was so great getting to spend the day with them. I can’t wait to see their wedding next summer, which I’m sure will be equally lovely. (And I hope I get to shoot it as well!)

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