Cynthia Viola Photography

Dorothy Dix

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflower Field Engagement Session | Kristin and Matt

Engagement PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
Love is when they give you a piece of your soul, that you never knew was missing.
— Torquato Tasso
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

When I saw Kristin sitting in Matt’s lap, whispering something in his ear in a quiet corner of Alexa and Landon’s wedding I had a feeling they’d be up next. When I saw their engagement post about a year later all the little butterflies in my stomach just fluttered away.

No matter how many love stories I get to witness, I’ll never get over the grandness of it all. The little moments in the quiet corners, the epic life changing ones involving a ring, and the beautiful conversations about wonderful memories shared and futures to come.

Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

I went out to Whiskey Kitchen with these last night to get to know them a little better before our big shoot this morning at the Dix Park Sunflower Field and heard all about their beautiful adventures all over the world and how they’d dreamed one day to have their honeymoon in Hawaii. While in Savannah, he took her on a walk to a beautiful park and told her their next trip would be Hawaii…then he got down on a knee.

I just get all the good feels every time I think of it. These two complete each other in every way. They’re pretty different as far as personalities go, but they way they move together and fill in the pieces that are missing is as beautiful as it gets, they’re perfect for each other.

Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session
Sunflower Field at Dix Park Engagement Session

Thank you so much for inviting me to capture your memories you guys! I cannot wait til the big day!!

Dorothy Dix Park Family Portraits | Romero Family

Family PortraitsCynthia ViolaComment
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart
— Helen Keller
Extended Family Photos

It gives my heart great joy when families know how to have fun together. These guys not only had fun this morning but they brought all the love with them. The kiddos wanted to make sure they had an individual photo with every family member there and were more than willing to cuddle and bear hug and be super sweet together for the photos. 

If there's any advice I can give to families before coming to a session, it's to come with an open mind and heart. We'll certainly go our best to get "proper" portraits up front but when you have the freedom to be yourselves and let the kids decide what we're going to do next, the images are so much more fun and filled with genuine smiles and laughter. 

Thanks for being awesome this morning you guys!! 

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Little Leo loved stealing my stool every time I stepped off of it, so of course we had to snag a photo of him sitting on it for his second birthday portrait! :)

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Celina loves her daddy SO much. I'm pretty sure we took at least 100 images of just those two being sweet. There's just nothing better than a family that loves each other. 

Extended Family Photos
Extended Family Photos

Preparing for Your Engagement Session

Engagement Portraits, Wedding PhotographyCynthia ViolaComment
Love doesn’t make the world go ‘round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile
— Franklin P. Jones

The first thing to remember as you arrive for your engagement session is that this is supposed to be fun! We'll have plenty of pressure from timelines and schedules on the wedding day, no need to be stressed now. These sessions usually take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on how far we walk around and how many outfits you have etc. But if we knock it out in 45 minutes that's totally fine, if we need an extra 30 it's totally fine. Just be prepared to roll with it. 

This is our chance to get to know each other well before the big day so that we're both comfortable when we do have the time crunch. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like and know that I'll do the same. When you learn how I work and the types of poses I'm likely to move you into, it'll make you a pro on the wedding day. It also gives me a chance to see how you two interact together. If you don't enjoy kissing in public, or prefer not to sit on the ground, it's better for me to find out at this session rather than when I ask you to do so on the big day. :)

1. When to plan your session. Time of year is totally up to you, though, if you book your wedding out far enough, a lot of couples like to choose the opposite season of their big day. If you have a fall wedding then a spring engagement etc. Regardless of what month you choose, we will always, only shoot at either sunrise or about 2 hours before sunset. This ensures golden light that will make all your images dreamy and romantic. 

2. Outfits: Most couples choose 2 outfits, one casual to start and one dressier as you get more comfortable with the whole flow of the session. Once you've gotten used to the idea of a camera in your face, you'll warm up to the more romantic poses. That said, if you prefer one outfit or three, I'm perfectly ok with that. You can see my post HERE to see ways to coordinate them.

3. Location. I always recommend choosing a location that is important to you if possible. A family farm offers legacy, the place where you actually got engaged or had your first date can be a great way to capture that memory, or just a place that you find beautiful can ensure beautiful backdrops for when you print them for your home. If you can't think of any places like that, or you're not from the area where we'll be shooting, have no fear, I have a long list of places that are wonderful and I'm happy to check out a spot in advance if I'm unfamiliar with it.

4. Trust me. I certainly do not expect you to be a professional model. I will guide you when you need it and give you the freedom to be yourselves as often as you let me. I have hundreds of posing ideas floating around up there and am perfectly happy guiding you into them, I also really love letting you interact in your way. It always takes about 15-20 minutes to warm up to the idea of making out in a public space so we'll work up to it slowly and have some fun along the way. I'll never make you do something you're uncomfortable with. 

5. Drink ALL the water. Think a gallon a day every day for a week leading up to it. (and then every day after that for the rest of your life) ;) It's not only healthy, but for the purposes of the shoot, it will get rid of dark circles under your eyes. 

6. Prepare your fiance'. Sometimes one person is really excited about the photography portion of the wedding, and the other is well, not so much. They may be planning to show up, smile at the camera standing in 2 or 3 locations and then calling it a day. If they aren't prepared when I tell you to snuggle or nuzzle, they may not know how to respond. I recommend choosing your top 3-5 favorite images on my site or blog and showing your fiance' so you're both on the same page when you arrive. If you're going to err on one side or another, over communication is usually a good bet. (Feel free to use that one as a general marriage tip as well...you're welcome) ;) 

It can also be fun to practice some of the snuggling and flirting in advance... just sayin ;)

7. Ring, Hair and Make Up. Some ladies like to take this opportunity to get their hair and/or make up trial arranged with their stylists so they can see what they'll look like on the big day as well as taking the pressure off of preparations for the engagement session. Certainly not a necessity, but if you're having a trial anyway, this is a good time to do it. (This or the bridal session if you choose to add one). There will definitely be photos of the ring, so it's a good time to get it shined up as well. 

And just for fun, here's a few couples showing off their snuggling and flirting skills both at their engagement and their big day. Have fun!