Category Archives: Engagements

Laurie + Ian: Hendry House Engagement Session

This engagement session was one of my favorites to date with a pretty fabulous couple. From the champagne picnic, a bicycle built for two, and an incredibly gorgeous couple…I was in engagement session heaven!! Laurie and Ian are high school sweethearts who have been dating for 9 years and in 145 days they become husband and wife! Thrilled to capture it all later this year when they get married at the beautiful White Orchid at Oasis!
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brittany + tyler: labelle engagement session

My favorite kind of brides are those who completely trust me, without reservation, and allow me to capture their day or their session, fully relying on me to tell their story through my lens. I think it’s so important that whoever you choose to capture your day is someone you fully trust. Someone that provides ease in knowing that you’ve hired the right person for you and they will undoubtedly be able to capture photographs that you will cherish forever. And I’m always so, so thankful when brides relinquish the control and just let me do my thing.
This was Brittany…and of course, Tyler too. 🙂 Brittany was basically an open book and had no hesitation, letting me know she completely trusted me and she was completely willing for whatever the session held. We had such a great time roaming through Labelle (this little town gets me every.single.time.) and both B+T did so fabulous for the camera. Pretty excited to work with this couple again later this year for their wedding!

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morgan + matt: fort myers engagement session

I loved capturing this sweet couple from Knoxville, Tennessee a few weeks ago. Meeting through tennis a few years ago, these two decided to team up as doubles and things have only gotten better from there. Not only did they win the National Championship this past year, but they also got engaged in October. And after spending just a little bit of time with them, you’ll know these two are a perfect match- on and off the court!

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Remember that one Florida day that was freezing and windy…and never actually warmed up like our typical “winter” days? Well, Morgan braved the cold temps and was quite the trooper! Seriously, I was in layers and still freezing.
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kristen + eric: edison ford winter estates engagement shoot

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della + kazik: downtown fort myers engagement session

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melissa + timothy: labelle engagement session

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chelsea + mike: chicago engagement session

Last month we traveled up to Chicago to shoot Chelsea and Mike’s engagement session in the city. Such a great time spent with a great couple!! The whole day was such a great reminder of just how much I love my job. Traveling, seeing our beautiful country and being surrounded by awesome people…goodness, blessed seems like an understatement.
Chelsea and Mike, I’m so looking forward to your wedding next month…it’s going to be an incredible day!
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edison ford winter estates engagement session: kristen + eric

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Kristen + Eric, it was so wonderful to work with you guys and I’m so looking forward to your wedding later this year!

venue: edison ford winter estates
hair/makeup: salon tease/faces by frohmberg

Mariah and Mike: Jet Blue Stadium Engagement Session, Fort Myers, Florida

She grew up playing softball and he grew up playing baseball. So, when Mariah told me that they wanted to do their engagement shoot at jetBlue Park, it seemed to suit them perfectly. Not only do I love shooting in new locations, but shooting at a location that is specifically chosen because it represents the couple is the best….

Mariah and Mike, it was fabulous to capture your love. And joy.


Mike, you did good. Really good. Not only is the ring stunning, but the proposal at the Rockefeller ice skating rink in NYC is definitely up there on the list of best proposals ever.

Mariah, you are gorgeous!!


One of my favorites….

Mariah and Mike, it was so great getting to know and also work with you guys! I hope you had a blast and that your baseball engagement session is everything you envisioned it to be!!

nicole + guy: downtown fort myers engagement session

As a wedding photographer, I always try to stress how important engagement photos are for my clients. In fact, I purposefully include them in my packages because I so desire the opportunity to work with my clients, camera in hand, before their wedding day. Engagement photos take the in-front-of-camera nerves away, allow a trusting relationship to grow, and in the end, you walk away with a great bunch of photos to adorn your walls and house. To me, they are somewhat of a lifeline to achieving awesome wedding photos, so it’s basically a win all around.

We started Nicole and Guy’s shoot (like many shoots) where they tell me how they’re not great in front of the camera. Honestly, it happens almost every shoot (I even still to this day say it myself when my sister has me in front of the camera). And, then, we start walking, talking, getting to know each other, and spend the next hour or so hanging out. Nerves have calmed and truly by the end of the shoot, I have some new friends, they work the camera (and look goooood doing it), trust has been built, and we’re basically set, from a photography aspect, for the wedding day.

Back to the friends part, Nicole and Guy, words can’t even express how fabulous you both are. It was so great getting to know you both better and I’m thankful to call you not only my clients, but my friends. Seriously, it’s working with people like you that make my job so much fun and enjoyable. I hope you guys love your photos!!

These candid moments are my fave…

 

Ahh, neither one of you can claim to be NOT photogenic again. Because I have proof that you ARE….



Yup, I’d say the camera loves you guys…

 

Nicole, you are adorable.

…you’re not bad yourself, Guy.

I have loved every second I’ve gotten to spend with you guys so far and I know your capturing your wedding in March will be no different. Thanks for choosing and trusting me during this most special time in your life- you guys are awesome!!

Jyl & Mike: {Fort Myers Engagement Session}

I can’t think of a better way to start off the week than a blog post…and 2 cups of coffee and all of my kids home from school. Last week, I had the honor of meeting and working with Jyl and Mike, who were on vacation from Michigan for Spring Break. Since they were staying on Fort Myers Beach, we traveled around the sandy streets and then moved onto the Bowditch Beach for sunset. Between this {adorable} newly engaged couple and the most perfect weather, we were basically set for a perfect shoot!

Jyl and Mike, it was so, so great to meet and work with the two of you! You guys were a blast to capture and I hope you love your photos so far. Enjoy the rest of your engagement and happy wedding planning!

Ya’ll are STUNNING. Ahhh, I can hardly handle how perfect you two were in front of the camera!




 

One of my faves. I’m pretty sure this is what love looks like.




Slowly but surely reducing the amount of photos in my “To Blog” folder….one shoot at a time! Now off to hang out with my kids for the day- I can’t tell you how excited I am for our beach and pool filled summer to officially start next month!!

Fort Myers Beach Engagement Session: Janell & Robert

I know somewhere on my website, it says that I want my brides to email me, tell me about their wedding planning, and basically build a relationship during the engagement period. I ultimately want to get to know my clients and get to know their wedding- rather than just showing up the day of to take the pictures. Maybe it’s overboard, but my passion for photography and passion for people seem to go hand in hand. Janell has totally taken all of this seriously and I absolutely love her for it! Not only does she text me like I text with my friends, but she’s awesome enough to send me pictures of her planning and purchasing progress. Pretty much amazing.

A few weeks ago, I met up with Janell and Robert on Fort Myers Beach for their engagement session. It couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day to walk the streets while chatting, laughing and capturing this beautiful couple. Thank you both for being wonderful to work with- I just loved getting to know you guys better and am truly looking forward to your February wedding!

Of course, I can’t post these pictures without crediting Hope, who’s the amazing artist behind Hope Artistry for doing a fabulous job on Janell’s makeup! Also, because she’s a big part of their day, Robert and Janell’s wedding planner, Kelly McWilliams of Weddings by Socialites. I know R&J have a great team working for them on their big day and I am honored and blessed to be a part.

Without further ado….here’s a few of my favorites from J&R’s engagement session!

After some pictures around the strip of Fort Myers Beach, we headed to the beach for sunset…

..and a sunset it was.

Happy Monday!

Downtown Fort Myers Engagement Session: Valerie & Joe

Catch up, here we come! A few weeks ago (okay, at this point maybe it’s been months..), I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Valerie and Joe and shooting their engagement session in downtown Fort Myers. When we first got there, we quickly realized we picked what could possibly be the worst afternoon/evening, because it Music Walk was going on. I even told them in the beginning, “If it doesn’t work because of the crowds, we will absolutely reschedule, no worries!” However, within minutes of working together, it seemed like we ended up in our own little world, like nothing surrounding us even mattered. I couldn’t imagine the shoot going as well as it did.

First of all, there is nothing better when an engaged couple clicks with their photographer and vise versa. It just worked, and worked well. We chatted and walked the streets of downtown, and it truly seemed like we had known each other for years. Second, they worked the camera…and the camera loved them!! They were pretty fantastic models, as you’ll see.

Joe and Val, THANK YOU. Thanks for letting me capture your love and awesomeness. You guys are beautiful inside and out and it was such a pleasure working, laughing and getting to know you guys!

 


Professional Prints vs. The Retail 60-Minute Lab

Last week out of urgency to have an image printed, I decided to do a quick upload through a local retailers’ one hour lab. As a photographer, this was the only one hour retail lab I said I would ever use, when in dire need. I didn’t even bother to check the 4×6’s and 5×7’s before leaving but when I got home and opened the envelope, my jaw literally hit the floor. My children looked like grey ghosts.

I’ve seen other photogs comparison pictures of “why never to order through walmart, etc.,” but when I saw first hand how distorted the coloring of a photo can be, it became so much more “real”. I immediately went to my professional lab to order the exact same images for comparison. How excited I was when FedEx knocked on my door this morning to drop off these pictures. It doesn’t take an expert, photographer, or genius to figure out how poor of quality and lack of detail the retail print is in comparison to the professional print.

Now granted, I just snapped side by side pictures of the photographs for quick comparison, but I’m excited to have these in my office so people can see first hand the difference in quality- paper and all. Happy Wednesday!!

{ Little Sidenote: I totally understand the desire to want to order your prints (whether they’re one you’ve taken or images provided by your photographer) without going through a professional company. One of my favorite online retail companies is www.mpix.com, and they come highly recommended. Plus, they’re quick and really don’t cost any more than a local one hour retailer! }


Lauren & Lucas: Estero, Florida Engagement Session

I started emailing with Lauren a few weeks ago and I knew instantly I wanted to shoot her wedding. All because of a few smiley faces and a handful of exclamation marks. I totally love when brides, friends and people in general, include ” : ) ” and ” !!! ” when writing to me, and Lauren never held any of them back. My sister totally makes fun of me for me but I feel like texts and emails need some sort of face and/or exclamation to go along with the message, so people know how to perceive it. If someone said “I really like your dress.” or “I really like your dress!! : )”, the latter seems so much more positive to me.  Call me crazy, annoying or cheesy, but I’m pretty much a professional photographer, smiley face freak (sparingly, of course). : )

Anyway, these smiley faces and exclamation marks carried over to our meeting. As soon as I met Lauren and Lucas, I could feel the excitement, joy and giddiness as we discussed their wedding and recent engagement. They simply radiate love and I am completely honored and excited that they have chosen me to capture every ounce of it.

Lauren and Lucas, I had a blast with the two of you!! I hope you have started to recover from the hundreds of mosquito bites you went home with after our shoot.  You guys did fantastic and I hope as you scroll down, you feel that each and every bite was well worth it.  I seriously cannot wait for your big day next June!

(Sidenote: One of the first things Lauren told me at this shoot was that she can’t do a serious pose. I’m pretty sure you can never utter those words again, my friend, because you totally pull off the “I’m am IN LOVE with my fiance” serious pose. And, it’s pretty darn STUNNING.)

The next two are some of my absolute favorites from the shoot…


Oh, backlighting, how I love you…

Seriously? I can hardly handle your amazingness, guys!

Who says engagement sessions aren’t fun? 

Yonier & Ivellise: Barefoot Beach Engagements

After careful planning, and weeks of figuring out Yonier and Ivellise’s engagement session, we ended up getting rained out and thankfully they were kind enough to change everything to the very next day. Ivellise had a hair appointment and was getting her makeup professionally done for their shoot, so we really wanted to make sure we picked a day with great weather…and that we did. It was probably the prettiest afternoon/evening on the beach that you could ever dream of having. No humidity, a slight breeze, hardly any clouds in the sky- plain and simple, it was lovely and I was so thankful we pushed it back one day.

Yonier and Ivellise, I hope you guys had so much fun at your engagement session. You guys are just as gorgeous and sweet as a couple as you are individually. I still can’t get over how much the camera loves both of you- I’m honestly jealous. 🙂 Your wedding is going to be fabulous and I truly look forward to capturing every moment of your big day!

Sidenote: Ivellise is obviously naturally beautiful, but I cannot even begin to stress the difference professional makeup does for a photo shoot!! Typically, the camera washes makeup out, portraying very muted final image and the professional makeup artists know just what to do in order to make a person look their best to be camera ready. I highly recommend you spending the little extra money to get it done if/when you’re planning any kind of shoot in the near future!!


Matt & Charity: Engagement.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting up at Barefoot Beach with Matt and Charity for their engagement session. I had a blast getting to know them better, getting refreshed on their story and just hanging out and walking around the beach, all while capturing their love.

I’ve got to say, these pictures have been a long time coming. Matt and Charity met in high school and dated for a little bit during this time. I am a total sucker for any love story that starts this way. After high school, they went their own separate ways but later ended up reconnecting and officially started dating again…and this time, for good. Matt and Charity have actually been engaged for years now and will finally tie the knot in just a few short months. I am so excited about their wedding because I know it will be filled with so much fun, laughter and great joy.

Happy Thursday…the weekend is almost here!


Ryan & Jenny: Sanibel Harbor Marriott Engagements

A few weeks ago, Ryan took Jenny to NYC for a “work trip” and surprised her by popping the question on the roof of the 5th Ave tower. Seriously, the romance is out of this world and Ryan definitely did well with the planning and surprising. Maybe I’m just obsessed with the city after my trip there last month, but I’d say this would be many girls dream proposal??  Anyway, they traveled down to Fort Myers from Oklahoma, to visit family for Thanksgiving so they figured what better time and place to get their engagement pictures done than while they were in some warm sunny weather, and I couldn’t agree more!

You know when you meet someone for the first time, and you feel like you’ve known them forever? Or when you don’t have to “fight” for words to say? This was exactly how I felt when meeting up with Ryan & Jenny this weekend for their engagement pictures. Although Jenny and I had only talked on the phone once and texted back and forth a few times, the instant I met the two of them I felt like they were friends I had known forever and we were just catching up on lost time. Jenny is as sweet as can be and Ryan is so hilarious; considering Jenny has an amazing smile and laugh, this definitely works out in their favor. 🙂 Together, they are simply adorable.

Ryan and Jenny, congratulations and thanks so much for hanging out on Saturday and allowing me to capture your love. Never stop laughing, loving and adoring each other the way you do now. I think you guys are amazing and I wish you a wonderful engagement and even more blessed marriage.

Eric & Erin: Engagements at Koreshan State Park

Most people don’t even know this and I hardly remember it, but before my family moved to Fort Myers, we lived in Sebring, FL for a brief time. Our parents owned a condo there on a golf course and we lived in it during the winter months and also before we officially moved into our home in Fort Myers. I have a few memories of the small town but haven’t been back in over 20 years. However, next July I’ll get to hang out in the area for the entire day as I capture Eric and Erin’s wedding. Until this weekend, I had never met or even spoken to Erin, as we’ve only communicated via email. After meeting them though I have to say I can’t wait to get back to the area and see everything they’ve planned. I got a little sneak peak of Erin’s wedding binder and without a doubt it’s going to be an amazing day. I’m in love with their bridesmaid dresses, their doing my most favorite flowers and well, if you look at the pictures below, you’ll see that the camera pretty much loves them!!

Eric & Erin, it was a pleasure meeting and I truly look forward to capturing every moment of your amazing day next summer!!!

Makeup courtesy of Heather Longshore. She did an amazing job, as usual!!! I would love to pass her info on to any brides to be or really anyone who’s going to be photographed for that matter!! Email me…maria@mariaglassford.com. 🙂


Erin, you’re gorgeous!!!!

It’s Finally Time…Spring Session Giveaway!!!

First of all, THANK YOU so much for getting me to 500 facebook fans!! You guys ROCK!!! If you haven’t become a fan yet, join here.

So, here’s the deal, one lucky winner will receive an hour long session, anywhere in Southwest Florida. If you don’t live in the Fort Myers/Naples area, keep reading, because you can transfer it to someone who does!! The winner will receive an 8×10 double matted print of their choice, 2 5×7’s and a disk, with rights, of their images from the shoot. Your shoot can be whatever you wish- family, children, newborn, maternity, senior, engagement, bridal, etc. It’s your hour, and your choice!

Entering is simple! Just leave a comment on the blog www.mariaglassfordblog.com (there is a comment section following each blog post) and you are automatically entered. One entry per person, BUT if you would like a second entry, thereby doubling your chances of winning, just Tweet about this contest on Twitter, post it as your Facebook status or mention it on your blog and you will be entitled to a second entry. Just be sure to include the link www.mariaglassfordblog.com in your announcement of the giveaway and then email me (maria@mariaglassford.com) to let me know where you posted it. It gets better than this though. If you win the giveaway and have a double entry (by forwarding this giveaway on, per the above mentioned methods), you will win a shoot for not only yourself, but also a shoot for you to giveaway to anyone you wish. Therefore, if you win and have two entries, you win two shoots!! Mother’s Day is coming and this would be a nice little treat for any mom!!

Just a few more things…
The winner will be chosen by random.org on May 5th, contacted by email and announced on this blog. Prize has no cash value and no substitutions can be made. Sessions are scheduled based on availability, but typically planned 2-3 weeks in advance. We will not sell, use or share your email address with anyone. If you have any questions or need clarification of this contest, please feel free to email me at maria@mariaglassford.com. Good luck!!

Engagement: Ryan and Louise

I’ll just get it out of the way and say it. I’m an awful blogger. However, I have been up to lots of good, including an AMAZING girls cruise with friends. Without a doubt, I had the time of my life. More on that later…

Growing up I was awkwardly shy and timid. I was the girl who would miss school purposely on presentation day just so I didn’t have to get up in front of the class. Or, if I did go, I would get the most fluttery butterflies in my stomach, thinking a clinic trip was a must. I loved people, but having to step out my shell was just no fun whatsoever. I never would have guessed during those awkward middle and high school years, that I would end up photographing people I didn’t even know, and better yet, live to tell about it.

I had never met Ryan and Louise until the day of their engagement shoot. I always get nervous before any shoot and have a million things running through my head, but the nerves always rise a notch when I work with “strangers”. Thankfully, “strangers” they are no more. R&L were so laid back, funny, up for anything and everything, and so easy to get along. Yet again, I have the best clients ever. Ryan and Louise, thanks for a great morning and I greatly look forward to shooting your special day in May!