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Now that you have picked a date, a photographer and probably a venue as well, you can celebrate! Those are some of the toughest decisions in wedding planning and you can cross them off your list! Hooray!! Now on to the fun stuff like your engagement session!


I include engagement sessions in The Wedding Experience because I truly believe that they are a VITAL part of the entire process. During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way! What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session!


Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress. Because my weekends are filled with weddings, I shoot engagement sessions on weekday evenings, normally from 5-7pm depending on the light and the time of the year. In the winter months, 3-5pm is a normal time frame for an engagement shoot!


As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location. As long as the light is great, I can make ANY location look awesome! I shoot at farms, campuses, downtown alleys and the occasional cow pasture. Do not shy away from unique ideas. The more creative, the better! Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!




It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken...even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that is taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming. Over the next few pages, I’ll be providing tips for outfits, handling nerves and recommendations that will make your shoot the best it can possibly be!


If you ask me, I will always say I never saw myself being a wedding photographer. I was thrown into the industry with not a clue on what being a wedding photographer actually meant, but I am extremely thankful for what it brought me. 

For as long as I can remember, photography has always been a creative outlet for me. I love creating and I love being a creator. Making the jump from part-time photographer to full time in October of 2019, was probably the scariest thing I have ever done. 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and me finally making that tough decision was the best one I have ever made. By the end of 2022 I will have shot over 120 weddings. 


I have been abundantly blessed and am so thankful for all of the couples that prayed for me and were always cheering me on from the sidelines. 


Now that you know my why, I wanted to share a little bit about myself! Knowing your photographer and making sure your personalities mesh are probably one of the most important things when you start the booking process. 

If you couldn't tell from the pictures above, I am a huge Star Wars fan. I love all things Disney and love watching Anime while I edit. I am an avid fantasy reader and hope one day to write my own fantasy novel. 

I graduated from Spring Hill College in 2018 (Go Badgers!) with a Bachelor's in Communications and a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising. Before I went full time photographer, I actually worked for two years at a local credit union as their Marketing Director. 

If I ever decide to retire from wedding photography, I definitely want to open my own PR Firm to help small business like mine grow. 

If you have made it this far, THANK YOU! I am so excited that you are considering Celeste McKinley to shoot your day, and I hope this gives you a better idea of what I am all about. 


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