Michelle & Sarah's Engagement Session at The Ethel Walker School Barn

Michelle & Sarah's Engagement Photos | Ethel Walker School Barn | Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Simsbury, CT | Apollo Photojournalism 

Talk about a blast from the past! I spent my entire high school career at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT and it was so surreal to be back there to shoot Michelle and Sarah’s engagement photos there. It was a damp and rainy New England day and we were carefully planning when we could still shoot outside. When we realized that the rain wouldn’t let up, we decided to pull out the umbrellas and just go for it. This is what makes this couple so great, they didn’t let the rain get them down at all… if anything, I think it had the opposite effect!

I met Michelle at Walker’s many years ago. Her father was — wait for it — my first photography teacher!! He’s literally the person responsible for putting my first camera in my hands and where this whole thing started. I took a darkroom photography course and never looked back. There was something so magical about the whole process of shooting film and developing it myself. I soaked up the whole thing and spent all of my study halls in the darkroom processing my images. I loved learning about old school methods of dodging, burning, and even hand painting in your images. Mr. Coster, or “Papa” as we affectionately called us, let me run wild with my ideas. He showed me how to do double exposures and a lot of other fun photo manipulations that I find kind of cliche in digital but still fascinate me with film.

Mr. Coster helped me navigate my art career throughout my four years of boarding school. He gave me so much guidance and I quickly became close with his whole family. He has three daughters, one who was in my grade, so I easily fit into their dynamic. Then, his wife started physical therapy at the same doctor’s office as I was going to after my knee surgery so she would give me rides to my sessions. Being at boarding school meant forgoing a traditional “family” environment so when you did have families in walking distance who would take you in occasionally, you took advantage of the opportunity. I remember even walking into their house sometimes when the cafeteria food was inedible and just announcing, “so what’s for dinner”, and he would blankly answer, “Chinese food” without even looking up.

So when Mr. Coster’s youngest daughter, Michelle, got engaged, it made perfect sense that I shoot the wedding. Talk about full circle! Just being back on the old campus was such a trip, and it was also Terrence’s first time seeing EWS so it was crazy to show him the place where I spent my four years of high school. I love this session for so many reasons but I think it perfectly captures their fun and animated personalities at a place that I spent so much time years ago!

Connecticut Wedding Photographer: Apollo Photojournalism

Venue:  The Ethel Walker School | Simsbury, CT