Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

An Engaging Photo Shoot

Engagement photos are a must-have for many couples. Pittsburgh provides the backdrop for these personal sessions.

Photos by Steven Dray


After Matt Krusey and Jessica Eiben got engaged in May 2012, they realized they had no high-quality photographs of themselves together — only casual snapshots from vacations or family gatherings.

“We wanted something that would show who we are as a couple. And we wanted to put them on our wedding website,” says Matt.

The couple contacted Steven Dray, a photographer who had done engagement photos for a friend. He asked about the kind of shoot they’d prefer and the locations they were considering. They chose their boat, which they keep docked behind the Cork Factory in the Strip District.

“We thought it’d be good to [take pictures in places] that are part of our everyday life,” says Jessica.


Matt, who grew up in Monroeville, and Jessica, of South Park, also included their dog, Bodee, in some of their pictures.

“He’s kind of a part of our family. That was very important to both of us,” says Matt. “Jess really wanted him in the pictures — to showcase our growing family, I guess we’d call it.”
More couples nowadays want to bring their pets along, according to Dray, who works out of a home office in Coraopolis. He notes that couples also are opting for locations that are special to them and showcase Pittsburgh.


He won’t be shooting Matt and Jessica’s wedding in May because they’re planning nuptials in Mexico. But he says he offers an engagement session in all of his wedding packages, adding that couples almost always request it.

“It’s a great way to meet the couple before their wedding and get to know the couple, get them comfortable before the camera,” he says.

“You can use those photos for Christmas cards, or  . . . just to have a nice picture of the two of you together. I think engagement shoots really capture a lot of people’s personalities; they’re more relaxed than they would be on their wedding.”


Local photographers weigh in with advice:

Choosing a location is important and can say a lot about you as a couple. Find somewhere that you can let loose and be yourselves. Coordinate your clothes, and wear something you are comfortable in. Remember, be confident and have fun.
Rachel Tokarski


Be yourself. The best images are of genuine moments that you share as a couple. Wear clothes that you feel good in. You will wear the confidence in your photos. Choose a photographer that you connect with so that you can relax and have fun, which equals amazing pics!
Meaghan Elliott


Practice posing. Being comfortable in front of the camera will make the shoot feel more natural, and being able to go from playful to intimate poses will allow for a large variety of photos!
Anastasia Steinman
Laurel Mountain Photography LLC

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive » Bridal Buzz

10 Real Pittsburgh Weddings

Chosen from more than 100 submissions, these 10 couples created their dream day at local venues. We share all of the details that got them to “I do.”

I'm Engaged, Now What? Expert Advice from 'Burgh Brides

Congratulations to all the new Pittsburgh brides-and-grooms-to-be! After the high of getting engaged wears off, reality sets in. Now, you need to plan a wedding! Don’t fret — we have you covered.

How to Have a Stress-Free Wedding in Pittsburgh

Pop-up weddings are giving Pittsburgh couples a way to avoid the hassles of planning the big day.

Under a Spell: Walk into a Real-Life Disney Fairytale

This “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired styled shoot at Buhl Mansion in Sharon is whimsical, romantic and timeless. We asked the stylists how it came together — and the best ways to produce a similar aesthetic.

These Pittsburgh Newlyweds Are Carried Away in Style

Whether they’re a prop for your photos or your getaway transportation, antique cars add a classic vibe to a wedding.

Aisle Style: A Dream of a Dress

This season, choose from a wide variety sure to fit any bride’s fancy, from classic lace to custom two-pieces to a ball gown with a black overlay — all available at local stores.

How to Look Like an Ethereal Goddess on Your Wedding Day

We found the latest beauty trends for spring (glowy highlights, a shock, we know) plus tips for stay-all-day bridal makeup.

Classic Elegance: Rings That We Love

Shine bright this year with these amazing rings from local stores.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Blog: Beyond the Cookie Table

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

The Best Tips for Finding a Wedding Photographer

There’s no need to stress about finding the best photographer thanks to these helpful tips from local professionals.

These Brides Are Thanking Their Cookie Table Bakers in the Sweetest Way

These newlyweds were so appreciative of their cookie table bakers they chose to show them off for guests to see every time they came to snag a treat.

Three Bridal Shops Team Up for One Major Sample Sale

Get ready for some serious bridal and occasion shopping at this one-of-a-kind sale in Sewickley.