I had the pleasure of recently photographing Kate and Erik during their engagement session at Swarthmore College, where the two originally met as students. During my e-mails with Kate, I could tell we would hit it off—anyone who mentions bringing bubbles and animal head hats as props gets an instant thumbs-up of approval from yours truly. During the shoot, we began our journey near a rail overpass that the duo filmed a scene of a horror movie at when they were students.
We made our way to the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater on campus, which was constructed way back in 1942 and designed by noted Philadelphia landscape architect, Thomas W. Sears. The college holds their commencement here each year, so while remaining symbolic, it was also a beautifully serene backdrop for our shoot.
My heart pitter pattered when they brought out the bubbles, because I cannot resist swirly, rainbow-y goodness.
Erik even crafted handmade signs for their save the date cards, which was a sweet detail to capture during our afternoon together. As a side note, who doesn’t love a good moose hat?
Back when they were students, Erik became instantly smitten with Kate after he met her while she was hosting her own show at WSRN 91.5 FM, Swarthmore’s student-operated radio station. Kate tried ringing the station to see if they were open so we could snap a few photos there for nostalgia’s sake, but no one answered (sad face).
We crossed our fingers and made the short trek to the station, to see if someone might be around to allow us inside. As fate would have it, the station was open and several students were broadcasting their show live on air. They were kind enough to allow us to recreate the moment when Erik first laid eyes on Kate (who couldn’t be cuter, by the way), which was a ton of fun.
We flipped through the albums and stumbled upon one of their favorites, Skinny Puppy, a band that Erik introduced Kate to when they started dating.
It was absolutely adorable to watch the two browse records while rehashing memories from their college years. We covered everything from music to horror movies during our time together and they couldn’t have been easier to talk to.
I’m a newbie when it comes to Swarthmore traditions, but apparently a visit to the college must include a trip to the oversized Adirondack Chair, one of the many works of public art on campus. I am really happy we were able to fit it in during our session, since it led to me being photo bombed for the first time ever during an engagement shoot!
I couldn’t stop cracking up at the kids who started hanging upside down from the chair while I was snapping photos. I had an absolute blast with Kate and Erik, so I can’t wait for their wedding at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens next summer.
Congrats to the happy couple!