June 3, 2020

Classy Spring Engagement Session in Steubenville, OH | Iliana + Aaron

Oh springtime engagements, they are just so lovely! Downtown Steubenville, Ohio has become one of my favorite places to photograph engagement sessions! There’s such charm and character to this small city which has been my home for 11 years now! The historic part of Fourth Street is beautiful and provides such a great array of backdrops for a downtown engagement session!

We met up with Iliana and Aaron on a sunny evening in late May. Aaron was in town visiting Iliana and these two have decided to get married in Steubenville this summer! Their original plans of having a Tucson, Arizona wedding had to change due to the pandemic but they are still going to have a beautiful wedding day here in Ohio!

As a photographer, it is my goal to make sure my clients not only have stunning images but also, and honestly more importantly, that they have a great experience!  I want them to have a blast during their engagement, that they feel confident learning our posing system and that they grow in trust of Matthew and me. We strive to foster a friendship with our couples and this really takes place during their engagement session. That way when we walk into the room on their morning of their wedding, it’s a friend walking in and not just the photographer they hired.

It made my heart leap for joy that by the end of this session, Aaron said to me “To be honest, I didn’t think this was going to be that fun, but I actually really enjoyed this! You two were so fun to work with!”  This was a huge win for me and I am thrilled that he loved his time with us because we loved our time with them!!  Not only did we have a great time, guys, they just killed it during their session.  I have SO many images from their session.  Their engagement gallery that I’ll be sending to them is just massive! I had such a crazy hard time choose what too share on the blog post because I just love them all!

Aaron and Iliana share a love of basketball and Jesus! Iliana actually played basketball for Franciscan University when she was a student here and now she’s the assistant coach to the women’s team! Aaron proposed on Christmas Eve this past year and he shared a video of the proposal with us.  He wrapped a bunch of boxes that were nested inside of each other.  The boxes got smaller and smaller until she got to the final box and inside there was a ring.  Aaron got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.  I was tearing up watching the video…I just love proposals! They are so sweet!

We are super excited to celebrate with these two in July!! It’s hard to believe that’s just next month!!  I hope you enjoy scrolling through their engagement session, like I said, super hard to choose my favorites! They were just so good!


  1. Schmitt says:

    This post is incredible! Just love the downtown/small town feel!

  2. John/Lois Spoelman says:

    Great pic’s !!! How do we get one for framing?

    • Laura Schaefer says:

      So glad you like them! I delivered the full gallery to Iliana so she could send you a link for the files you want to print! You can also order through the gallery itself.

  3. […] Iliana and Aaron’s engagement session was so much fun, so I knew their wedding day was going to be equally as fun….and beautiful !!  And gosh, was it beautiful! Like all 2020 wedding couples, their plans had to change, drastically.  They were going to get married in Tucson, AZ in November but they decided to move their wedding up a few months and to OH where Iliana works. However, with more and more restrictions and regulations in place, many important family members, including Iliana’s parents and family, were unable to attend.  Iliana was faced with the sad fact that she might have to walk down the aisle alone.  Matthew and I approached her with the idea of walking down the aisle with Aaron, which would mean, doing a first look before the Mass. After a day of thinking it over, Iliana came to love that idea and we moved forward with a first look! Matthew told me after the first look that he had tears running down his cheeks during their first look….normally I’m the one crying behind the camera! But their first look was so sweet, so tender, so moving, how could one not cry?!? […]

  4. […] campus, near the Port as well as some from downtown.  I have loads of favorite locations downtown and that list just continues to grow! It is so much fun to find little hidden gems around the […]

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5 tips for choosing the perfect outfits for your session 

Picking out outfits can seem overwhelming and most people don’t know where to start! In this guide, I’m taking out the guess work and sharing my best tips on picking out and pairing outfits for your next portrait session. 




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