Ilana & Brian's Fall Engagement Session - Schuyler, NY


Ilana's beautiful engagement ring by Cunningham Custom Jewelry!

Ilana & Brian's engagement session was one of the most fun sessions I've ever done, and it was not hard to get their true personalities to shine through during their shoot! Their session took place on the property that I grew up on for the first 18 years of my life... It was a magical place to grow up and still is a magical place to come back to and I'm thankful my parents don't mind me doing shoots there every once in a while too (because the golden light is out of this world)!

When planning their session, I wanted to know more about them and what their hobbies and interests are. What do they love to do together? This would help me understand the vibe that they were envisioning for their session!

I found out that Brian is a musician in the the band "Our Common Roots", and they both love music! They are very creative artsy people, Ilana is a hairstylist and Brian is a lyricist and lead singer of his band. They were envisioning a golden light session at sunset (thankfully we had the PERFECT night for that)! They also LOVE the outdoors and love to go camping together. Which gave me the inspiration for a cozy campfire setup to end their session with!

I loved getting to know more about Ilana & Brian's love story! Here's what I learned...

How did you two meet?

Ilana: Oh boy, long story short... I saw Brian perform an open mic night at the local Tramontane Cafe. I did not catch his name and my shyness kept me from speaking to him, I got in another relationship, and was scrolling through Facebook one day and came across a video a friend from high school posted and there was the guy from the Tram front and center. I left a cutesy comment hoping he would request me, (it worked😂) after getting out of the relationship I was in, we met in person a few months later.

What was your first date? Tell me all the details!

Ilana: Well our first date was supposed to be an open mic at the Tram, however Brian called me 2 days sooner on a Friday night that he couldn’t wait another 2 days to meet me and would I meet him at Cafe Domenicos for a coffee, I agreed. We talked for a while, until he wanted something sweet and said he wanted to still hang out with me so let’s go to Cafe Florentine. While we were there my phone BLEW UP, my mom of all people knowing I was on a date. I finally answered, she was in a panic because our neighbor and one of my best friends Liz kitten hadn't come home, and I needed to call her to help. Once getting off the phone Brian said “well I still wanna keep hanging out with you so let’s go look for your friends cat." I knew then he was a keeper! 😍

Do you have a favorite date you've ever been on together?

Ilana: The best time we have is camping being outdoors in general, and as well a trip we took to Lake George a couple years back we just had a blast!

Brian: Our first date, I fell in love

Tell me about your first kiss!

Ilana: He waited FOUR DATES to do it! When he finally did in my mothers living room one night I just exclaimed FINALLY! 😂 He says now that was on purpose, in making me wait

What would the perfect date night look like or include?

Ilana: A good meal we are total foodies. Honestly there isn’t a perfect date in my opinion, Brian's my best friend and I just love his company, so whatever we are doing I’m happy.

Brian: Anywhere I’m with Ilana I’m happy, as long as I have her I’m good.

Ilana, what made you fall in love with Brian?

Ilana: He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. He’s one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met.

Brian, What made you fall in love with Ilana?

Brian: Just her being her, I just stood there and there she was and it just happened.

How did you get engaged? Tell me the whole story!

Ilana: WELL, home boy recreated our first date without me knowing. I’m a hairdresser and my friend Liz came in for a haircut. She starts to tell me how work is just so busy and she needs to do more with her friends. She asked if I was available that Sunday for dinner with me and Brian (she loves Brian so I thought nothing of it). The day of she calls me “Oscar is missing!” This is the cat that went missing on our first date and went missing multiple times after so I again didn’t think anything of it. We were supposed to meet at 6:00 and she called me at 5:00 crying which I later learned was fake and was worthy of an Emmy! She said she still couldn’t find Oscar and could we come look before we went to eat. Like I said previously my mom lives around the corner from Liz and on a park so we thought maybe little Oscar ventured over there. We met at Liz’s and it was dark, and walked over to my moms looking in bushes along the way. All of the sudden walking down the street, Brian grabs my hand, a tree in the park completely lights up, and Tyler Childers “I’m Your’n” starts playing. He pulls me into the tree. He had Liz stash her camera early in the day so we had picture evidence and he got down on one knee. My family and some of my closest friends were there with champagne ready to pop! (And thank god Oscar was not really missing) Later, I found out Brian orchestrated it all down to Liz’s crying phone call to me.


What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

Ilana & Brian: Our venue, we think it’s just going he absolutely breathtaking, and not a place many have even heard of which will make it all the more special!

I have to say this will be my first wedding at their venue so I'm SO excited for that! Where will they be getting married? For that you'll just have to wait and see!

To learn more about my Engagement Session Experience, CLICK HERE.

COPYRIGHT © REBECCA SHEETS PHOTOGRAPHY 2020 / UTICA, NY / PHONE: (315) 864-3115 / EMAIL: photos@rebeccasheets.com

  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Instagram Clean Grey