When I met up with Rachel and Jeff for coffee a few days before our session, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting myself into. I never am.
(Pre-session coffee? Oh yes. Head over to my friend Kim’s blog to see my guest post on why I like to meet with my couples before we shoot, and why I love engagement sessions!)
As soon as I saw this couple, I knew we were in for a good time. They get dressed up and take fashion photos of each other on the weekends for fun, you guys. Rachel was wearing a jacket with dragons on it. Dragons? Tigers? Dragons. I don’t remember. I was distracted by her laugh, which happened all the time; it was the best.
Rachel is a designer–go check out her instagram for painting and puppies and sparkles–and middle child. “I’m the bad one!” Jeff works in finance, but he’d love to teach meditation full time, and the two of them are dreaming of moving to Reno with their tiny, lazy, unrealistically fluffy Pomeranian, Sammy. 10/10 would pet again.
They’re just…they’re so chill and cuddly and obsessed with each other, which is a photographer’s dream. Well, my dream, anyway.
We decided we’d go to Edgewood Park.
Since we’d given ourselves plenty of time, we roamed around scoping out the best spots, trying to avoid the poison oak growing everywhere. Honestly, the one day out of the year that I actually wear shorts instead of black jeans and combat boots, there’s fucking poison oak. (We all escaped unscathed. I appreciate your concern.) We also found a snake, which Rachel immediately wanted to pick up, and this cute little meadow. I instructed them to walk toward me, but look at each other. They had to walk slowly because there were gopher holes everywhere. Now, normally, this gets plenty of dreamy smiles and giggles, which is the whole point, but Jeff had other ideas.
Jeff was going to do this right.
“ENGAGE YOUR CORE!”
“Wait, I’m going to fall down.”
“No! Engage. Your. Core.”
I had to stop shooting I was laughing so hard. …And Rachel did eventually fall, but Jeff caught her, they climbed on a log, life goes on.
“Are those vertebrae?!”
We found a whole spine and skull!! Of an animal, not a human. Relax. Of course these two immediately picked them up, and we got some of my favourite images to date.
“Wait we should have dressed goth instead.”
After that, we did a lot of running around waiting for the sun to go down, which seemed to take an eternity. I had a specific sequence of images in mind, but we needed that glowy evening light–the best light–for them to work.
I think we got them.
Thank you so much, Rachel and Jeff, for such a blast, even with the poison oak and my numb fingers. Thank you for trusting me and going along with my shenanigans, thank you for being over-zealous and wild (“I’m dizzy; I spun too fast!!”), thank you for letting me into your lives for a few hours. You’re the best xx