Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley has a special place in my heart. And it is actually not a bad drive from my area. What I love shooting here is the gorgeous settings, and the most beautiful light that I ever seen! Check out my most favorite photo from their engagement session!
Venue: Zaca Mesa Winery and Vineyards: www.zacamesa.com
Here is a recent but very short “Behind the scenes” video of one of my engagement sessions:
Let’s face it. Not everyone can get very “comfy” during a professional photo session. Even the most eager and most excited can get a little shy and hesitant when they see big lenses trained at them.
Not to worry. This is expected. A majority of my engaged couples are about to be married for the very first time. So they have never hired a professional wedding photographer before. They have never had an engagement session before, so a little uneasiness and unfamiliar setting is something I expect.
When couples are relaxed, enjoying the experience of their engagement session, and just having a “good ol’ time”, their photos will turn out wonderful!
No amount of camera gear nor my “photo skills” can create gorgeous, spur of the moment photos than those created by the couples themselves.
So how I get them to relax during my engagement session?
Well this starts during our initial client meeting. We get to know each other well. And if we hit it off, I know that we will have a ROCKIN’ time at your engagement session.
Before the day of the session, I let them know what to expect from the engagement session. This includes suggestions on what to wear (and what not to wear), and what general poses I will be asking them to do. Also, engagement sessions usually involves a lot of walking. So I suggest they wear their most comfortable shoes.
At the day of their engagement session. The fun really starts. I greet my couples very eagerly, and ask them how they are doing. I also ask them about their preparation for that day, and amongst other things, how the drive went. Los Angeles traffic has not been very kind to any of us for quite a very long time.
Establishing trust and just all around “likeness” with each other is key to a fantastic engagement session. And thus wedding photos will turn out even “awesomer.”
I love being around my couples, and an engagement session is a time for me to get to know them on a personal level, and how their wedding plans are coming along.
Before we actually start, I tell them a story. Think of this as a date at one of their favorite spots. And it is just the two of them. I don’t exist. Okay not really. I set the scene, I pose my couples, and I let them “run with it”. I ask them to hold each other’s hand, stay very close to one another, and get “lost” in each other’s eyes. Yes, they are allowed to talk to one another. More than once, I will make a funny or silly joke with them, just to get them to relax and make them not think about being in front of my lenses. And about 10 minutes into the session, the couples are hamming it up, and having a blast! This is one of the reasons why I love my job!
Not even one hectic, bustling day on a Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Union station, could keep Ramiro from holding Melissa’s hand during their engagement photos. As I guide them on their next scene in a busy cement ramp, billowing train horns, an unforgiving masses of commuters, Ramiro gently pulls her hand over his, caresses it ever so slowly with a warm touch, and never lets go. Melissa, unnoticed, breaks out a smile of her own, as she pulls her hair back, and gazes towards him. Ramiro is already deeply lost in Melissa’s eyes as they peer into each other’s eyes and each other’s soul.