July 29, 2018
I’m often terrified when an engagement client asks to do a themed shoot. It’s either going to be amazing or not with no middle ground. The trick with themed photo shoots of any kind is that you have to NAIL IT for it to look anywhere close to good. Thankfully for James & Laurel, they’re theater people and know some of the best costume and prop people in the Atlanta community. When they asked if I would be interested in doing a themed engagement session, my initial thought was, “We can do whatever you want!” After I read the next sentence, I nearly jumped out of my chair screaming, “YES! Let’s do it!”
One thing to note – shooting outdoors in a Georgia July summer is not fun. It’s muggy; it’s thick and stupidly hot. One thing I completely forgot about, was how humid and damp mornings are in Atlanta. We scheduled this session for 8 AM to try and beat as much of the heat as possible (it kind of helped). When we finally got to our first spot in Piedmont Park, and I pulled out my camera, I could only laugh. My lens and viewfinder took me on an instant field trip to San Francisco with lots and lots of fog.
See, cameras are not 100% sealed, and neither are lenses. There have to be air gaps to allow for temperature fluxations and heat exchange. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, except that when you expose a closed system (camera body with lens attached) that’s been sitting in a camera bag for 30 minutes which is dry on the inside, to the ambient outdoor environment which is humid enough to take a sponge bath, the temperature difference causes fogging and condensation. This effect is due to the massive temperature and humidity difference between the inside of the camera/lens system and the outside world. Just like your car first thing in the morning, you have to turn on the air and let the temperature inside the system match the temperature outside the system. In the case of a camera and lens, that means sitting it on a chair for 20 minutes and hoping that thermodynamic heat transfer principles are feeling generous that morning and go faster.
Long story short, I got to spend an extra 20 minutes getting to know Laurel and James before we started shooting.
Once physics stopped getting in the way, we started rocking.
We started off with some classic, fancy attire before changing it up to the Up themed shots. When Laurel told me they had all the props, she wasn’t kidding!
Before you scroll down and view the images (because I know you’ll ignore any text after that!), I gotta give mad props to Laurel and James for their incredible comments. I’m always working on improving my photography skills and the experience I provide, so after their engagement session, I asked Laurel and James for some feedback on things I did well and things I could do better before their wedding next year. Here’s what they had to say:
“Both of us felt super comfortable, so I think it went swimmingly. Looking at the images we got back, it’s obvious that you listened and remembered the things we said in the earlier phone calls and we’re extremely pleased with the results. You warned us to wear comfy shoes and about the walking distance, so that made for an easy day. Thanks for making it a good time! You made us laugh, so not only were our expressions genuine, but we genuinely had a good time taking them. So now instead of JUST excellent photos, we also have a good memory of a nice day in the park!”
For me, this is the ultimate win – when my clients LOVE their images and their experience. I’m so thrilled with everything about this session! Congrats to Laurel & James!
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