It’s funny… as a new wedding photographer probably the scariest part of my job was photographing an engagement session.
I know. Crazy, right? You would probably think documenting a wedding day would feel way scarier.
It’s not to say the wedding day isn’t way more important than an engagement session…
It definitely is. The stakes are much higher on the wedding day. You only have once chance to get it right. You can’t go back and try a wedding again. I can’t scream from the back “HEY! I TOTALLY MESSED UP GETTING THAT FIRST DANCE! CAN YOU TRY THAT AGAIN?!?”
It’s just that engagement sessions are entirely different than weddings. On a wedding day I’m very much observing the world around me as a documentary photographer. I’m thinking about who the couple is, their values, and their beliefs. I’m thinking about their personalities and what makes them uniquely… them. Through that lens I document their story as it unfolds naturally throughout the day in the most creative way I possibly can.
Engagement sessions are another thing entirely.
With an engagement session, the whole experience is inherently contrived. In the early days I really struggled with how to create an environment that allows for the couple to feel so at ease & at peace they don’t notice my camera. Or at least so at peace they don’t mind my camera being there.
Over the years I’ve learned how to take that experience & hopefully not only make it fun for the couple, but how to set the couple up for success during the session. How to create an engagement session that’s not only comfortable but actually allows me to tell their story in a genuine way. Finding the right location that’s a true reflection of the couple is a big part of that success as well.
I feel like we hit the nail on the head with Maria & Brent.
When I asked Maria & Brent the one place in this world that’s most meaningful to them they didn’t event hesitate. It was Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston was the place our universe – in all her infinite wisdom – decided these two incredible people would cross paths. In Torts class (yes, I did have to look up how to spell that one) at the Charleston School of Law was where a girl fell in love with a boy.
Or rather, become aware of a boy. His name is Brent. I quickly learned both Maria & Brent are very intentional people. They are the type to think about every possible consequences a decision will deliver before taking action. I mean… they are going to school to become Lawyers.
So it may not have been instant love, but Brent knew something had to be there. After getting to know each other in class they moved the conversation to the tennis courts. Once he knew she was the one… he began to “wear her down” until she was ready to say yes to the biggest question she has yet to be asked in her life.
Our engagement session started in Downtown Charleston. Walking from the Battery to the neighborhoods that sit right behind Rainbow Row, we were able to soak up the streaking light as it passed through the trees and historical buildings. The golden light not only provided the perfect amount of warmth, but it also gave us the ability to find joy in the photographer’s playground of highlights and shadows. In situations like this I felt like a painter, with a blank canvas in front of me & every color known to man at my disposal.
Shortly after our time in downtown Charleston we quickly headed to the car and raced to nearby Folly Beach. Time was growing short and we still had a big story to tell.
It was here I felt the courage of Maria & Brent for the first time. The temperature was falling fast, and we could all feel the chill in the air grow with each passing minute. As the sun continued to fall below that point where the ocean meets the sky, the pressure was mounting. We were losing daylight & I wanted to ensure we were able to capture Maria & Brent with one of the most important characters to their story. This beach they often visit. The sand they often felt between their toes. The place they could get away from the noise and hustle of Downtown Charleston to relax & pour into the other person. Even though it was freezing, Maria & Brent never hesitated to finish the session strong.
I want to send a huge thank you to Maria & Brent for allowing me to be a small part of their story. I can’t wait to see the amazing places these two budding Lawyers will go!
Looking for engagement photography in Charleston, SC? Feel free to reach out and schedule a discover to call to see if Angled Light Photography might be the best fit for the creative and unique storytelling you’re looking for!