Monday, January 30, 2012

Erin & Mike... Engaged! (Part 1)

I have this little, ripped-up note - a printed out love letter - that I keep in my jewelry box, safely tucked away under my bed. Every year or so, I remember to take it out, carefully unfold it and read it, remembering the butterflies I used to get every time my husband (then boyfriend) came near me. It was the shortest, sweetest note anyone has ever given me, and I like to remind myself of how he can make me feel on the days when routine life kind of swallows that feeling up and spits it out. :) It makes me warm and fuzzy just reading it, gives me butterflies again, and I am so glad I have that piece of our history. Every time I read it, it's like falling in love with him all over again. 

When Erin got her pictures after waiting so patiently for them to be done, she used those exact words to describe what she feels when she looks at her collection. And that, my friends, has to be the biggest compliment I have ever gotten, knowing what that feels like, I am elated that she experienced that reaction and loves them. It is why I do what I do, right there. 

I have to say that this may go down in the books as my favorite session, ever. Two gorgeous people, so obviously in love, extremely comfortable in being affectionate with one another, expressive hands, lots of kisses and snuggling - and some amazing locations and light to add some icing on the cake. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I was like a kid in a candy store and could not stop shooting. :) We started in downtown Orchard Park, on a hot and humid summer night, a Friday night, and the restaurants were just starting to get busy. At the beginning, everyone is nervous and a little camera shy - we're not models, and it takes some time to get used to being the center of attention, your every move documented! These guys were amazing. Being right in front of patio restaurant, we had many spectators, and they were so adorable. They just kind of, melted into each other and I was immediately taken by how comfortable they were with each other - you could tell they were a little shy and awkward about being watched, but they drew strength from one another and soon they were in their own little world. We eventually walked away from the crowds and found our own little spots here and there, warming up for the next part of our adventure. :)

**Just one little note here... I have to say that Erin is a mega-trooper. We were in a little back alley, I was shooting through a set of stairs at them and through the viewfinder, all of a sudden I could tell something was wrong. There were a few hornets back there and one must have flown up Erin's dress and stung her. She shares my fear of bees and I have to say, if a hornet ever flew up my dress - there would be a lot less modesty, a lot more noise and tears and dress flipping than there was. She held it all in, getting the bee out, squashing the tears back and taking it like a trooper. I am sure that it hurt like a mother. I was in awe from that point on, knowing I'd probably need some time to recover, maybe plan another day to finish up. Nope. She has some serious moxie, that girl. :)

Anyway, after finishing up in OP, we hopped in the car and drove over to Woodlawn Beach. I hadn't been there in many years and was pleasantly surprised to see how much they have done to the place to spruce it up! It was the perfect night for a beach session - warm, breezy and golden - and I was full of ideas on how to exploit every single inch of that sandy studio. I sometimes lie in bed at night, my brain locked on poses and how to get them right. I had many, many ideas and some of them, I admit, were super lame! Sometimes the pose is weird and uncomfortable, but translates very well to film. Some... well, some just stay awkward. But despite my asking them to turn here, kiss here, lay there, climb there, they were willing to do anything. They just had a flow about them - many times in the session, I would get ready to ask them to move into another pose and they would already be doing it, naturally - so awesome! And in any session, there's kind of a magic point when you can let go and just capture, let things happen, stop posing for a little while. Enough time into the session to have gotten used to me, but not enough time to have tuckered out yet. When this happens, I call myself a vulture and just circle and snap. I let you be you, let you melt into the moment and then just move around you and capture that real emotion. Sometimes it only happens here and there - with these guys, it was like, the whole session. :)

Sometimes I joke with couples that they should be thankful for sunset. Because, if the sun never set, I would never stop shooting... and I forget how much tougher it is to be in front of the camera. :) I was actually exhausted by the end of this session, so I can imagine that these guys slept well that night, lol. I took so many pictures that I filled my card and had to run back to the parking lot to grab my other one, never thinking I would take that many. I ran. In flip-flops. And I am so not in shape. I felt ridiculous. :) But, I was panicked about losing the light, since once the sun gets down to a certain spot in the sky, it literally drops like a stone in a matter of minutes. After I got back from running the long boardwalk, I ended up in the water, wanting to get shots of them from that angle, and of course, a rogue wave soaked my jean capris to the thigh. Stupidly, shortly after that, I fell to the ground to capture another angle in the sand... not thinking about how my wet jeans were going to emerge caked in sand. You know what wet jeans are like.. and they got even heavier with the weight of the sand. Oh, yeah. It sounds like a disaster, and sure, I was slightly embarrassed about my appearance, but I was grinning and whooping like an idiot and loving every minute. (Though the moment I got home and changed into dry clothes was pretty awesome too. :) lol) I cannot have loved these guys more for being so open and cute, sweet and adventurous and loving - they made my job extremely easy.

There were so many favorites from this session that I absolutely have to break it up into 2 posts - so much eye candy! I was squealing behind my camera pretty much non-stop, loving what was there in front of me to capture. :) So, enjoy the beauty and love that is Erin and Mike.  Part 1 of 2.... Today is word heavy, tomorrow will be image heavy. All the beach pics will appear then! :)

1 comment:

mima said...

Amazing shots. Their love shows in all of them. Nice job!

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