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Shoot: Chris & Ellen Engagement

August 11, 2011

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Shoot: Chris & Ellen Engagement Shoot

This past weekend I made a trip down to Rockville, Indiana. Otherwise well known for their Covered Bridge Festivals. Chris and Ellen flew in from Texas for the week to spend time with their families, and I was fortunate enough to be spending one of those days with this fantastic couple!

All shoots I do are important, but this particular one was extra special for me. Chris and Ellen are two of my best friends from the undergraduate days. Chris and I were roommates/flatmates for all of my college years, and I have many very fond memories with these two amongst others. So of course I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity when Chris told me his plans for his big proposal! I wont get into the details of the proposal but I will say, that it involved chasing down a taxi across state lines and almost quite possibly getting arrested for trespassing onto government property(?) ; )

I was afraid, having them down South in Texas that I wouldn’t get the chance. But somehow one event after another all fell into place, and we were able to miraculously meetup for a shoot before I skipped town!

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The Situation:

Originally, my biggest concern this weekend was the weather. It was looking grim with scattered thunder storms and rain all weekend long. And sure enough, the day prior while I was scouting for locations the temperature was up in the 90’s as well as humidity levels you could swim through. In the best case scenario I was thinking I could maybe get an overcast. But that’s still pretty devastating for my style of photography. I need the bright sun behind the subjects or else no rim lights…

Since I only had one shot at doing the shoot with this two, I had to have some backup plans. I think I’ve said in a past post that I prefer to do natural light shoots for Engagements/Family. More freedom for me to move around for better compositional angles, as well as more freedom of movement for the subjects to…well be themselves and goof around! Without the sun, my only option would have been to use artificial light, trying to mimic the sun…

But THANKFULLY somehow the weather cleared!! (As you’ve probably guess by now from the images). I’m still astonished at how we went from storming and thundering, to clear skies and hot (but dry) weather!! For those of you who were wondering what I would do in a more unfavorable condition… well not this time around : )

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The Location: Billie Creek Village

Rockville, Indiana is known for their Covered Bridge Festival. But another attraction is Billie Creek Village. It is just a mile down the street from the heart of Rockville, and filled with authentic early 20th century school houses, stores, bridges, lodges, and many more!

The key locations that I found while scouting was the covered bridge, and the gazebo located in the center of the village. I actually had the covered bridge in mind prior to going, but the gazebo was a nice surprise for me. Being in the center of the village, the gazebo was surrounded by buildings and trees. But the angle of the sun allowed sunlight to shine through and light the gazebo very nicely! On top of that, I noticed that the benches within the gazebo were shaded by it’s own roof…all but one. I was able to seat the two onto that single bench, the seeping sunlight creating the beautiful rim light around them. Leaving the unlit benches within the frame, I was able to bring focus to the subjects real nicely.

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Overall:

I am truly grateful for the opportunity given to me to shoot their engagement, and not to mention the great weather turnout! Now I just need to rack up my experience in wedding photography… they fully expect to hire me as their wedding photographer within the next couple years! Anyone looking for a second shooter? ; )

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeremy Africa permalink
    August 12, 2011 12:55 am

    When shooting with the sun in the back to serve as a rim light, what do you use to light up the faces of your subjects? Flash, reflector, natural light?

    Just wondering, since I really like your results. Thanks for continuing to share your shoots and insights.

    • August 12, 2011 9:59 am

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment Jeremy!
      For the most part it’s all natural light. I meter the shot in aperture priority mode, then switch over to manual to increase that exposure setting +1 or +2ev. Careful when you do so, because even in daylight you may need to shoot with a relatively high ISO to be able to work in a workable shutter speed!

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