Taryn is one of my 2020 senior reps. Not only is she at the top of her class at Fortuna High School, she is also super sweet. We traveled down to one of my favorite river locations in Southern Humboldt and shot some beautiful shots in the sunshine. The river is always nice and warm at the end of a long summer day, and I absolutely love being able to get my feet wet while I photograph beautiful seniors. It doesn’t get much better!
I met Malinda at the Riverlodge Bridal Fair in January. She booked her wedding soon after. Malinda decided she wanted to shoot her engagement session in Trinidad on the beach. I had so much fun with this couple! We met at College Cove in Trinidad where we frolicked on the beaches, climbed on top of sharp rocks and had fun playing around on the beach. It was a beautiful day with barely any wind. As the time for sunset neared, we hustled up the grueling incline trail from College Cove and got to Trinidad State Beach as the sun was beginning it’s descent into the horizon. We ended up with an epic sunset. This was one of my favorite engagement sessions, and I can’t wait to shoot their Beau Pre Golf Course later this month!
I have been dreaming of shooting a Benbow Inn Wedding ever since I started shooting weddings four years ago. There are two reasons for this. It is a gorgeous venue, and it is 5 minutes from my house. I was so happy when Lucas and Vanessa chose me as their wedding photographer. I was envisioning a beautiful, warm day full of sunshine which is typical here in Southern Humboldt. I kept checking the forecast for their wedding day, but the chance of rain just kept climbing until it reached 100%. I had been picturing their family gathered on the beautiful green lawn of the Benbow Inn with the bridge in the background, in the golden sunshine, followed by a romantic reception on the balcony under the starry sky. We like to make our plans, and then God likes to make his. Lucas and Vanessa took the rain in stride. They were down for anything! They had a vision of doing their first look beneath the majestic redwoods on the Avenue of the Giants. They didn’t let the rain stop their vision. I am so glad they chose to stick to the plan!
After the first look, we traveled back to Benbow for some bridal party portraits. This bridal party was down for anything and still had smiles on their faces despite the constant rain. Catrina Chavez of Above and Beyond Creations helped save the day with the vintage umbrellas which made for some romantic photographs.
After the bridal party formals Lucas and Vanessa said “I Do” in the quaint library of the Benbow Inn with a reception following upstairs. Their close family and friends traveled all the way from Central California to the middle of the United States to witness their vows and celebrate their love.
As their friends and family continued to celebrate, we snuck outside for some romantic sneak away shots which are my favorite. The rain still continued to bless their day, and we have some romantic and magical images to show for it!
We like to make our plans, and then God likes to make his. We can dream and plan all we want. But we can't control what happens in this life, all we can do is control how we react. It rained the entire wedding day of Lucas and Vanessa's wedding. But they took it in stride with each other by their side. I have 100% faith that this couple will be able to weather any storm that they face together.
Venue: Benbow Inn
Hair and Make up: Paige Paup and Calilyn Quinn Lyon
Engagement photo shoots are on the rise and have become a huge trend in the wedding industry. I love them because it gives me a chance to get to know the couples I am working with, to see how they interact in front of the camera, and help couples feel comfortable in front of the camera (because you will have hundreds of photographs taken of you on your big day). Let’s also not forget that these photos also double as great presents, which could be made into photo books for your wedding guests to sign, and great to have on display on your big day!
Engagement sessions will typically last about 1-2 hours. I can help recommend a location or you can choose a place that has significant meaning to you both as a couple. This could be anything from where you first met, the spot of the very first real date you had or a place where you shared an unforgettable moment of joy and laughter together!
I love the creative side that unfolds between couples when they want to make this experience unique and special! Let’s get outside and let your personalities out to play!
Below are a few tips on not just how to take great photos, but how to have a fun engagement shoot!
Trust your Photographer… Feeling comfortable with your photographer is important. This is our chance to get to know each other better. The more I can learn about you, the easier and more comfortable it will be during your shoot.
Your Outfit is Important… Feeling confident and comfortable is one of the most important parts of an engagement photo session. If you feel great about what you are wearing and how you look, it makes posing in front of the camera so much easier! If you are not the type to wear high heels or not really a “dress” person, then don’t feel obligated to make drastic changes. Stick to clothes that make you feel beautiful and bring out the best in you. A pair of wranglers, boots and a button up plaid shirt can do just as much as a cute summery dress dancing in the soft breeze.
Hair and Makeup… Leave this to the professionals. The wardrobe can be left totally up to you but the hair and makeup, I highly recommend seeking a professional. Professional hair stylists and makeup artists have the experience and knowledge in understanding colors, tones and what will look good on camera. They know about lighting and angles through the lens.
Location, Location, Location… As I stated above, the place you choose to have your photos taken is so important! If you want the story of who you are as a couple to truly be told, select a location that truly means something to you both! If you are a power couple that loves hiking in redwood country, maybe the perfect location would be at one of the many trails you have hiked at Humboldt Redwoods State Park! Or maybe you are the couple that loves long walks on the beaches of Shelter Cove. What I love even more than these traditional places are unique ideas that are truly special to you and your fiance. I have some fun and unique engagement sessions coming up and I can’t wait to show them off!
Create Movement… Many people think posing in front of the camera means you have to be still like statues. It’s actually just the opposite. Cameras nowadays have the ability to capture images at a fast rate, so moving doesn’t mean a blurry image. Creating movement gives me a chance to capture an image that is flattering & unique. Movement also creates little details in images that would never appear had you been standing still. For example, your hair might look as if it is being teased in the soft breeze at just the right angle, as your fiancé holds your hand twirling you as if you were dancing. The small details movement creates might just be what makes a photo pop!
Lose Yourself… As a professional photographer my main job is to capture unforgettable photos of you. The best way to do that is for you to forget I am there. Take a moment to embrace your surroundings and partner. Think about what you love about your partner, the joy he/she brings to the relationship and all the memories that make you laugh. Walk hand in hand, talking, laughing, hugging, kissing and enjoy this moment of being together. The more relaxed, comfortable and affectionate you can be with one another, the better experience you will have.
Have fun and make the most of your engagement photo shoot. After all, “Life’s not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”