Several weeks ago, Dr. Ammeraal was the subject of the portrait blog. Now, he’s showing up in engagement photos!
A quick refresher: Dr. Ammeraal saved our little friend, Alice the Cat. If it had not been for him, she would not have survived. Dr. Ammeraal performed these duties in the name of charity, for which we will be forever grateful.
And while my family could not handle what would have been a super-sized Vet bill, I did offer Dr. Ammeraal the one thing I had to offer in exchange: My talent.
Now, as part of our exchange and thanks to a major milestone in John’s life, he gets to make a second appearance in the blog. But this time, he isn’t alone. Since John and Leigh got engaged about a year ago and I hadn’t seen any official engagement portraits, I offered an exchange of services. And I’m thrilled that they took me up on it!
John and I set the date for the photos, weather pending. After all, this is NJ and it was February. Even though we’ve had a mild winter, you never know what’s going to happen. But as the date approached, the forecast looked promising, so we locked things down. And when I got out of bed the morning of the shoot, I was excited! The skies were clear, the day was warm and you really couldn’t have asked for anything more on a winter day. I even sent a message to a friend that lives not far from the session location we’d picked out to remind him I’d be in his area. His response was “You got a beautiful day for a shoot!”
Like I said, you couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Fast forward a couple of hours. I started loading my gear into the truck…and the skies started turning gray. I got in the truck…the wind picked up. John sent a text “Clouds just rolled in heavy.” I told him not to worry. The cloud cover would provide us with nice, even lighting. No shadows to contend with, no glare from the sun. Then I hit the road.
Engagement Photos in Clinton, NJ
As I headed up Route 78 to Clinton, the skies went from cloudy to dark and it started to drizzle. As I got closer to Clinton, it started to flurry. My mind was racing…what would I do? This was an outdoor shoot at a beautiful location and Mother Nature was about to tell me to stuff it. But I pressed on and sent John a text telling him to keep coming, no matter what the weather did. I was formulating a plan and we were going to have an awesome shoot, no matter what.
The really bad weather never did arrive, but the temperature had dropped significantly along with a wind that was whipping up. We were along a river, in the shadows of a hillside, which seemed to channel those winds right at us. We decided the best bet was to work the original plan, but quickly, so they wouldn’t freeze. Why work against Mother Nature, when you can work around her?
The location was great – a pair of historic mills (both now museums), a dam, a steel bridge, a nice main street. We worked mostly on the bridge and in that immediate area. And even though it was chilly, John and Leigh were both very relaxed and enjoyed themselves, which allowed me to capture not only a series of must-have shots for any engagement session, but also the casual shots, like this one.
Throughout the session, they joked, they laughed, they enjoyed themselves. Several photos show just how much they enjoy being with each other. There was never a moment that I looked up and the two of them weren’t smiling and laughing.
This photo also demonstrates an artistic sacrifice…and is the reason I would discourage John and Leigh from using it in an announcement, or anything official regarding their engagement: You can’t see the ring. For that matter, you can’t even see Leigh’s left hand.
But I wanted this background, I wanted this positioning and this shot was about the two of them together, not the engagement. And while there are several photos that do show the ring, there are many more that do not. I wanted to document their obvious love for each other as much as I wanted to highlight this event in their lives.
This was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Leigh, but it doesn’t take long to recognize that she’s an absolute sweetheart. The three of us sat down to warm up over a cup of coffee after the session and it was great getting to know her a little bit. Conversation came easy and it certainly never felt like we’d just met. The two of them are lucky to have found each other – because they are truly a great match. They’re such a fun couple that bring out the best in each other. I consider myself very lucky to be the engagement photos photographer that had the chance to showcase it!
ISO 800; f/3.5; 1/125 sec.; Aperture Priority mode; Evaluative Metering
Softened in Photoshop CS6 using inverted high pass filter and Imagenomic Noiseware plugin.
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