You can be the greatest light technician in the world when it comes to lighting your shoots; however, it doesn't mean a hill of beans when you can't control the weather. Sometimes the best thing about a shot is the way the weather complements you to create the perfect effects. It also helps to monitor the weather reports then time your shoot to coincide with the time of day that will yield the best results. That's what happened with this shot.
Mary contacted me on The Book looking to do an engagement shot for her and her fiancee Jesus. She didn't really have any specific ideas for a location or theme so that was left up to me. One look I always thought would be perfect would be sunset on the beach. Yes, there are beaches in Iowa. Of course they're not the magnificent ones that border the ocean like the coasts have, but from the right angles they can still look pretty dang good. When I suggested the idea she loved it.
We had to reschedule a couple of times due to conflicts and ended up missing the window of the extremely warm weather. So by the time sunset would come around the temps would be dipping to near the 50s. Now a professional model would be able to suck it up and look comfortable in cooler temps as if they were in the tropics. That was asking a lot from us normal folks. Therefore, to keep it simple, we stayed close to their home and used the Easter Lake setting.
The problem with Easter Lake is it doesn't have any real beach settings. There was one area I guess they call a beach, but it was closed for some reason. No explanation given. Maybe that was one of the areas where they found contaminated water? It's not like we wanted to get in the water anyway. I just wanted the sand. I contemplated jumping the makeshift fence they had put up, but didn't want to inconvenience Mary. So we relocated a little further down the lake to come up with other shots.
Even though the weather wasn't as warm as we would have liked, the sun was definitely cooperating. It was the clouds that really added to it though. There were flashes of time where the son would play peekaboo with the sparse clouds that dotted the sky that day. I knew that would be ideal for a silhouette shot. It was a concept I had toyed with indoors with controlled lighting but never outside where the scenery would be even better.
I positioned myself low enough that I could catch the two of them preparing to kiss while also capturing the sun just getting ready to peek out the clouds once more. Eveything came together just the way I anticipated to create a capture better than I could have imagined. That was also thanks in part to a small gust of wind coming along at just the right time to kick up Mary's hair shortly before their kiss. Man, I love it when mother nature works with me.