In Maine, the unwritten requirement for residency in Maine is that you love lobster, you don't consider 17 degrees cold (or five inches a snowstorm), you think of everyone who lives within a 10 mile radius as a neighbor and you are fiercely independent.
Having spent the afternoon with Holly and Jarod photographing their water's edge engagement session, I am convinced that to be from the Lone Star state, you must be sweeter than southern-style Texas ice tea, more fun than a night in Austin, and way hotter than it ever gets in Houston.
These two Texans are spending the summer in Maine as Jarod, who was drafted by the LA Dodgers right out of high school, pitches for the Portland Sea Dogs. They first met in high school, and began dating in 2006 after Jarod returned from playing ball in Hawaii. Together, they combine to make a wonderfully warm couple, who is as fun to be around as they are to look at (seriously, they should model). If you want to know what being head-over-heels in love looks like, look no further (well, you've gotta scroll down a bit).
Just like it is for a New England wedding photographer like myself, for a minor league baseball player, the summer season is no day at the beach. Jarod and his teammates get a mere one day off per month from April through September, which made scheduling his and Holly's engagement shoot quite the process in planning. Finally, on Monday afternoon, after the Sea Dogs spanked the NH Fisher Cats 9-2 and most of professional baseball took a breather for the All-Star break, we were given a wide enough window to connect in Cape Elizabeth for the shoot. Though their wedding will be this winter in Dallas (where the average December high is 57, though it's gotten up to 90 degrees on occasion), they wanted a beachy engagement session to remember their time together in Maine. I chose Kettle Cove in Cape because it offers a wide variety of scenery, from straight sandy beach, to rocky cove, to tree-lined boardwalks, meaning we can make the most of our session and get a variety of looks in the shots.
We started on the aforementioned tree-lined boardwalk in the back of the park. Jarod is 6'5". Holly is 5'3". That said, they fit so well together. Love does that.
Even though it was only 4:30 - a little earlier than I typically like to shoot this time of year-, the light was delicious.
Holly and Jarod were a bit nervous at the start of the shoot. Who wouldn't be having their photograph taken in such a public place? But as we got to know each other through the shoot, that anxiety turned to giddiness, as I reminded them to appreciate this rare afternoon off and promised them they wouldn't be nearly as camera aware on their wedding day. I love the colors in this image. (And that I totally blocked the overweight male sunbather who was lounging in the grass behind them by positioning myself just so!)
Resting on the rocks.
Seriously, I don't think these two could have had any more fun with each other that they did. Throughout the shoot, they never stopped making each other -and me- laugh. I am so lucky to continue to work with such down-to-earth clients.
A similar shot as above, but tighter and with a black and white treatment totally transforms the tone of the image.
While we're doing the whole black and white thing...
Back to color, as theirs really complimented each other, and the setting. When I advise couples on how to dress for engagement sessions, I remind them that we aren't doing glamour shots, and so all that matters is that their makeup and clothes make them feel comfortable and confident, as that's will come through in the images. My suggestion is to always wear clothes that make you feel like you, and take into account the setting. I love how the fashionable Holly totally managed to pull off glamorous beach chic without looking out of place (and that she wasn't afraid to do wardrobe changes in Jarod's truck).
Speaking of, time for a wardrobe change.
Perhaps my favorite from the shoot. I had turned to grab my gear bag so we could move to another part of the beach, and when I turned, this is what I saw. Stunning!
A different crop (in camera) makes for a fun detail shot. Something about this one I just love.
The light got more and more beautiful as we went on. When we got to a new area on the beach, the first thing I'd do was take a few more traditional portraits.
And then I step back, duck up, down and all around, and take my trademark passionate photojournalistic images. I love this one especially, because there is so much anticipation in it.
After Jarod shielded his bride-to-be so she could adjust her dress, she came back around him like this and I loved the look. "Hold it!"
Similar body positioning, but a slight shift in eye focus on their part makes it such a different image.
And a shift in my camera's focus changes it even more. Ahhhh! I love this! It feels like you are right there on the beach with them and you can't help but smile.
I also do a few solo shots. Jarod said this was way more fun than baseball card pictures!
And, a final look, back on the bridge. With me shooting through the grass, it adds an air of intimacy that makes it seem I've just come across them like this.
Congratulations Holly and Jarod on your engagement and best wishes for your December wedding in Dallas. Looking forward to enjoying a ballgame with you soon!