As you know by now, I LOVE exploring new areas. Sure, as a photographer and with the power of photography you can make a single spot look different numerous times, but it’s always fun to have an unfamiliar area. It’s like a kid going into the candy store for the first time, everything looks so exciting and you see things in a whole new perspective… especially when you are looking to use buildings, decorations, streets, etc as your backdrop. Arriving to the location about 30 minutes early, as I usually do before a shoot when it’s in a public area, and I drove around Vandalia just searching for spots. I don’t really know of many photographers from this area, nor do I really try and view their work. Not for any reason other than, I want my pictures to look different. I don’t want to do the typical locations, and if I do by chance, I don’t want them to look just like the other. I want to put my own creativity into it and put all of Steffen into the angle and composition of the picture.
It almost seems like ages since I last met with Seth and Karli at the local ice cream shop, Dairy Bar (or Deb’s Catering is based out of the same building for those of you needing a caterer). And it really was ages ago. I met with these two back at the beginning of November, and their wedding is coming up this October. I always start off every shoot at a location that might not be the ONE. I’m not trying to get THE picture of the first few pictures. I usually start somewhere that looks nice, but I don’t expect many pictures to come out of it, simply because this is the first time I’m holding a camera in front of you and for a lot of couples this can get kind of intimidating, so there’s a short moment where the energy starts to pick up and you feel like you’ve been modeling all your life. However, that was not the case with Seth and Karli. These two were a blast from the first picture, in fact the first picture posted on this blog is the very first picture. I loved the coloring, the building behind them, their smiles, everything was perfect. After a few pictures, like most couples they told me they would need some work because they aren’t into the modeling thing (which I think was a lie. lol), and with every session, I just tell couples to hang out, tell jokes, laugh at each other. I don’t want a bunch of posed pictures, sure they are fun to get some model-esque type poses, but for engagement sessions, getting those “special”moments mean SO much. As we were taking pictures during one set, I did not like the way it was looking, so I paused and said something needs to change, so as I worked with them, Seth joked that the thing that needed to change was they needed to smile better, this line will come back to them later in the day. 🙂
Somewhat familiar with Vandalia, I drove to some spots that I thought would look good, but I also took us to some spots that may not be the best visually, but you could see it had potential for some pictures. We even made our way to a building that had burnt down not too long ago, and I thought why not? Burnt building, engaged couple, sounds like a perfect combination… and boy was it. Standing in a window sill, the sun was flaring in just perfectly to allow for some really romantic sun flare pictures. I had Seth and Karli kiss each other for this picture because it looked very chick flick, and required a kiss. As they were kissing, the sun flare just wasn’t working for me. Grunting in frustration and trying to get the right angle to make it work, one of the two ask if they needed to do something different. I replied back, jokingly of course, that they needed to kiss better (reference above). Which brought out some good laughs for some pretty awesome pictures. I absolutely love when I can get on a more “friend” status rather than “our photographer” because the ability to capture amazing images is so much more likely, and with Seth and Karli I felt like I had known them all my life from the first picture. I definitely look forward to the wedding in October (and cooler weather of course), because I know with these two it will be a blast! 🙂