Been a bit of a whirlwind this summer with assignments and shoots around the big state of Texas. And truth be told this engagement session in Dallas had me a bit nervous. See, Antonio is a photographer himself and has high expectations. Michelle’s older brother turns out to be a running friend of mine. So we had a bit of pressure on either side to turn in something fairly epic. The shoot itself took place mostly in the Arts district in downtown Dallas and finished in a secret parking garage to get twilight skyline views. The pressure went out the door the moment we pressed the first shutter. Tonio and Michelle are just a riot to work with; funny, smart, charming and a very beautiful couple. We had a bunch of fun playing with water, light and lines in ways to tell their love story. My favorite is the last photo in yellow… comfortable in front of the camera much?
Uptown Style. Bhumi & Savan’s Houston Engagement session featured backdrops at the Williams Water Wall and then into the Theater District. Bhumi wore 3 distinct dresses, from her traditional sari to a classic little black dress. Savan was the perfect future husband accessory to Bhumi’s style, he looked great in a suit and stood stoic in the photos letting loose with the occassional ear to ear grin.
Tell us your perfect Engagement Experience and how we can help photograph it, always up for new ideas
Laughing around Austin is seriously all we did for Noah & Vanessa’s engagement session. Our goal was to hit up fun spots around Austin while staying away from the cliche spots (I am looking at you Jo’s Coffee Shop). We managed to get 5 locations in 3 hours and only had to slide through one chain link fence to get our East Austin Skyline photographs. We all were laughing the entire shoot, even when I broke one of my flash tubes, or kept losing my balance. Vanessa and her infectious Jennifer Garner smile kept us all in good spirits. Noah you have your hands full with that one I tell ya. Truly one of the nights when I didn’t want to stop shooting, if only to stop and have a beer and hang out with this super fun couple.
Continuing on our Mexico Road Trip adventures (part 1 is here) the action has moved to Guanajuato, Mexico a town that holds so much magic for me as it was the town where I studied in the summer of 1998 after my freshman year of college. In 16 years and the town hasn’t changed. Still ate at my favorite restaurant Truco Siete and El Pipila still looks down upon the town he helped to protect. If you want to feel like you have traveled to Europe but still want to eat green enchiladas I highly recommend Guanajuato, just a gorgeous old world city. The views and streets and colors made this Engagement session super special to me. We walked the streets, chased the light and took in the town.
Again, thank you to our client Haide & Manny for putting us up for a few days in their parents house in Dolores Hidalgo and for speaking with all the checkpoint and shakedown stations. Yall are rockstars in the photographs and in real life. We are so excited for what the future hold for yall. This session will be one that Andrew and I remember for our lifetimes, thanks for the opportunity to travel and photograph!
You know those whip smart guys whose sense of humor gets hard to follow because they are running 2 steps ahead of you? That’s John. And the lovable lady that puts up with him? Well that’s his soon to be wife Kelly. Put them together and we got one of the quirkier and most excellent engagement session in the South Austin neighborhood around Eureka Dr. that, as John told me, means I found it! For them, they found the loves of their lives and are perfectly matched for one another. Oh, and John skateboards so we had to shoot that as well. Before we got there though we utilized their front porch that serves as the meeting place for them and their neighbors and lost chickens apparently. The last place we visited was also a skate venue with super cool drainage culverts, old tunnels, and new trains rumbling overhead.
Thanks to John and Kelly for taking me on an adventure through the area, glad we could make a little magic happen for y’all!
We met Morgan at the Georgetown Bridal Show and instantly bonded over her Doctor Who themed T-shirt. We were destined to do an engagement shoot that combined her love of Doctor Who, Matt’s work in comic books and my own interest in all of the above. From the scale replica of Godzilla, (of which Matt is the illustrator for the comic book) to the plethora of sonic screwdrivers to the ultraman beta capsule we were in nerd heaven! Matt and Morgan even did the spray painting of the Bad Wolf at the Castle Hill Graffiti Wall, pretty awesome to have to 2 art majors on hand for spot spray painting duty.
For us at AzulOx we relish the chance to show off what makes a couple unique and then to exceed their expectations in delivering photographs and images that they will cherish. Thanks to Matt and Morgan for allowing us to craft a set of images that will stand apart from the crowd. This will go down as one of our most memorable engagement shoots! Can’t wait to be at yall’s wedding at the end of the month!
Love our engagement sessions! Stephanie and Jason are quirky and cool and fun to hang out with and then I get to take their pictures too? Just about an ideal afternoon for me. Our first stop was the graffiti park on 11th and Baylor to appease Jason, because the evening part of the session he was dressed according to a character on the show Justified, so we threw him a location bone. Our second stop was to the east side dive Sputnik. The light at the one booth we used was fantastic, the doorway was providing a giant softbox shaft of light for Stephanie and Jason to arm wrestle in. Apparently they bicker like an old couple, but I never personally witnessed it over the 4 hours we shot together. And lastly we hit up the apparently hidden location of Lake Pflugerville to simulate their upcoming beach wedding locale. Thanks to Furbish Vintage Rentals for providing this pitch perfect vintage couch on short notice, helped to finish the look. They look live a movie poster right?!
Looking forward to photographing yalls beach wedding on Memorial Day!
Sunrise engagment sessions? I think I am starting to dig the concept. Beat the crowds, play with good light and work off the green tea buzz. Our morning with Deepak & Yogini started at what should be sunrise except with this fickle Texas weather we never saw the sun, but we did see rain at the end. But now I am getting ahead of myself. We mimicked a sunrise with a orange gelled flash on a stick to get a feel in our photographs that didn’t exist in the hazy, overcast drizzly morning. Started up at Jo’s Coffee, home of the famous “I love you so much” sign that gets all the attention. We took a different angle and approach to the wall to place more of the emphasis on Deepak & Yogini.
From Jo’s we ran around South Congress for a bit before heading over to the Lamar Pedestrian bridge. Felt like we had some good lines and graphicness to our set here and was really working the groove and then poof! the clouds opened up and we grabbed a few backlit shots while an amtrak cruised in the background. Crazy timing on that one. Didn’t have my scuba gear so we ended on a positive wet note.
Show Deepak & Yogini some love and wish them well for their fusion wedding in April!
Running to a wedding near you in October Jared & Megan decided to have a bunch a fun on their engagement session and only moderately thumb their noses at no trespassing signs. We started around Barton Springs and the Zilker Hillside Theater for the open aired natural feel of the first photo in this post. We made a quick jaunt over to the Welcome to Austin postcard on Annie Street because Jared and Megan are both from out of state. And then the real fun began. Jared and I discussed how cool the new boardwalk around town lake is and wouldn’t it be nice to get some photos on it. After 2 or 3 false starts, and some gentle fence hopping we found a spot that gave us a great new view of downtown Austin near sunset. I think it will be a hugely popular spot once it opens in June.
The last section of our photos made me giggle too, because Jared reps Asics and Megan reps Adidas so they had a little competition to see who was faster and better looking, Meg won on both accounts for the record.
Let us know how we can personalize your engagement session and storytell your love for each other
You might have already seen Ivy & Dan from their Soaked Section of their engagements. We figured that today would be a good time to show off their “normal” downtown Austin and baseball themed parts to our morning engagement portraits. Downtown Austin was chosen based on Dan not being from around these parts, and the baseball because they met on a baseball field!
Normal is never a good description of anything that Ivy and I take part of, so we had to add some silly photos into the mix. Exhibit A is the Darth Vader Choke photo with Dan getting at least 4 inches of air time. Exhibit B is the tackle on the basepaths, I don’t think jumping on the shortshop is in the rules of the game. But mainly what we got to capture was their love and warmth for each other. Above all that to me is what stands out when I view their photographs.
We say this all the time, but we really love our clients and all of their quirkiness! This pair have a few special talents that deserved a little attention. Scotty Mac is an elite runner for Rogue Athletic Club and Casey Jo is a collegiate gymnastic coach, so yeah both can do things that normal can’t. Scroll down the page a bit and see Scotty Mac doing his steeplechase hurdle over Casey Jo’s scorpion hold handstand. Just wow right?
The other thing we should note is that they have a silly silly sense of humor and are totally on the same wavelength. We will put up facebook the zombie kisses, Monkee walk and dual handstands to show how off-beat from the world they are but in tune with each other.
And lastly, the bright red Volkswagen Vanagon? How could we forget that! Scotty had it nice and polished up for the session and revved it up to make the central Austin to Pflugerville drive in just under 4 hours. Yes, he could have ran faster but this way he did it in style.
So which photograph is everyone’s favorite?
We have said it before and we will say it again, we love our clients. We will be photographing Shepherd and Megan’s wedding next month at Vintage Villas. While going through our initial consultation with them I discovered that they felt their engagement pictures could be better suited to their personalities. When asked about their personalities it came out that they loved dancing together and were up for about anything. I casually mentioned that I was shooting a series called “Soaked” and they were instantly interested and willing to participate. Oh, and they are also super talented dancers. 2 weeks later we had them in my garage shooting in “rain” on a 60 degree day with 20 mph wind. Megan’s lips were blue after the 45 minute water torture, er, portrait session but she stayed committed throughout. Are these the best of the series so far?
I know you can feel the warmth and passion this couple has for each other and it was shining through even as they were shivering together. Such a pleasure for us to watch them work out their choreography and moves on the spot. Then they would just bring it when the rain came down. Like a hip hop Singin in the Rain!
Let me take a second to run through our process for capturing these Soaked shots. Due to the high wind we setup a 10 foot roll of black background paper inside my garage to shield it from the wind and to put the exposure of the black further into the shadowed ambient. The couple is just in front of the edge of the roof to get the water falloff on, in front and behind them. We have a AlienBee 800 with a small softbox from behind and a LP160 gelled red from the opposite corner. They were both on 1/2 ish power. The key light is an Einstein640 with a sport reflector on full power. That’s because we were at an ambient killing iso50, f18, 1/320th exposure. Cue the rain from Austin on a ladder and Bob’s your uncle. Austin is the premiere provider of rain in Travis County.
We also took some proper engagements before the wet and wild part of the session. Made sure we had enough good ones where we could shoot without hesitation on the rain soaked section. There is this great old barn in my neighborhood that I am always looking to photograph in new ways. Lucky for us the clouds stayed together and dramatic. The vertical photograph above is maybe my favorite of the entire day because it shows Megan and Shepherd in their true state of happiness together, a small slice of time that represents their future time together. And from up close to tiny in the frame, I think these pair well together in a narrative fashion.
Hope you have enjoyed the continuation of our Soaked Series, any requests for what to photograph in the rain next?
We love couples that come to us and say, “We love your work, make us look good, we trust you with the rest!” We mixed up some traditional looks and posing with dramatic one light techniques to get you the variety you see in the post. We also mixed in some natural light, slow shutter speed and for one set a tight spot grid on a big strobe. Lots of looks in just a few hundred yards of real estate and 2 hours.
Jonnie, how cool is that for a woman’s name!, wanted the traditional and the experimental. We can do that. The Zilker Park area is perfect because it’s beautiful, has downtown view and is the outdoor soul of Austin. That is challenging when we want to focus on just two people though. So for one of our “experiment” shots, we slowed our shutter speed way down to blur the hikers, bikers, and runners on the trail to focus on the stability of the couple.
We also played with the cool gazebo at Lou Neff Point, utilizing the graphic element of the lattice work against the sun in the sky. We have a bunch of silly ones from this area as well, but those will have to appear sometime later. But check out the blingy jeans Jonnie has on, sassy!
The next photograph is maybe my favorite from the session. Between the serendipity of the flock of ducks in the top of the frame, the leading lines of the old fence, to the expression on their faces. This photo just makes me smile on many levels.
For this last image I put on a long lens and tight spot grid (15 degree) on my big light. I told Jonnie and Jim to just play and dance and be involved in each other. Look at the way the highlights and shadows play with the rocks and the water. The spotlight highlights the couple at the top of the frame. Real fun to make this one happen. Hundreds of people passed by while taking this set but you would never know from how Jonnie and Jim are looking at each other.
Super fun couple, looking forward to photographing their wedding at a new to me venue, Peacock Ranch in Gatesville, Texas.
A little backstory to start off this post. My wife’s father was a huge camera junkie, some of the cameras he owned were in indeed on the large side (polaroid land and a Speed Graphic) but most of them are of the 35mm variety. The photos in this post are taken with a Pentax K1000 and a 28mm f2.8 lens. This is an old school, all manual camera that is tough as nails in a I-don’t-even-need-a-battery-to-work-I-just-get-the-job-done kind of way. Which explains why Glenn owned it, because he was that kind of guy too. The back body literally has his name on the camera etched with a penknife. I hope that I get to channel a small bit of his sensibilities into each photograph.
I have just recently had it serviced and deemed ready to photograph with again. So we are starting to use them for small portions of portrait and engagement sessions for a different look and feel. I love slowing down with film, pausing, thinking, and contemplating the next shot. On this roll of film I only glanced at the non-existent review screen 3 times! I really like the lack of auto-focus and freeing my mind from the limitations of auto-focus points.
Let’s move on and talk about this super awesome couple for a minute shall we? You, our faithful blog readers, have already seen them rock some Mad Men style in their first appearance. This session was to finish up our engagement photography needs with a casual and somewhat vintage look. The old-school-ness of Andrew and Cathie were another reason that I wanted to debut the film files with them. The final images fit their sensibilities of tradition and style.
We photographed these in the old Wells Branch homestead at Katherine Fleischer park futhering the old world vibe. I love that these guys are stable and grounded with their feelings for each other. They just are as one as most are as two. Very much on the same wavelength with each other. Any serious photographs of the two of them together is a mere fraction of a second surrounded by minutes of laughter.
We will continue to utilize the look and feel of the 70’s era Pentax. For now I am really digging on the look that the Kodak Portra 160 is providing. Think it might be right for part of your engagement session? Let us know!
We love stepping outside the box of normal engagement session portraits from underwater romance to Indiana Jones the sky is the limit for AzulOx Photography. In talking with Ashley, she felt that an out of the box session was definitely the right idea for her and her fiance Andrew. She mentioned that she was a bit of a book lover and that Andrew was more over the top zany. I can relate to both. A bounce house seemed like just the spot to show off Andrew and his acrobatic zeal, and we came to find out that Ashley was a cheerleader in High School so we got her in the air too!
Went with a little over the top saccharine expressions and lighting in the last couple of images to match to the bright colors and artificial lighting of the location. Later in the day we photographed the happy couple downtown around the spot of their engagement. I just wanted to highlight the differences we can make with a little lighting and a little creativity.
Location: Zorn Bowling Club
Time: November, 1955
Alan as the Shady Bowling Instructor
Amy as the Ingenue
Scene 1, Act 2 – 9 Pin Romance
The young woman has decided to take up 9 pin bowling, but first she needs proper instruction. The handsome bowling instructor seems very keen on her giving personal attention. What happens next, but a winter romance ends up transpiring in the pin setting back room. The party lines will be ringing about this engagement.
Big Thanks to Kevin Harboth at the Zorn Bowling Club for helping us out in the facilities and hospitality department. Couldn’t have done it without you. For more on 9 pin bowling.
Anna & Anil aren’t what they say. On the phone discussing locations I heard about awkwardness, shyness, and not being photogenic. Liars! They are super fun, not afraid of anything, had us laughing and took great photos all around Pflugerville! We hit up a few spots in Cele, TX and then at not really a lake, Lake Pflugerville. We are looking forward to their wedding day in December.
This is part two of Kevin & Alyssa’s Engagement photos. Part One had us diving in the Comal River in an attempt to capture some cool underwater scenes. Today we ventured to another nearby river, albeit slightly more urban, the San Antonio River (walk). We set our GPS to “meander” and just followed the light and ambiance of the Riverwalk capturing photographs along the way. And a big thanks to my San Antonio assistant, Lauren, for packing gear up and down a few flights of stairs.
First off, let me say how fun it is to work with an adventuresome couple. We knew going in where we were going to end up, under a bridge, and all parties had appropriate footwear, if not the towels.
Second, what a fun shoot!