June 11, 2016
Russell surprised Jessica with a marriage proposal around sunset at Pier 7 in San Francisco, right before they headed to dinner. Because it was a windy evening, we had the whole place mostly to ourselves, which allowed the focus solely to be on Jessica’s great reaction, and the consequent tears and laughs from the complete shock. When emotions are that raw, it’s hard not to react behind the camera and I distinctly remember smiling as I was shooting, responding to Jessica’s emotions. It is great when my Couples completely ignore me, despite being within arms reach, as it allows for the best uninhibited emotions to be captured. As you can see, the photos that come after feeling the ring on your finger are sometimes just as emotional.
Once the two settled down, we continued shooting past sunset and into dusk, where the sky really lit up! I love photographing silhouettes and shooting around dusk helps, as the darkness helps me see highlights more clearly. This is my secret to shooting people who “hate taking photos” or are “awkward in front of the camera” like what 90% of my Couples tell me haha 😛
As we were walking to leave the Pier, I noticed a bright spot from the public toilet and saw it as the perfect location for my favorite – silhouette action! It’s always fun looking for highlights in any setting because they help back light the Couple and bring attention to them…even if it is a seemingly unattractive public toilet 🙂
Shooting at dusk and shooting silhouettes, I am able to push the images further, giving photographs the vibrancy the human eye cannot pick up on its own. Give me a newly engaged couple and you have the formula for some epic portraits taken at night! 🙂