Posted by David
Blogs are hard for me to write. It's not because I don't know what to write; it's because I want to write so much. Remember, after Art school I went and got my BA in English, with aspirations of being a writer. I LOVE to write. So when it comes to a post like today's, where the subject matter happens to be close friends, I want to gush. I want to tell you about playing soccer with Greg when we were kids, how adorable we all agreed that Nikki was when he started bringing her around, how Nikki's adorableness can only be eclipsed by her daughter Emi, and how supportive these two have been throughout our growth in photography. But, in the study of creative writing, aside from learning things like 'never start a sentence with a conjunction,' they teach you how to whittle your story down to a core concept beyond what most people see.
Anyone seeing these two interact would immediately say that 'love' is the core concept. You see the way they look at each other and you just know it's there. But love takes on so many forms. It's a broad term that encompasses too much. We need to whittle it down.
When we got to their house, a beautiful old farmhouse that sits amongst orchards, one that belonged to Greg's grandparents before him, we were greeted at the door by Nikki. She opened the door so gingerly, so quietly that as soon as I saw her face I said, "Is Lucas sleeping?"
She looked over to the living room where Greg held a nestled newborn to his chest as he rocked in his recliner. "Yeah," she said, apologized about not being ready and headed off to collect more things.
The house was so quiet that even the floorboards stifled complaints.
I hung out by the stove in front of a whiteboard filled with stars and asked Emi to explain to me what they meant. She told me all about her last reward for doing so well, her eyes alight with wonderment. Her lips puckered with resolution as she ran through the tasks she had to do to get so many stars, all in the span of one breath.
"What's your next reward?"
She instructed me to wait there while she went on a mission to find out. "Mommy!"
When she returned, she told me that her Aunt and cousin coming over to watch Lucas while we were out was her treat, then ran off to get daddy so that we could go.
And there it is, the crux of it: Family.
I respect Greg and Nikki for a lot of things, but the way they honor that one word trumps all else.
Now then, let's look at some engagement pictures.
Greg: "Can you get a picture of that tree?"
David: "Depends on the lens I use. It's a pretty big tree."
Greg is apparently in training for the wedding.
Loved the tractor off in the distance. Super happy that we were able to work in a farm reference. Love the juxtaposition of the farm boy with the tractor and the city girl with the brick wall. One of my favorite shots.
The shots from the day are a bit out of order, but I wanted to lead up to the last shot we took out at the park. Right after the above shot I asked, "Is there anything that you wanted to do before we head over to the brick building?"
Nikki said that she would really love a shot of them laying down in the grass, shot from above, but that she didn't know how we'd do it since there wasn't anything tall nearby that I could stand on. It leads me to believe that most folks think we bring a ladder with us or that we stage those shots near some structure that you can easily get to the top of. Not so. Nine times out of Ten, I'm actually climbing up into a tree with thousands of dollars worth of equipment all in the name of art. It's one of those secrets I don't mind sharing because either you can climb a tree or you can't.
In this situation the setting worked perfectly. There was only one place that I could be and the base of the tree was so large that there was only one place that the light could be. The Y of the tree as it branched out acted as a gobo for the harshest of light and created a light fall off that mimicked what was happening at their feet. The result is dramatic and rich.
Oh, and the above behind the scenes shot is not actually the position I was in when I took the lower photo. I had to stand in a rather awkward position above them. One foot on a limb to the left the other foot about five or six feet away to the right. I'll let you connect the dots.
Linden, CA Engagement Session. Stay tuned for the wedding, it's just around the corner.