Engagement Shoot at the Stables

It’s always special when you can match a photography session with the personality of those you shoot. This is especially true for very meaningful events, like a wedding, or, in this case, an engagement.

Jess is from Iowa, raised near her grandfather’s farmland, wears cowboy boots, and was always around horses. But this is Florida.

We arranged for a shoot on Amelia Island – you know, home of Northeast Florida resort properties. In looking at some of the images, though, you’d swear it was the midwest.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

The only giveaway is that this was shot in late January. Plenty of wind, but no snow!

I always try to tell a story with the imagery – nothing unusual about that for a photographer – be it in studio or on location like this. Blog posts notwithstanding. To set the scene:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

Love the coloration. Jess wanted to shoot in front of the red barn, but unfortunately this view was into the sun. But who says you have to show their faces to tell the story? You often have to work with what you’re given. Play the hand that’s dealt.

It’s always a goal to offer variety, and I tend to do that stylistically as well as variations in pose and setting. We first shot inside the stable. I love the horse in the frame posing too; a regret is I wanted to shoot with narrow depth-of-field and he’s a little soft. Actually he kind of just popped up – I wasn’t expecting it as he was shy and reluctant to show. I had to shoot fast and with camera settings I had (there was also the light to contend with – strobe, that is). That’s one problem with studio lights, and one benefit – you have to slow down.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

You can see the shyness here; he was a little wary of strangers, hence the peep over the stall door.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

A slight stylistic change for the stronger pose:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

And of course context.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

I did choose to go warm and soft with many of these. We were after all awash in sunlight, wind notwithstanding.

This was a large, beautiful property, and we tried to take full advantage, although the wind limited what I could do with modifiers. Still, there was plenty of background material to work with.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

Most of the images (all in fact, sans the one walking) were shot with an Elinchrom Quadra in the rigid softbox, a wondrous 16″ square modifier impervious to the ravages of said wind. It has no diffusion yet seems to render a fairly soft output. I have a grid for it but chose not to use it – I felt that I didn’t really need that much control.

We ended the day where we started – in the stable. I found a cheap plastic chair near the entrance, and wanted to show off a little by balancing the light between the bright outdoors and the dim interior.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. | kidona.com

That second shot was for me. Light. Gesture Color. I chose all 3.

Alas, this shoot – or more correctly, the results of this shoot – almost didn’t happen. I’ve been shooting digitally for near 15 years, and never had a card fail. Unfortunately, this was the shoot where one did. Nothing would read it – not even the camera. I did find some software – from Wondershare – that was able to pull the images from said broken card. What a relief!

This entry was posted in Photo Shoot.