If you saw this location prior to me shooting there, I’m almost certain you would have looked at me sideways especially if I said I was going to photograph an engagement session there! This now abandoned resort appeared to be a far cry from its former glory days. The dilapidated and abandoned facilities were now hurricane damaged and now occupied by overgrown weeds, vines and trees.
Now I’d photographed Elena before and we always kept in touch and when she approached me about shooting her engagement session I was excited about doing the honour. She became more excited by convincing me that she wanted to do the shoot on a certain property, one she had sent me photos prior to. At first it did raise a few eyebrows especially after seeing these images but I embraced the challenge and I accepted.
I wanted to show you the images Elena sent to me…
I decided that I’d want to shoot closer to sunset because the resort faced the ocean on the western side of the island where the sunsets were typically the most dramatic. More so, I hoped to get good golden hour light for lifestyle imagery. Styling wasn’t an issue either. Elena was a little bit of a hippie so she told me she wanted a “boho chic” look which I agreed with. Hank, on the other hand, would need more convincing. He’s very laid back and doesn’t like cameras or the limelight so getting him to “dress up for photos” became a running joke between Elena and I. Hank eagerly fell in line with the plan.
The shoot went even better than we initially planned. Elena’s close friend and MUA Erica Bogart had flown in from Miami that same day and jumped right into makeup upon arrival. She was fast too! I brought along my Nikon D850, 2 lenses, the 85mm f1.8 and the 24-70 f2.8 and B1 light from Profoto to mix both the artificial and ambient light together and it worked out great. At first, I shot the couple in natural light but as the sun set in our blue skies, I brought out the strobe to balance the strobe light with my ambient light.
Hank and Elena’s chemistry was great. I barely gave them any direction.
Elena prior to the photoshoot told me,
“We just want to be ourselves and not overthink how we should pose or interact,” to which I happily obliged because this was particularly my preferred method of capturing these types of themes.
I can't stress enough how beautiful the light was and frame after frame my team and I salivated and got weak in the knees at how the light worked so well with us to create the photos.
Please enjoy the couple’s gallery below.