Jessica and Danny contacted us months ago via their wedding planner from Florida. They were impressed with our stylized engagement photography sessions and wanted to plan one of their own.
For their engagement photography session, they wanted to incorporate champagne, city lights, uptown Charlotte (Center City Charlotte), a luxury car and some swank and attitude. If you have ever seen any of our stylized engagement photography sessions, you know we go all out, this photography session would be no different. Personally, I like to say that I had Brevard Street shut down just for our session - and that is what it looked like and anyone that walked by thought Jessica and Danny were VIP (they very well might be, I'm not saying who they really are) because we were photographing in the middle of the street with all of our on-location lights and equipment setup everywhere and the entire street closed off from auto traffic - yes that's how we roll (in reality, the street was closed for construction, but we knew that in advance and is why we picked that section of the city :) - because that is how we roll!).
Danny's dad has this phat Benz that was just sitting their not in use. I had originally planned on using a 1965 Rolls Royce courtesy of Angela at Planned Perfection, but her driver called out sick, so we had to compromise with the Benz. It worked out just fine. I wanted to convey an heir of swank and luxury in the center of the city and thought it would be cool to have Jessica with an air of mystery about her slightly stepping out of the car and eventually met by Danny.
I love this photo. The lights in the background (bokeh) provide an amazing backdrop and Jessica's cat-like eye's complete the setup to perfection for this engagement photograph.
I asked Jessica to put sex on her mind for this photo - mom dad, just go with it! I wanted sexy, swanky, and attitude. She rocked it!
Jessica and Danny wanted to pop a bottle of champagne for the engagement photography session. Good thing they brought three bottles because it took us two takes to get this photograph (the third bottle was for "refreshments") see below :)
Anyone that has ever photographed with us, will tell you a few things about our wedding and engagement photography - "They are freaking fun!" No seriously, we have a lot of fun, we do a lot of cool stuff and we definitely work outside the normal comfort zones of typical photography. I think you have to constantly push the bubble, test the waters, step outside the comfort zones - how many colloquialisms did I just use?
Jessica and Danny met at their friend Tyler's house. Jessica defaced Tyler's car with lipstick, and Danny happened to be there at the time and they met. For their first date, they actually went to Danny's house, hung out on the roof of his house and gazed at stars.
Jessica: "I though that he was a weirdo and that he was really quiet, so probably not her type. She tried to hook him up with her friend.
Danny: "I thought that she was wild and liked his best friend, Tyler."
At what point did you realize that you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together?
Jessica: "When Danny asked her how she felt about him and what she wanted out of the relationship, she responded "Ugh I don't like talking about feelings" then Danny told her "I know that's why I'm making you do it", right then and there, I knew that he was the one."
Danny: "When I realized that he wouldn't get tired of her personality"
How did the proposal go down?
Danny proposed on Bowman Field at Clemson University (where both are currently students), in the rain. His sister-in-law was secretly taking photos and their families were waiting at a nearby restaurant.
I have to talk about this photo for a second. We pulled all these people into the shoot, some of them are staff, but I envision this street in Europe - like an open square or something and this couple - complete strangers, pass each other's way, make eye contact and EUREKA! Lighting strikes, they meet and maybe they fall in love, maybe they don't but they shared this singular moment in time. That's how my mind saw it.
I always get asked to post some of the behind the scenes action. Or asked, how did I get them to do this shot, etc. so here are some photos from Jessica and Danny's engagement photography session that Shannon took for me that are pretty cool.
I find it much easier to just demonstrate the photo I want. I typically will put the clients in what I call a "construct" and then lightly coaching them from behind the camera, photograph their natural interaction. In this case, I am using my lovely assistant, Shannon as the "guinea pig" (sorry Billy), but I would have had no problem embracing Danny if I needed to :). I find it's easier to just show than try and explain sometimes.
Danny and Jessica were such great students - never once taking their eyes off Shannon and I as we demonstrated the pose we wanted for this engagement photograph.
Finally, where the hell else are you going to be able to take an engagement photograph with 30 Vikings? Yes, we did that, we actually pulled the Vikings out of a nearby Valhalla Pub - apparently it was National Viking Day - who knew? They were more than happy to oblige us.