San Francisco Night Engagement Session

Karen and David
(a bartender at Fuse celebrates Karen and David's engagement by fixing up some complementary fire shots; a mixture of Malibu, pineapple, and 151, poured into shot glasses and lit on fire)

My session with Karen and David was awesome and HOT (in more ways than one); easily one of my favorite E sessions of all time.

From the beginning the couple had expressed a desire for something new and different, with perhaps a bit of an urban/edgy feel. After weeks of thinking about where to start shooting, they chose the Mint bar on Market St.; a location with sentimental value from early in their relationship. They also wanted to incorporate some of the city's famous neon signage in their pictures, such as the marquee of the Presidio theater and the strip clubs around North Beach. We planned to meet shortly before sunset, and continue beyond dusk to catch the different parts of the city as they were lit up for the night.

I was a bit worried when I saw it was going to rain; of course I've shot E sessions in the rain before with no problem, but usually in the park or other places that provide some partial cover. I knew that if the couple felt cold or uncomfortable it would be hard to get good expressions from them, and we might have to reschedule. But K & D really were up for anything, and didn't mind getting a little wet...of course it probably helped that we started in a bar, and then hit another bar about halfway through to warm up both inside and out. In the end the weather turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the wet, foggy atmosphere gave the streetlights and neon signs a kind of mystical glow, and the water on the ground provided lots of cool reflections to play with in the pictures.

Karen and David were SO much fun to hang out with, and so easy to shoot--their chemistry is undeniable. They had lots of ideas and suggestions of their own, and we often found ourselves noticing the same place or having the same idea at the same moment. Furthermore they trusted me completely, and were not afraid to try new things or feel a little silly for the sake of good photography.

Here are a few teaser pics (more than usual because I am just so in love with them);

Inside the Mint
walking around the Presidio area
on to Broadway and Chestnut
(thanks to my friend Ed Pingol for the inspiration)
ending up in Chinatown at 11:30PM, (4 hours of shooting! time just flew by)

The rest of the images will be posted here by the middle of May.

Edit: someone asked about my lighting--most of the images were lit with an off camera Qflash (in the hands of my totally awesome and quite-a-trooper intern Gerald), gelled with 1/2CTO and with a 20 deg. grid. The sitting on the bar image also included on camera flash bounced off the ceiling for fill.


Courtney Craver Photography said...

These are amazing.. did you use some type of video light?

David said...

These are exactly why we both had our hearts set on you. They are better than we could have possibly imagined and exactly what we were looking for. It’s definitely not what I thought an e-session would be like. It felt like we were just hanging out with you and Gerald in the city! I can’t wait to see them all!

karen said...

You are truly amazing! We couldn't be more thrilled. You really made our vision com to life!We had such a great time with you, and I think that shows in the photos....we are so lucky to have found you!

So excited to see the rest! THANK YOU!

karen said...

you are AMAZING! We couldn't be more thrilled with these. You really made our vision come to life...we are so lucky to have found you!

Can't wait to see the rest! Thank you!

Laura kay Photography said...

wow!!!!! these are great!!!

Carmen Salazar said...

These look fabulous! Great work!