Greetings from Florida! I have abandoned the cold weather of New York City to come down south for the Jupiter, Florida engagement of Rachelle and Brice. I do miss New York, but the weather here has been absolutely beautiful: not a cloud in sight, and no humidity. It won’t last, but for now Florida is a paradise. With the sun shining warmly, we were able to get some fantastic photos and I wanted to share with you all of the details.
This was my first time shooting an engagement portrait in Florida, and it was a breeze. There is beauty all around, so that made it especially easy. That said, there are certain locations — like in NYC — that require permits. We had originally planned to shoot at the Flagler Museum in West Palm Beach. While this is an idyllic location, you should know that the museum and grounds close at 5:00 p.m. (There are several mansions in New York where, though the house and museum may close early, the grounds remain open until later. Not the case at the Flagler Museum.) Also, photos are only permitted by couples who are booked to be married at the museum. Couples who are getting married have special permission to shoot later in the day on the grounds, so this is a definite advantage.
We ended up starting the shoot instead in Coral Cove Park, which is a tropical oasis right on the Atlantic Ocean. (The shots below were taken on the walkway from the parking lot to the beach.) This is the backyard, so to speak, of Rachelle and Brice who live in nearby Palm Beach Gardens. Being photographed in an area that they go to frequently makes this shoot so much more meaningful to them as a couple. For me, the personal connection between a couple and where they are photographed is essential to crafting the best images possible. Indeed, the next place we went to was the restaurant, U-Tiki, right next door to the spot where Brice proposed to Rachelle. With the sun setting fast, I used the lights along the dock to help illuminate the couple. I also made sure to capture the Jupiter lighthouse in the background.
The next day we continued the shoot, first at Juno Beach Park where we were able to get some beautiful sunrise photos along the pier and on the beach. If you are going to do sunrise photos, keep in mind that your timing has to be perfect. There is precious little time between when the sun starts to come up and when it is high enough in the sky to be too harsh. Make sure you get to the beach when the sun is just rising to take full advantage of the early morning ‘golden hour.’ Beaches are notoriously bad places to shoot with no shade in sight. One spot that is always a safe bet, however, is to hide under a pier so that your subject is protected from the harsh overhead sun.
We ended the shoot at Brice and Rachelle’s home so that we could take a family portrait: please meet Bellatrix, Captain, and Kira. Photographing Rachelle and Brice as they played with the ‘kids’ was a great way to include the entire family and to show them as a couple in a completely natural setting. It doesn’t hurt that these two have a beautiful canal in their backyard, which is great for photos.
Enjoy the pics! I’ll be in Florida until this coming Wednesday, then it is back to brave the cold.
If you would like to see more engagement photos, please visit my website.