Heather and Jeremy met me in downtown Mesa, Arizona for their engagement portrait session. Of course, the location doesn’t matter all that much. More important is the opportunity for open shade and/or great light and a fun couple. So we were all set for this engagement photo shoot.
Open shade makes everything look better.
And if I can find open shade with a little bit of sun peaking in from the background, that’s even better.
In this next image, we had open shade on the face of the building, but not one inch of shade for the couple to stand in. So, without adding off camera fill light, etc, the shot wouldn’t work as a “portrait”, rather, the shot became an archetectural shot with a couple kissing in the foreground. In which case, the harsh contrast is perfectly acceptable on the couple, in fact it helps to set them apart from the low contrast building in the background.
Photography: Platt Photography
Location: Downtown, Mesa, Arizona
We shot Jessica’s senior portrait session in Chandler, Arizona with a short trip out to the farmland south of the city.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from Jessica’s senior portrait session.
For Pat and Laney’s engagement portraits, we met in downtown Chandler, Arizona. We shot a few images around the downtown area, which has some great shady spots with pillars and brick walls, etc. And as much as I loved the shots we got in town, the really cool shots were going to happen out in the desert and farm lands south of Chandler.
Perhaps it is because of my childhood, but there is nothing more perfect than a dirt road cutting through a field. I just wish I had seen the visual potential of this combination growing up working on my grandfather’s ranch. I only started playing with a camera in my senior year in high school, so I didn’t get the chance to explore the visuals I was living as a teenager. I suppose that is why I go to the simple and the vacancy now as an adult.
This was a great moment and I love the Jeep in the background. I have to admit that I was in love with the Jeep. I have always been a Jeep fan (circa Wrangler) and this Jeep was a tough looking Jeep. So you will see a lot of images using the Jeep throughout this session. It is a cool Jeep.
You have to love this one. I love wheat fields. I shoot in this area a lot, but the crops always change, so it is something new every time I go down there, which is good for variety and keeps me interested in going down there to shoot.
Project: Engagement Portraits
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Photographer: Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Slideshow Music: Roy Ashen, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
We photographed this Prom Portrait Session in downtown Chandler, Arizona.
Music by Roy Ashen “Never”, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
I spent the afternoon photographing a few seniors going to prom on Saturday. I photograph a lot of senior portraits, but the last time I shot Prom Photos, was in college. I photographed a prom as the “official” prom photographer with the back drops and lights and such. I always though those kind of prom portraits were the worst. Everyone gets the same photo and they are all very lame. So this was a fun way to do prom portraits. If I were in high school, I would get my prom portraits done on location like this. They’re so much cooler.
So here are a few of my favorites from the portrait shoot.
See the entire set here. Contact the studio for a key code.
Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Subject: Senior Prom Portraits
Location: Downtown, Chandler, Arizona
We started this engagement portrait shoot at Shelby’s parents home in Phoenix, Arizona and ended it in the desert as sunset. Shelby’s parents home is in the shadow of the mountain about two and a half hours before the sun sets, so there is a lot of great open shade around the home, which makes for fantastic images. The color and texture of the stones is quite nice to work with as well. And of course, Shelby and Nick are a good looking and cool couple, so it was a pretty nice afternoon.
The night after the engagement shoot, I posted one of the images from the shoot on my Facebook Page. The shot is below. Shelby just happen to have a card board cutout of Jacob, from the Twilight Movie series in her trunk. I remember trying to watch one of those movies on a 14 hour flight home from a wedding in Hong Kong and it was so bad, so poorly acted, that I shut the movie off and did nothing for two hours rather than watch that movie. It was a lot of fun and the shot makes me laugh, every time I look at it.
We had a lot of laughs while we were making the shot. And if there is one thing that is extremely important at an engagement portrait session, it is having a lot of good laughs. It certainly makes my job more entertaining, and the by-product is that the photos look better too.
So, here is the first photo I posted, the night of the engagement shoot.
There were so many great shots from the afternoon. I have posted a few of my very favorite shots below.
This was one of the earlier shots in the day. The huge windows behind them make for some fantastic back light and the stair case made for a great angular element to hold the top of the photo together. For those of you interested in the lighting on this shot, there is a shoot through translucent umbrella above, forward of and to the right of the Nick. This light is giving the couple some volume by side lighting them, but we are not too dramatic, because it is at a 45 degree angle on them and it is a shoot through umbrella which softens the light a bit because the direction of the light is less defined. The light was simply a 580EXII Canon Flash attached to a Radio Popper. My camera is also sporting a 580EX flash with a Radio Popper transmitter and the flash is pounding up into the ceiling to give a little fill light throughout the room. And then, of course, the window lights are providing shape of the stare case, and a little hair light for the couple.The shutter speed is at 125th of a second and the ISO is at 400. This allows me to get a good blast from the ambient light outside and the aperture is at 2.8, which gives me that soft look in the background. I am shooting on a fixed 85mm lens. The 85mm 1.8 is not a very expensive lens, but it takes a beautiful image. I love that little lens.
I love the reflection in the pool and the blue set against the yellow blooms of the desert trees.
Of all the images at the house, this has to be my favorite. The stone and the tree are fantastic and the tree frames the couple very nicely in the bottom left corner of the photo. You have to love the color in this one.
I just love the expressions on this one. Oh, and the composition.
Just behind their home, on the side of the mountain is an outcropping of rocks that was quite difficult to photograph. Once we got them up to the rocks, I had to take position on the top of a wall to get the right angle on the shot, but how can you not love this one. I was so happy with the image composition and then, Shelby put he elbow up on Nick’s shoulder and that made the photo! I told her to keep that pose and “never stop!” I think those were my actual words. Way to go with this one Shelby. Way to go.
I enjoy the quality of the light after the sun has gone down for about 15 minutes or so. There really isn’t a better light. I used to capture this kind of light on film, but I had to use a tripod, I was often shooting a 4×5 camera (those old accordion looking cameras with the dark cloths over the photographer’s head) and the exposures were 30 seconds and of landscapes. I am so happy with digital cameras today. 6400 ISO? No problem. I could enjoy shooting an entire photo shoot AFTER sunset! It really is the best light ever.
Sweet light. Sweet kiss. Sweet shot.
Lindsey and Alex’s engagement portraits were shot in Downtown tempe around Mill Avenue. Lindsey is an ASU girl, while Alex is a University of Wisconsin guy, so they brought their school shirts with them and we photographed those as well.
It was a fun photo shoot.
Mill Avenue has a lot of great places to photograph, with great textures and it always has a good crowd of people, so they can be useful for composition and background shapes.
Not very often, but sometime, it does rain in Arizona. And we scheduled a family portrait session on one of the five days a year that we get rain. That’s ok! We went out in the rain and had a great time. I like photographs of people in in-climate weather.
Music: Mindy Gledhill, “Mi Ancia”
SOME OF MY FAVORITE IMAGES:
Give a child her own child sized umbrella with zebra stripes and she will be happy.
This has to be my favorite of all the family shots we took. It is the most natural, and that always wins out for me.
Of course, once she finds a puddle, then the zebra stripped umbrella is completely disposable. We tried so hard to get her to play in the puddle with the umbrella in hand, but there was not a chance. The umbrella was no longer cool!
Eric Greenhalgh is also a photographer, in fact he has worked with me on many occasions. It’s always a pleasure to shoot a portrait for another photographer because they are willing to go with the flow and allow the photographer to take chances. So you end up with great photos because everyone is on the same page. Photographers trust other photographers to run with their vision and have no interest in micromanaging the shoot or the outcome. If Eric wanted his own eye, he would shoot the photos himself (at least of his kids and wife). So, just a thought: when you hire a photographer, trust his or her eye and let them do it their way. Then you will truly have something unique and special hanging on your wall.
Family Portrait Details
Photography: Platt Photography
Location: Downtown Chandler Arizona
Slideshow Music: Mindy Gledhill “Mi Ancia”
Brandon and Lindsey were married at the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona on the first weekend in December. Everything about this wedding was beautiful. Thanks to the the hard work of The Montelucia Staff, Embellish Design for Entertaining, Julia Baker and Amy’s Floral Design.
Brandon and Lindsey’s rehearsal dinner was quite a production on its own. Everything was white, with a little hint of green. Everyone wore black and white. That is, everyone…
…everyone except for the bride! Lindsey strolled in with Brandon in a red dress that was absolutely stunning. The band began to play “Lady in Red” and they danced. It was perfect.
The Montelucia’s Castillo Lucena is an impressive room. I have shot wedding ceremonies, wedding dinners and receptions in this room and each time, the room is perfect. The rehearsal dinner was no exception.
Brandon’s tux for the rehearsal dinner reminded me of James Bond. It was a good looking tux.
And the bride’s wedding dress was as beautiful as the rehearsal dinner dress. We actually hung the two dresses side by side to decide which was better. Couldn’t choose.
I love a good portrait with activity in the background.
Like I said, the wedding dress did not play second fiddle to the rehearsal dinner dress. It was very beautiful.
Now comes the bath tub. Lindsey was getting ready in the bathroom and I saw this tub… How could I leave without putting her in the bath tub for a photograph? That is one beautiful bath tub. Only at the Montelucia!
And I have to take my hat off to Amy’s Floral Designs and Embellish Design for Entertaining. Their work was nothing short of spectacular. And they were so great to work with. Everything worked together to create a beautiful winter wonderland.
The flower girl ran out of flowers a little short of half way down the isle. I think we should give flower girls a lot more flower petals.
Of course you can see where all the flower petals went. I love the designs on the grass out of flower petals. That was a perfect touch. I actually want to know who thought that one up? Brilliant. It adds so much to the photo.
This is a new spin on the Unity Candle. It is called a Unity Cross. Although it is a bit too complicated to actually put together during the ceremony. I think it would take too long, like building a lego set during the wedding. So they had it mostly put together so that all they had t o do was put in the pins to secure it. I’m not sure if anyone would sit through a Unity Cross ceremony if they started from scratch. But the end result is quite nice, don’t you think?
The winter wonderland was even more impressive with little gems hanging off of everything.
And yes, the cake had glowing balls made of little gems. No one can match Julia Baker’s cakes. And now she has a little shop at the Montelucia Resort.
And of course a few portraits of the wedding couple around the grounds of the Montelucia.
After our portrait session, we made our way back to the wedding dinner and reception. Of course there is always the pre-reception fussing to get the bride ready for her grande entrance I always love the shots of bustling the dress and looking in the mirror, etc. You get the same interesting activities that you get at the beginning of the day, but now the bride is nearly perfect anyway, all made up, hair done, but not perfect. It is beauty with the added allure of a few hours of life. I like it better once there is less perfection. I am always telling other photographers, there is no life in perfection, it is in imperfection that we find life and passion, etc.
The wedding couple had a great first dance. It was well choreographed.
I have shown this image before as a teaser to this wedding. I love it so very much and the most important thing about this wedding is that it is a truly real moment. It was caught before the bride was aware of me and my camera. The subsequent photographs when she is aware, are not quite so perfect. I told the story of capturing the image in my teaser post in which I postulate on her thoughts as the photograph was being made. I have since learned from Lindsey that I was right about her thoughts. I am so proud of capturing this moment. It is my favorite image from the wedding day.
I love the movement.
Like I said, it was a winter wonderland. The frosty flecks of snow on the branches along with the clear gems made every centerpiece sparkle.
Photography: Platt Photography
Wedding Location: The Montelucia Resort
Event Design: Embellish, Design for Entertaining
Flowers: Amy’s Floral Design
Wedding Cake: Julia Baker
Makeup and Hair: Holli Christensen
Officiant: Pastor Brian Hommel
Videography: Beautiful Day Films
Andrew and Monica were married at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was quite an event with a great band, a Rolls Royce, a rowdy bunch of groomsmen and bridesmaids and some fantastic parents.
Congratulations Andrew and Monica!
We spent a few days with Andrew and Monica and their guests photographing the golf game, the afternoon tea, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I especialy enjoyed the golf game, and I think the guys were having a great time as well. Andrew is in the background sinking his 20 yard chip…
The bride’s waiting room at St Joan of Ark’s Catholic Church is quite large and is a perfect spot for a portrait. Getting the flower girl to stay in one spot for more than a fraction of a second was a challenge. No, this was not a naturally occurring shot. The idea was not manufactured, the bride was looking in the mirror and the flower girl did look at her. But, as is the case with much documentary work, we see something that really happened and then make the best version of that event for the camera.
It was an extremely bright day! So why fight it? Go for the gold and use the sun…
If you have to travel from place to place on your wedding day, there’s nothing like a Rolls Royce to take you there.
I absolutely love this photograph of Monica in the back of the Limo. The light is perfect and she has such an elegance about her.
The Phoenician is a fantastic place to photograph the wedding couple. And of course their service is second to none.
Sweet moments like these are so perfect.
And of course, the event was to well designed. The tables were beautiful. The band was great. And everyone had a great time.