I have been excited to try a night time couples shoot for awhile now, but have had to put it off twice due to weather or last minute client cancellations. So when we had some classic Oklahoma winter weather (you know, 65 degrees and sunny) and my friends Zach and Jana had a free evening, I pulled the trigger on a last minute shoot with them.
And that's when everything started to go down hill. I had a spot scoped out for two months at Beaver's Bend State Park, but due to the massive flooding we had at the end of the year, many of the roads into the park are closed. Zach informed me the day before the shoot that the perfect, picturesque spot I had planned on using was just behind the barrier and therefore inaccessible. Thankfully, I have been doing scouting of the Broken Bow area recently and had a good backup plan in place.
So the time for the shoot arrived, and we all showed up. We unloaded under the bridge and setup for the first shot I had planned (see below) and nailed it within five frames. Such a great start!
And then.....everything came crashing to a halt. Now, I knew that this was not going to be the easiest shot I had ever done. If it was easy then it wouldn't stand out. But, as we transitioned to the flash portion of the session, I discovered not one, not two, but all three sets of flash triggers I brought were of the fritz. How is that possible? Battery swaps, re-syncing, nothing seemed to work. As the momentum of the shoot crashed to a screaming, flaming, horrific halt, I spent ten minutes willing them to begin working. Finally I was able to get my old backup backup set to work, and we got back to shooting. Zach dropped the tailgate and opened the beer (believe it or not these two kids are actually legal to drink!) and we got some cute pics of them snuggling to stay warm.
Then we stumbled our way through the dark to a nice little mini island on the river edge (turns out you can't have enough flashlights for an after dark shoot either!) for the next series of photos. That's when I discovered the reason my backup backup flash triggers only cost $20.00. Because you get a lot of shots like this:
The pictures might accurately describe the rage I was feeling at the time, but they are horrible couples shots. The range on the triggers was terrible, and needed almost direct line of sight to work at the distance we were shooting. Some more finagling, and some assistance from my beautiful voice activated light stand (love you Josie!) let us work around the problem, and we nailed the next shot on the list, a long exposure back lit shot under the stars.
Lovely shot right? Except that after a perfect cloud free three days, a cloud front decided to blow in. All those stars? Mostly covered up during the shoot. Thankfully I had shot some stars in the past for just this reason! Some Photoshop magic and voila!
Everything finally started settling into a rhythm, a not a minute too soon because it was starting to get cold. We cranked out our last few shots and called it a night!
I can't thank Zach and Jana enough. This session was problem after problem, but they stuck it out and helped me pull off some of my favorite shots yet. And apparently everyone else loves them as well, at the time of posting I've received six inquiries for booking nighttime sessions, and generated over 4500 views on the Facebook post! Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback, and if you are interested in a unique session of your own then contact me to book! Were going to be trying some fun and exciting things in the next few months so stay tuned!