Every time I wrap up an engagement shoot or any couples shoot of any kind I think, "Man! That was the best couple I've ever worked with." I've said it before and I'll say it again, I absolutely love the people I end up working with for photoshoots. Emiree and Darrek were no exception. These two drove up to Flagstaff from Phoenix for a landscape that fit their history. The two of them met in high school in a small town in Colorado so the pines and mountains were a true nod to their origin. If I'm being honest December and January were my slowest months since April 2021 and Emiree and Darrek felt like my first "REAL" session in forever. I've done a few branding projects and been working on some behind the scenes things in the downtime but it really messes with me when I'm not in the field. To have the camera in my hands and to be outdoors with some crazy kids in love was exactly what I needed!
I'd spent time earlier that day exploring new prompts I wanted to try out and was just generally really looking forward to our session so I was ready to roll. When we pulled up and parked I decided I'd shake things up even more! I had brought along champagne for a celebratory pop -- usually I do this mid-session or toward the end with proposals or engagements but I thought maybe it would be better to do the champagne pop at the start. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. It's a distracting thing for them to do that gets them comfortable in front of the camera and while they sip on a glass (or two!) we can chat and get to know each other. Plus it was freezing - especially for some Phoenicians - so a little bubbly to warm up didn't hurt.
I also had intentionally selected a secret location that I hadn't used before... technically I had been there for a small small wedding back in October 2021 but I hadn't been back for a more casual session. I loved that the way the sun set at this location gave us more time and options when it came to shooting with the peaks in the background, but it also had a great variety of "forest", "woodsy" elements along with more open spaces.
The problem is that I delivered 111 photos back... you're looking at about 20 of them. And I literally had to FORCE myself to stop editing at that point. I am so grateful that at this point in my photography career I'm able to take so many "winning" photos (the ones I deem good enough to deliver) for my clients. But it does mean I have a much harder time narrowing down the ones I should actually edit and deliver. In my mind, they should have them all. They should have every slight hand shift and placement, every emotion that flashes across their face-- everything. But in the long run I'm wondering how I can optimize my editing process so that all my clients get all the best photos delivered in a timely manner. Right now I'm working on improving my editing so the colors and tones are more consistent. It's one of my goals this year to elevate my skills when it comes to my editing. I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but I'm getting there! I'll call it good problems.