I woke up at 3:30am for our field trip expedition and hopped in a car with Caleb and Ashley, ready for the four hour drive up the California Coast. We live in the Orange County/Los Angeles area and set out to get as far away as possible within a day's travel to take great photos in an unfamiliar place.
We discussed our options and chose Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. The varying dramatic landscapes there were sure to deliver.
The only time I had spent with Caleb and Ashley before this trip was photographing their Laguna Beach proposal last fall. Spending a day with new people as interesting and laid back as they are is always fun, and this was no exception. We had hoped to get to Pismo Beach just after sunrise, but LA traffic and obstacles of the like kept us from shooting until noon.
The harsh midday sand dune lighting was tricky to work with, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Stress-free models in these situations are a plus.
We knew we wanted to shoot in three locations, with each location symbolizing three different stages of love: 1) When two people first notice each other 2) When they fall madly in love and 3) When they approach becoming united as one in marriage.
Sand dunes were the backdrop for stage one, and an oak tree reserve was next for stage two. As we walked through the dense oaks, Caleb and Ashley goofed around with each other as I stood back and took photographs. A bluetooth speaker in my pocket blasted a playlist of their favorite songs. It was natural and special to say the least.
Our final location was for the third stage of love - two people on the brink of the oneness of marriage. The rocky coastline unique to California's Central Coast set the scene.
This breathtaking landscape is a paradox of mystery and stability. It's exciting and risky, and all the same can be said about love. It was the perfect place for our last shoot.
We were tired, and Caleb and Ashley simply embraced each other while I did my best not to intervene. Their intimate chemistry and the golden hour light was all I needed to work with.
I brought my entire bag full of gear, but all I ended up using was a Canon 5d Mark IV with a 50mm 1.2L, and a Canon 5d Mark III with a 35mm 1.4L.
When editing the images back at home, WP01 from Tribe Photo Co's Wolf Pack Presets proved to look the best for my color images, while the WP07 looked best for my B&W images. This preset pack definitely took my images where they needed to go in order to convey the feeling of the shoot, a captivating couple in awesome landscapes.
Thank you Tribe Photo Co. for sponsoring this trip and for encouraging us to venture out and do what we love to do!