Blog— 2020 —
Goddard Park Engagement Photos
Ashley & Justin
Goddard Park, East Greenwich, Rhode Island
October 2nd, 2020
Whenever I photograph an engagement session, my main goal is to get to know a couple a little bit better so that, by the end of their session, they feel more comfortable in front of my camera and are super excited about working with me for their upcoming wedding.
Most times, the challenge in this approach is that the engagement session is often a year or two away from the actual wedding and I have to hope they remember the shoot well enough by that point that we're not starting from scratch on their wedding day.
In the case of Ashley and Justin, I knew that was of NO concern. Why? Because they were going to be walking down the aisle two weeks after we shot their engagement photos. And when the bride told me she was hoping to do a session that leaned more toward the "Halloween and spooky" theme, I had no idea what to expect as that's not my style of photography at all.
Thankfully, it was an amazing experience and I genuinely had a great afternoon with this pair. So much so that I couldn't wait for their wedding date, even if it was practically around the corner.
Ashley & Justin had a clear vision for their engagement session. They wanted a location that felt like fall and some muted color editing that gave the afternoon a darker, moodier vibe. Thankfully, they came prepared and both wore black, making it a bit easier for me to envision what they had in mind.
I mean, sure, I still HAD to do some sweet romantic couple shots but that didn't mean we couldn't play around with some lighting and different color effects and Goddard Park in the fall? There's simply no better place for that type of vibe.
One of the reasons I loved working with Ashley & Justin so much is how closely aligned our creative ideas were. Prior to the shoot, I drove around Goddard Park looking for my favorite tree in the park, the one that is in bloom for about a week every year, and I couldn't help but smile when I saw the burst of orange popping out once I found it.
Little did I know Ashley had scoped out that exact same tree and, spooky theme or no spooky theme, I had to take advantage of it.
As the sun slowly began to set, I could see the theme of Ashley and Justin's shoot come into focus a little bit more. The pair had purchased smoke grenades for their shoot and I'm so glad they did as they were a blast, literally, to work with.
We started with a nice canister of black smoke which I think looked great with the dark trees and colors behind them, not to mention their "super serious" faces for some of my favorite shots. Add in a couple of nice shots along the rock wall behind them and I think we did a pretty good job taking advantage of all the beautiful locations we had on our travels.
I especially loved the white smoke grenades Ashley and Justin brought with them and though the wind didn't help us too much when we opened them, they provided a great effect behind the soon to be bride and groom and worked, I think, even better than planned.
It was the perfect way for us to end our session ... and even then we still found ways to incorporate the theme of the afternoon before I fully packed up as we saw a pretty creepy looking tree with the white smoke we set off giving it a very Stephen King vibe.
Talk about a great way to end a shoot.
By the time I drove Ashley and Justin back to their car on the opposite side of Goddard Park, I was thrilled everything came together so well for a shoot that was a little outside of my photographic style. More importantly, Ashley and Justin's engagement session was a beautiful success in that it helped break any ice we might have had before their wedding later this month.
To me, that's a success story and a big reason why I can't wait to watch them walk down the aisle very, very soon.
So thanks for the great session Ashley and Justin. See you very, very soon. :)