top of page
Blog— 2020 — 

Ocean Drive, Newport Photos


Matthew & Christine

     Whenever I photograph an engagement session, my main mission during the shoot is two-fold. First, I want to spend some time with the bride and groom and get to know who they are and what kind of photos they like or don't like. Second, and perhaps more important, I want them to leave the session with a tangible memory they can think back on during their wedding day that helps put them at ease when posing for their wedding day photos. 

     Matthew and Christine are a great example of why both missions are so important to me.

     As we drove around Newport on a beautiful summer afternoon back in August, Matt and Christine went from a couple I had only ever chatted with one time on Zoom (thanks coronavirus pandemic!) to a couple I felt I knew a lot more about and was super excited to photograph.

     Wedding photography is all about making connections with people and learning what makes them tick and that little 90-minute session told me everything I needed to know about this 2021 bride and groom: Namely, that they're an absolute blast and their wedding day is going to be amazing. 

     And if that alone isn't enough to call their engagement session a success, what is? 


     Matt and Christine chose Newport, Rhode Island as the site for their engagement session and I'm always up for going to the City by the Sea. When they told me they wanted to drive along Ocean Drive and stop at a few spots along the way, I knew a couple of things about how this day would play out.

     First, I knew we were in for quite a bit of walking. But as this couple is active athletically, I knew that wouldn't be a problem. Me? Well, thankfully I was just starting to get into "wedding shape" at the time of their shoot. Had it been a few weeks earlier, when the bulk of my time was spent watching Netflix, it may have been a tougher ask.

     Second, I knew we would have a ton of variety in our choices for backdrops. 

     The three of us started their shoot down toward Brenton Point, using the ocean and some nearby hills to help give the classic "summer afternoon in Newport" vibe for their shots. Apart from some pretty strong sunlight, it was a ton of fun right from the beginning. 


     The second location was a lot more personal for the bride and groom as they asked to go to the spot along Ocean Drive where Matthew proposed. Talk about a sentimental favorite.


     After a quick stop at a random spot on Ocean Drive that I've had some great success with in the past, Matthew and Christine left me in charge for the final location and it was an absolute no-brainer for me as I loved this little tucked away corner on the middle of the road that had some super tall grass.

     I wanted a spot that had a lot of green to contrast the ocean blue and sunny skies we started their engagement photos with and this location was perfect. 

     My favorite part, however, was casually talking to Matthew and Christine about their wedding and finding out that they plan to have their first dance at their wedding next year to the song  "The Keeper of the Stars" by Tracy Byrd. 
     Being that our time was coming to a close and the moon was already peeking through the clouds, I pulled out my phone, pulled up the song on Spotify and asked them to dance as I snapped away. It was my favorite moment of their engagement session and one of my favorite moments on any session in a long time. 

     And I can't think of a better way to have capped the afternoon.


     As Matthew, Christine and I drove back to my car and got ready to call it a night, I couldn't help but smile thinking about how much fun we had had on this random summer evening in beautiful Newport.

     This year has been a bit of an insane one for me professionally and, I'm sure, for Matt and Christine personally. So, to be able to forget about the world around us for a couple of hours and have this couple dance in the middle of the road while cars drove by? To me, that's just a beautiful reminder of how random life can be sometimes. And in that moment, I'm sure we all needed exactly that.

     So, thank you Matt and Christine for an amazing summer engagement session I won't soon forget. I can't wait to do it all over again in 2021. Thankfully, next time, I won't need to shoot with one hand while holding the music in my other. :)

-Paul J. Spetrini


Got a thought? Leave a reply

Are you getting married? Interested in having me document your big day?
Contact me here. 

bottom of page