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August's Featured Photo of the Month!

Title: Just a kiss

Taken: July 3, 2015 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Shot with: Nikon D-3S camera body,

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

Shot at: 38 mm, 1/320 sec at f / 3.2, ISO 800

You can learn a lot about a couple in the one or two hours you have them together for an engagement session.

Not only is the session a great chance to get to know how you'll work with them on their wedding day (assuming you're also shooting their wedding), it's a great chance to see how they interact with each other and how they are as a couple.

And that was absolutely true for Michelle and Eric on a scorching hot July afternoon at Brewster Gardens in Plymouth, Massachusetts last month.

Michelle and Eric are an absolutely adorable couple. I first met Michelle when I shot her brother Jason's wedding last September but I had no idea I would be lucky enough to shoot her wedding as well until she reached out to be a few months later and asked if I'd do the honors.

Eric, meanwhile, I met for the first time on this beautiful summer day and I could tell about five minutes in that he's going to be a lot of fun on his wedding day next May.

The three of us spent about an hour and a half together at Brewster Gardens and I couldn't have asked for a more fun time. We were laughing and joking about anything and everything just a few minutes into the session and it was clear these two were having a blast as they got more and more comfortable in front of the camera.

And that's why I love engagement sessions.

Most times, the couple you're photographing has never done a formal portrait session together and they come in incredibly nervous and unsure of what they expect. Michelle and Eric were no different. But, by the time we got to their outfit change and the back-half of their session, they looked like seasoned pros.

My favorite shot of the day, without question, was the simple one shown above.

While not technically difficult to set up and shoot, this photo means a lot more to me than just "OK, Michelle, kiss Eric."

As we walked through the gardens area, we came across a number of nice spots to shoot but this little sliver of grass tucked away past a tunnel and near a dam, looked great in the light.

I asked Eric to lie down and positioned Michelle in front of him for what I envisioned would be a sweet little kiss. What I got was playful banter between the two and a complete inability to keep a straight face.

But you'd never know it from the shot above.

For all of about three seconds, I had the two connect and the results were wonderful.

Adding a little black and white filter to it makes the photo even dramatic, to me anyway, as deep down it strips away all the distractions of the colors in the grass and their clothes and forces you to zoom in and stare right at the moment they're having together.

And, that, to me, says wonders about who they are as a couple.

So, for the time being, this is my favorite photo of Michelle and Eric. But I can guarantee you that will change on their wedding day next May. On that day, we'll make dozens of new memories for the two of them.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Beyond the Lens: A blog by Paul J. Spetrini

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