I started this session with a warning. As we were walking to our first spot on the Texas A&M Campus, I told Megan and Ethan that I get really excited by good light. I don't always give that warning, but I had a gut feeling that it was going to be a beautiful evening. It was mostly sunny, with a few puffy marshmallow clouds. The temperature was great, and bugs haven't come out yet. I knew we were ending the session over at George Bush Library and if timed right, I would be able to catch the sun in the treeline. It just FELT like it was going to be a magical evening. I am very glad that I decided to warn them, because I ended up being SO right.
First of all, Ethan and Megan showed me a fabulous, ornate blue door on campus that somehow I had never noticed before. As we were approaching, I also saw some soft, golden, fluffy plants in front of it. I don't know the name of the plants, but every time I find them, I just have to jump up and down because I LOVE using them in pictures. I've been on a kick lately to frame objects in the foreground of my images. I think it adds a lot of depth and helps tell the story of the environment you were in. So, you will see I did that quite a bit this time, starting with those magical plants!
And then.....OH THEN......the Century Tree. As much as my Aggie heart loves the Century Tree, I'm not always excited to shoot under it. If you don't time it right, the light can be less than ideal. Too early, and you are dealing with a lot of shadows and dappled light. Too cloudy, and it's hard to get the radient glow on your clients' skin when you are under the branches. But sometimes, like this night, you catch the sun at the perfect angle through the branches and everything just lights on fire (in a figurative way, of course). So now I had freaked out twice (plants and Century Tree light).
At this point I was really proud of myself for sticking to our well-made plan. I hadn't gotten carried away and stayed too long at our first locations to miss the light I wanted at the Century Tree, and we were on track to hit the Bush Library when the sun hit the treetops. Our plan was to take pictures in the bluebonnets. Now I'm not usually a bluebonnet picture person, which I realize is scandelous for a Texas photographer. But it's just stressfull to deal with the crowds and finding the flowers before they are trampled.
*Side note* We were very careful to be good stewards of the wildflowers and not step on blooms.
We had a special reason to head to the blooms, however. It's where Ethan popped the question! We literally went to the same spot where he had dropped down on one knee. We got there, and our photography stars aligned as we hit the 10 minutes or so when the sun was right at the tip of the treeline. It was magical.
The point of all this is to say that if anyone out there is planning an portrait session, make sure you are working with your photographer to time the spots right based on what the light will be doing. It's why we call it "light chasing"!
Megan and Ethan, thanks for chasing with me, and for the pleasure of your company on a gorgeous Texas evening. I can't wait for your wedding!