One of the things I absolutely love about my job, is being inspired by the people I meet. Engagement sessions are a great chance for me to really experiment and take risks in ways that I wouldn't be able to on a wedding day, especially when there's a really cool location and a couple that's up for ANYTHING! Marlena & Nathaniel live in Des Moines, Iowa, but decided to return to their hometown of Olney, IL (famous for their albino squirrels) for their engagement session. Disclaimer: As a general rule, I don't like to post "normal" pictures on my blog, but that doesn't mean I don't take them. Anyone can take "normal/pretty/safe" pictures. I like to post pictures that represent how I'm unique, original, and offbeat.
When Marlena mentioned that we could meet by the hampster wheel in the city park, I had no idea what to expect- but sure enough, when I saw it, I knew exactly what it was!! It was definitely not an easy task trying to get two people to balance each other out inside a hampster wheel!!
Nathaniel had keys to gain access to the old Central School that they had once attended, but is now abandoned..
There were some left-over bits from the school which helped spark some creative thinking for the shots, random things were left behind like a geography map, desk, chair, etc. In this image with the map, Marlena asked if we should take down the colored bag hanging on the wall, but I kept it in as a way to balance the color of her shirt.
On flickr, I received a great comment about this series of images from the talented Jay Eades:
"this set has some really different processing "feels" for you, anne. what are you trying new? i think they are great, but it feels almost foreign to me in your stream :) not that that is a bad thing!"
I agree - this is very "different" from a lot of my work!! But when there's so much inspiration stemming from the couple and what they're inspired by, I do a lot more "listening" to the images and let them guide me into what tones and processing really complete the feeling. ;-) I'm also much more willing to experiment with my portrait work because it's more an expression of art than of moment.
I just loved the peeling paint everywhere - it was such a great texture to work with!
Just as we were getting ready to leave this area, Nathaniel was standing perfectly under this opening and it was just too funny not to take a picture!!
The "bling" shot!! (Go ahead, steal my idea, I know you want to!)
What do you get when you combine a boy, a girl, a row of urnials, a toothbrush, and a mirror? A funny and offbeat piece of photographic art for your bathroom wall...
This hole in the wall made the perfect frame for a little kiss. After all, what would an engagement session be without some smooching!?!
A big huge hug and thank you to Marlena & Nathaniel for making the trip to Olney, IL and getting access to such a fabulous and inspiring location!! It was so much fun!!!