A romantic beach engagement that plays with creative elements and provides an inside peek on this sweet, authentic couple.
Just reflecting back on a few of my favorite images 😉
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Stephanie explained, “We chose to work with Lisa as our wedding and engagement photographer because she is just fantastic! I have been following her work for several years, ever since I saw her photos for Ashley & Jake’s Lehigh Valley engagement.”
She added, “Lisa’s strengths include her keen eye for detail, her go with the flow attitude, and her ability to capture emotions and moments. She made us both feel so at ease. We are hoping for photos that show the passion that we have for one another and the overall joy that we share being together along with the beautiful location.”
Why they fell…
Stephanie shared, “There is something mysterious about Michael, and he is also such a caring individual. He takes pride in taking care of those he loves. He is a protective partner who truly cares for me and wants what is best for us, and that means the world to me.”
Michael added, “There are so many things to love about Stephanie. She is kind-hearted, caring, generous, and passionate. Most of all, she loves me for me, she accepts me fully and has no interest in changing me. That is love.”
I love the classic feel of this shot and the way the wind is blowing Steph’s hair and dress, the lines of the neatly raked sand, waves, and cloudy sky:
Steph laughed, “I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl. Actually, the first time I was technically in Wildwood Crest was before I was even born, as my mom’s family has been coming forever and even when she was pregnant with me. Capturing this location was really important to me, especially since Michael and I were able to travel there together this year.”
For me, this shot is very symbolic. If you look closely you can see the wildwood pier, all misty in the background, as Stephanie and Michael walk out beyond it together. For me, it shows her childhood in the distance, misty then her future with Michael in the foreground.
Traditional Photos, too
Throughout the day, while my main mission is to capture moments and authentic connection, beautiful locations and details, etc, I do take a few more traditional shots, too. I really like this one of the two of them. “Prom pose” seemed to fit these two who met in high school!
They Balance Eachother Out
Stephanie shared, “I think we work so well together because we complement each other by being total opposites. We also let each other be ourselves, for us it just works.”
I like to take philosophical concepts and make them visual whenever possible. I love the balance in this photo, I think it really captures that for them. The seagull landing in just the right spot was both lucky and so fitting:
The Engagement Ring
Steph smiled, “Michael chose my engagement ring on his own– it was a total surprise. I love it!”
I love to bring elements in from the session, and these barnacles seemed to fit so well:
They Make Eachother Laugh
Even if it sends the seagulls flying, haha! Yes, this is Michael’s impression of Rose on the Titanic, haha!
I focused on the birds flying away to draw attention to them and showed the couple in the foreground here:
The Overall Vibe
Stephanie explained, “We definitely embraced the beach vibe. We wanted to be open and carefree. It was windy and breezy due to the storms coming through which provided us with a cool setting for the photographs.”
I love Michael’s laugh here– such joy!
Something that was really fun to play with throughout was the breeze. Here it blows her hair and dress and water and comes together just for this moment:
Playing Creatively with Photos
I love playing with creative visual elements during a shoot, you’ve seen a few reflections, etc, but here I shot through the mist from the window of their balcony.
I love the intimate feel of this…
Something else I like to play with is tilt-shift. I took a few “regular shots” as well, but I liked bringing the focus all on their expressions.
Colorful symmetry in this image, too:
Their Love Story
Stephanie began, “Michael and I initially met in high school, actually in homeroom at Parkland. We lost touch over the years, but ended up seeing each other on a dating app a decade later! We didn’t think much would come of it, but met up anyway… and wow were we both surprised!”
She smiled, “There was this night that we spent all evening talking well into the early morning out on my porch and I just knew he was the one.”
Michael added, “I knew she was the one, too. I overheard her talking to her mom about how much it would hurt to ever lose me and it endeared her to me even more.”
The breeze blew, Stephanie added, “After that, he bought a ring and proposed to me in front of all our family and friends. It was a truly special moment. We have certainly had our struggles but we’ve been able to openly communicate through them all.”
A Creative Perspective
I climbed into the water for this shot… and as you can tell I was the only non-bird (haha) in there, so yes, I was chilly, but I wanted to get the water and nearly fill the frame with it, then to highlight Stephanie and Michael among several other couples walking on the beach. You can still see the boardwalk in the distance:
Thank you– can’t wait for the wedding!
Stephanie and Michael, thank you so much for bringing me along on your Wildwood Crest Vacation! I had only been to Wildwood, New Jersey, before and really loved the laid back feel that the crest brought, yet we could still see the skyline of Wildwood’s boardwalk!
I hope that these photos are just the sort of creative photos that you were hoping for that really capture the beauty of your love and the unique connection that the two of you share. I couldn’t be happier for you two and look forward to photographing your Lehigh Valley wedding next summer.