Como Park Engagement Session | St Paul Wedding Photographers
"Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; Being purged, a fire sparkling in lover's eyes." It seems fitting to introduce Daniel and Marika with a quote from Shakespeare, as these are lovers who became acquainted with each other through the stage. Both part of a traveling theater troupe, Daniel and Marika know each other through the bonds and impulses of stage play. As actors and creators, their curiosity for the world is deep, their sense of wonder and openness to new surroundings is a gift. As I looked through the viewfinder of my cherished film camera friend, I could see their magic chemistry unfolding before my eyes for this wonderful Como Park engagement session. St Paul wedding photographers are lucky to have such a distinctly beautiful park area so close. The beauty of the shoot was confirmed when the negatives came back from the lab and I felt I had caught two lovers who were so at ease with each other that they almost seemed to be sculptures in some the images. His fondness for her, and her comfort with him radiated through every single shot.
We just stumbled upon the tree with this lovely sitting branch as we strolled through Como Park in Saint Paul, MN. Since there was such a big difference in height between Daniel and Marika, placing them on this branch helped to even things out a bit. I love this image in part because of Marika's easy smile and the way that he looks at her. Also, the tones in this image work for me. Shot on a shadier area of the park, the sun streamed through the tree canopies behind them, giving a warm and golden glow to the backdrop. I shot this image on Kodak Ektar 120 film, and on a Contax 645 camera. When you shoot Ektar and over expose a few stops, you will get deeper and cooler, almost bluish, shadows - which I like and I often use aesthetically.
We actually shot many shots from this shoot in the final thirty minutes. Sometimes the adrenalin rush to make the most of the natural light available can cause less second-guessing when it comes to posing. In that forty-five minutes before sunset, I will typically switch over to shooting Kodak Portra 800 color negative film. I will over-expose by four stops to build more dense and saturated images (which I prefer due to the painterly quality you'll see is much-prized in wedding photography these days).
Sometimes I do like shooting in the hard sun, particularly during Golden Hour, when the sunlight itself is more golden and causes my subjects to squint less. Since I prefer high-key images, it makes sense to use the sun as a key light source during that time. The image above is a perfect example of this. It just so happens that we lucked out in terms of color as the main tones of the image are two complementary colors, forest green and pale violet.