April 8, 2020
A small adventure can make all the difference in the world for a memorable photo session. That’s what I took away from this San Pedro engagement shoot with Johnny and Moriah. If you’re willing to go the distance, you’ll find yourself surrounded by natural beauty. What could have been a session per usual becomes a day to cherish in its own right.
San Pedro’s beach is particularly rocky, especially the one past The Sunken City Trail. For a couple looking for breathtaking scenery, it’s hard to think of a better spot. It’s just a matter of getting down to the bottom, and finding the best rocks to stand on. The hike is hardly strenuous, and you don’t have to be a professional climber to navigate the rocks. Just watch your step and avoid open-toed or slippery shoes. With minimal precautions, the shots truly make themselves in environments like this.
Sunken City offers plenty of tourist-friendly backdrops, but the beach is often much less populated. While not far off from society, the coast’s sheer cliffs and remote outcroppings make for a secluded, personalizing atmosphere. You know you’ve struck gold when an area feels this untouched, yet relatively accessible. The gorgeous skyline and spacious beach are yours to do what you will. Finding a comfortable angle becomes easy when scenic vistas greet your eye wherever you look. The adventurous nature of a trip like this also lends itself to a couple’s shoot.
Getting onto the rocks requires the couple to work together. As Johnny and Moriah helped each other along the rocks, more of their chemistry shined through within such an enormous setting. This balance of fantastic views and intimate personality gives San Pedro a truly magical quality. The shoot becomes more than a chore. Each photo now represents a real memory—mini-adventures to tell friends and family about afterward.
As amazing as San Pedro can be, you still have to think on your feet and keep lighting in mind. You can’t ask a couple to hold a pose for long after clamoring up a rock formation. It’s more important to captures those candid moments than taking extra time to compose the shots. Direct sunlight is seldom your friend in wide-open areas like this, so make sure to time the shoot for when the sun starts to descend over the cliffs. The rocks seem to glimmer at that point, and the glistening ocean takes on a softer form. These elements can elevate shots from great to extraordinary. The natural lighting of these shots almost takes on a surreal quality.
With so many options available, it’s best to focus on capturing the people rather than the place. During this San Pedro engagement shoot, I was able to capture Johnny and Moriah being themselves within new surroundings. The adventure of being there brought out their personalities in ways I could never have replicated. If photos capture moments, this shoot made every moment count.