The natural beauty of Laguna Beach speaks for itself. It’s as easy to imagine a honeymoon over there as it is an engagement shoot. Of course, the really pristine spots maintain their beauty due to their exclusivity. In fact, my shoot with Emma and Jake at Emerald Bay wouldn’t have happened without a friend letting us in. The intimate setting and incredible lighting made this Laguna Beach engagement session a true one-in-a-million.
You won’t find many shoots on this sight that epitomize the “golden hour” concept like this one. The sun hit the water to an absolutely radiant effect. This made for some awesome backlighting, without it overwhelming the subjects. It was also nice to know that I could pull off some nice aesthetics with low or high exposure. I could contrast two distinct looks while still allowing Emma and Jake to be themselves on the beach.
I really could have shot Emma and Jake anywhere, and they’d still be in their element. They had a very laid back, go-with-the-flow attitude. This proved very helpful for me, as their natural chemistry is evident in all the moments I captured. Even with the massive ocean and expansive beach as a backdrop, the couple’s genuine affection still remained in the spotlight.
With no other people around, Emerald Bay remains as personal as it is gorgeous. You won’t have to worry about navigating noisy crowds or some kid trying to skimboard. The beach seems ripe for the taking, giving it that cinematic quality reserved for chick flics. Add to that a couple whose personally jumps off the picture, and the shots simply make themselves. Of course, Laguna Beach has plenty to offer outside of its more exclusive portions. There’s a lot to appreciate about the spots more accessible to the public, although you might have to get more creative with timing the session and your shot composition.
While the sand, sea and rocks provide more than enough scenery, adding some props to the shoot proved quite effective. The shots of Emma and Jake walking together carrying the blanket and the flowers made for some candid, natural spots. This was a very useful storytelling tool for me. These shots have an element of realism—like the couple is there to be with each other, not simply to pose for the camera.
It’s hard to come away from a Laguna Beach engagement session without some memorable pictures and is certainly a lot easier when documenting real moments of real love. It’s a real pleasure to bring people to a unique spot like Emerald Bay, and see how the two of them make the place their own. This shoot goes to show that, even when the ocean looks like heaven’s gate opening, the real joy of engagement shoots comes from capturing good, memorable experiences.