Where do I begin with this one? When I tell you that this was one of the most adventurous engagement shoots I have ever been on it could easily be perceived as an understatement once I get done telling you how it went down.
About a week before the shoot I had decided that, since they wanted to have their shoot at the shore in Cape May, NJ, we would take an hour and a half long drive down from our hometown and stop at different shoot locations on the way. You see, I find that when Im driving around to and from places, I notice so many different locations where I can't help but envision a couple placed perfectly in them, so that's exactly what I proposed to them: that they'd follow me down and I would stop at different spots that caught my eye.
A day before I got a message from Kaitlin saying that the weather might be an issue and I had thought the same thing myself, but remained optimistic as I always do. Give me any situation and I'll do my best to make it creative and unique. That's my motto. And what a motto to have had to keep this incredible shoot from taking a rain check.
We started off heading south as the clouds were heavy (providing a nice diffused light, might I add) and the rain holding to a steady mist. I found my first location in Hammonton, NJ where there were nice old 50's styled buildings and train tracks. We made it work and the weather played no factor in the least. Right then and there I knew that the day wasn't going to be hindered by anything, especially the weather.
That's exactly how it went, from place to place, each a new stage for ideas and creativity. All of the spots we stopped at were completely different which made the shoot so much more fun and interesting.
All in all, it took us a little over 2 hours to reach our destination (Kaitlin's parents shore house) so we decided to take a break and order some lunch. While eating and watching the radar to see what the rest of the day looked like, the rain really started coming down. We looked at each other and laughed knowing full well that if it kept up like this there would be no hope to finish the shoot at this last and most important location. We told ourselves we'd wait it out, but after an hour I started getting concerned with how much light we'd have left by the time we got back out there.
The rain seemed to have let up a bit so we thought taking a ride into the center of town to scope out locations and be ready for them once the rain stopped would be a smart move. Just then, the thunderous roar of a waterfall (or so it seemed) erupted on the roof - Just our luck. They looked at me with concerned smiles and I shrugged as if the options of making this successful were sliming with every drop. Just then, I had an idea. I looked across the room at an umbrella by the door and said, "come with me". My optimism to make art out of rain prevailed as you'll see and I'm so glad it did.
Under the most torrential rain South Jersey has seen in years a newly engaged couple stood under their umbrella embracing each other. Camera aside, it was one of the most beautiful moments I had ever been a part of. Yelling through the deafening downpour to tell them to kiss was our biggest challenge (lol), but all in all, the shot came out completely beautiful and the risk was small in comparison to the reward.
We continued to ride into town despite the rain and posted up for a few drinks at a local tavern. We waited and waited, but it never subsided so I planned to reschedule in a couple of months to finish up with them. From there, we drove back to the house, said our goodbyes, and I was off.
Literally, 15 minutes into the drive, I looked into my rearview and saw a line in the sky which which looked like a high-pressure front bringing warm air and clear skies. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?", I said to myself. Right then I got a frantic call from Kaitlin saying, "Dave! The skies literally just cleared up! I don't believe it!". Damn straight I turned around and we finished the entire shoot in the beautiful sunshine.
We stuck with it, period. I never would've thought, given all of the obstacles that we ran into that day, that one of the most amazing and adventurous shoots would've come out of it. I'm so glad we made the choice to go ahead with it and I can't wait to shoot their wedding this June :)
Have a look!