A boho inspired Mogollon Rim Engagement Session.
Woods Canyon Lake shines like a jewel on Mogollon Rim. It’s surrounded by ponderosa pines and the rust colors characteristic of Northern Arizona, the perfect setting for a couple that wanted a romantic yet casual look for their Mogollon Rim engagement session.
So we headed 30 miles east of Payson to spend a day taking advantage of the awesome views, wooded lakeshore, and natural backdrops to create relaxed portraits with that “it’s only us” feel.
The bride-to-be wore a flowing cream-colored dress by Free People with a dramatic, low-cut back. Elegant yet casual, she was perfectly dressed for the boho aesthetic we were going for. Her fiance wore coyote-tan pants and a button-down blue shirt. For a few shots, he rolled up his sleeves to show off his forearm tattoos, each of which was more than simple body art; they helped tell his story.
I love it when my clients choose clothing that doesn’t steal the scene, though this couple could have worn anything short of Elvis costumes without distracting from the obvious magnetism that draws them together.
There’s usually a light wind on the Mogollon Rim, and that day it played with her long, slightly mussed chestnut hair. Her gold disc earrings brought out the matching highlights and added a touch of “dress up” to her outfit. The late afternoon glow enhanced her bare shoulders and gorgeous skin, contrasting against the light haze from forest fires further north. (They did, after all, want Arizona’s character to be part of their engagement photos!) In keeping with the natural beauty surrounding her, she barely wore makeup—if she did at all. She didn’t need to; her gorgeous smile lit up her face. And you can see how it lit up his, especially in those close-ups when they’re leaning into one another.
As if I weren’t even present, intruding on their moment.
That’s my approach, really. I stand back and let my engagement couples interact as they normally do. I’ll use a variety of lenses to make it look like I’m right there when I’m actually off a short distance. I might give them a little direction, but it seems more natural when they’re left to do their own thing.
And since I spend time with my clients to build a good rapport, they don’t feel awkward when I’m around.
Engagement photography sessions should be fun and laid back, from the time we jump in the car to head out to the time when we get back home. And it’s always better when my clients are as great to work with as this couple.
I really enjoy photographing those places that hold meaning to my clients. I get to see new locations through their eyes, and through my engagement photography sessions, they get to see themselves through mine.
It’s couples like these who remind me why I love my job so much, and why I’m so lucky to be a Phoenix-based wedding, engagement, and elopement photographer.
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