There comes a time in my year when I'm slowly weaning off of my 2011 weddings and starting to look toward the future. It's a sad time and a happy time all rolled up into one big ball of tears and though I'd love to keep going on the journey with them forever, I thrive on those new interactions and meeting new people while in turn, getting the chance documenting their love. The thing that can really make that transition a heck of a lot easier though is when I find the couple that just gets it. Plain and simple. They know what they're looking for and they find my work and cling to it. They don't shop around to a million different photographers just to get the best deal. From the get-go they completely trust me to document their day and do it in the way that only I could. They're excited beyond belief for their journey and to have me tell their story. Jessica and Justin just GET IT. They GET ME and why I do what I do. And I have to say, I love them for that very reason. When I first saw Jessica and Justin walk in to Starbucks to meet with me a couple of months before this shoot, I knew it was game-over. They weren't even talking to me yet and she was already smiling and laughing with him. As we talked through their journey so far and where they've been and where they were headed, I knew I wanted to play a small role in whatever they had up their sleeves. I was completely enamored to be honest. They're simply that cool.
Fast forward a little bit to their engagement session. It's an incredibly beautiful and warm October night and we decided to meet at their great little home in Royal Oak. I was already a bit worried about how much time we'd have to actually shoot their photos as it was beginning to get dark so much earlier and we were getting a bit of a late start on our evening. My worries turned to fear when we got on the highway to go from Royal Oak to Detroit and traffic was at a dead stand-still. Naturally, if we didn't get a chance to shoot the photos it wouldn't be the end of the world, we could simply hit it another day. But it was seriously a PERFECT night for pictures and the weather was just going to go downhill after that, I just knew it. So here we are, completely stopped in traffic with seemingly nowhere to go and no pictures being taken. I left out one minor detail though, Justin is a Detroit Police Officer who really knows his way around the entire area. Before I knew it he had slapped a laminated paper in the window stating he was on "Official Police Business", told me to hang on, grabbed Jessica's hand and we were flying down the shoulder of the road. Great progress was made as we swerved in and out of traffic, down the shoulder, and down some sorely-neglected back streets with some angry fingers and cigarette butts thrown at the car all along the way. Needless to say, we were in Eastern Market for part 1 of the shoot sooner than I ever thought possible given the situation. No harm done and an even more exciting blog post to boot.
Before I knew it they were completely rocking my camera to a level I never expected. We gave Eastern Market a run for its money before hitting Belle Isle and the harbor for the Detroit Police Station for some awesome once-in-a-lifetime photo opps. Seriously, that place was teeming with opportunities for photos and that could be the first and last time I'll ever be allowed to shoot there. But I'm okay with that, because Jessica and Justin took every single location we hit and blew it up to the next level while having the most fun and sharing some of the most genuine love I've ever seen a couple share. If you can't tell, I was dang excited about this session. Just one of those ones that reminded me over and over again why I love my job so very much.
One of my favorite parts of my job is setting couples up in a given location that I think looks awesome, but then just letting them be themselves and not really posing or instructing them in any particular way. I put Jessica and Justin in front of this rad garage door and then just kind of stepped back and put the viewfinder up to my eye. This is what ensued:
Justin: What should we do? Jessica: Should we dance? Justin: Robot? Jessica + Justin: *immediate robot dance with included sound effects without hesitation or looking at each other*