A cloudy and rainy day was upon us as I got ready to shoot Michael and Veronica’s engagement photos. Around 12:00 I considered cancelling the shoot because I was not sure that the weather would hold out for us, but I’m glad that I didn’t. The shoot took place as scheduled at 4:00 PM at Hanford Ranch Winery Inc. in Galt, California. This is a beautiful location on a hilltop overlooking grape fields which circles the winery. This is a great venue choice for anyone in the Sacramento and Stockton area to hold their wedding. Veronica, Michael, my assistant (Ashley) and I did a lot of walking through the property on that day and I was impressed by all of the possibilities for great portraits that are there. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is possible.
The property has a cute wooden bridge that is one of the highlights of the outdoor terrace area. That is where we decided to start with the photos. I first posed Michael and Veronica atop the bridge and we took several shots. One of my go-to poses is the couple touching heads and gazing into each other’s eyes. It normally takes a few poses to break the ice with couples and to get a groove going for portrait taking. But Veronica and Michael were in such an obviously good mood without a care in the world for the less than ideal weather. I could see the love in their eyes and their happiness to have found each other. Needless to say it didn’t take long for these two to feel comfortable and to start getting great shots.
Next we moved further down the property following the main path. We used the path and surrounding landscape as the background for several other photos, focusing mainly on announcing the couples’ wedding date in October 2018.
At this point, the Sacramento valley sky began to reveal a golden sunset that photographers always strive to capture in these kind of photos. I was able to snap some portraits of Michael and Veronica in this golden sunlight.
I’ve heard people say that the way to look into the soul of a person is through their eyes. Looking through my lens into Veronica and Michael’s eyes, I could see the happiness that fills their soul as they giggled with each other. I tried to capture these candid shots so that they might always remember the excitement they felt in this moment.
Eventually, the sun started disappearing and the golden sky gave way to an amber tint. This was the perfect condition to take some silhouette style shots before I added my flash into the mix to fully light their faces. Michael and Veronica were great about humoring me with my different posing and lighting ideas.
As we were concluding our evening, I asked Michael and Veronica to sit on the top of the hill facing the sun and positioned so that I could capture this unique tree that has probably seen more than a few couples peer out on it as they celebrate their wedding day. I always like these kind of shots because it feels like they are looking into their future, imagining their lives together.
A golden sunset that lasts for over an hour is rare, and is more precious than gold to photographers. What started out as a gloomy rainy day, turned out to be the ideal conditions for capturing Veronica and Michael’s love. I like to think that it all worked out for Veronica and Michael, as a sign of the bright skies ahead for them. Can’t wait to capture their wedding day at this gorgeous venue, Hanford Ranch Winery Inc.