Lindsay & Stephen went from clients to family almost instantaneously, we had so much fun running around wilmington making art and cool photos and talking about pad thai and movies. Also by happenstance Linsay is a writer, so I pitched her the idea of writing for their own blog and she graciously agreed!!!
So here is a beautiful written and humbling take on our session from the other side of the camera:
My fiancé and I are running late. We hate being late, so we’re very stressed out. When we finally do arrive at Crystal Pier in Wrightsville Beach (visiting from Charlotte), the two of us are frazzled to say the least - not a great state of mind to be in when we’re about to take our engagement photos.
Thankfully, Michael turns the corner to greet us both with smiles and warm hugs. He is unfazed by our tardiness and immediately makes us feel comfortable and excited for our shoot. He quickly takes in the scene, looking for where to place us. He’s ready.
It’s just after 6pm and there are lots of people around, but it feels like it’s just the three of us. Michael tells us exactly where and how to stand with each other, and every position feels comfortable and easy. There’s a lot of laughing, which helps me and Stephen relax (the bottle of wine we shared before the shoot helps, too).
We take so many pictures in so many different places, even though it’s all at the pier. On the pier, under the pier, in the reeds, by the lifeguard stand - so many different backdrops. So much variety.
And then, it’s time to go. I think we’re going to our second location (he told us we would get two locations - one for our casual outfit, and one for our dressy outfit). But we aren’t changing yet. Somehow, this second location is still part of our first location.
Michael moves fast and clearly has an eye for what he wants. He’s incredibly calm and chill, even though it must be stressful trying to get in all these outside photos before the sun goes down! The entire time, we’re talking to each other, getting to know each other, and having a great time. This is way more fun than Stephen and I could have ever expected.
After so many fun locations (which he [thankfully] considers only one location), we’re on to the night shoot. Michael gives us a ride in his car and we drive to downtown Wilmington. He wants to find us a bathroom to change our clothes - but we insist, we can change in his car. So while he gets out and gets his camera and all his gear ready, Stephen and I change into our nice outfits.
At this point, we feel like professionals. We know how to take Michael’s direction and we’re getting more comfortable in front of the camera. We’re just having so much fun! And the shots that he’s getting look like they’re going to be so cool!
After some shots by the water, we’re back in Michael’s car. He asks if there was anything particular we liked about his photos that we saw on his website. I immediately tell him, “Yes. I loved that picture of the couple standing in front of the pinball machines.” He responds, “OK, let’s go there.”
So we go to this rad bar called The Blue Post where you need a membership to get in. Michael flashes his membership card and we pass through. This place is made for photo shoots. So many little nooks and crannies, not to mention the awesome lighting. We order drinks - whiskey on the rocks for Stephen, an Old Fashioned for me, and a Modelo for Michael. Can’t take pictures in a bar without drinks in our hands!
The bar isn’t very crowded, which is perfect. We basically have free reign of the place. Michael doesn’t waste a single moment or a single area of space in the bar. If there’s a place for a good picture - he gets it. It’s incredible.
And just like it began, it’s over. It went by so fast! We were having too much fun!
What was supposed to be a 2-hour shoot turns into an 3.5 hour shoot. Michael has been so generous with his time and has treated us like the most important clients he’s ever had. And now he’s even driving us to our dinner reservation.
Obviously, we’re late to dinner. It seems to be our theme this evening. But unlike before, when we were frazzled and stressed out, we are now glowing in our post-engagement photo shoot bliss.
What a night. And what a guy!!