Flashback! Irene and Mario were one of my first couples to shoot and what better place to shoot their engagement at Sutro Baths in San Francisco! To be exact they were my third couple ever and I felt great with everything. To give you guys a brief history of my photography career, I started off getting ALL of my gigs on Craigslist…well, like 90% of them. Though it may sound sketch, I was able to meet all types of amazing people who I still keep in contact today. Though I wouldn’t recommend this to new photographers, I must say that I learned a lot from taking these gigs on Craigslist! You might be asking, “Jacob, what the heck does this have to do with this blog???”. Well let me tell you, Irene and Mario were one of my first Craigslist clients and play a HUGE part in me taking this path as a wedding/engagement photographer. Prior to shooting Irene and Mario’s engagement, I only had experience with two other engagement shoots who happen to be some old friends of mine. Though those first two shoots came out decent, I felt that this particular shoot was like a rite of passage; after doing this shoot I felt really comfortable working with couples. How did I do it? LOTS OF RESEARCH AND OBSERVING! Weeks before Irene and Mario’s official shoot date, I joined a bunch of Facebook groups that mostly contained wedding and engagement photographers. This opened up a whole new world for me. Before joining these groups, I didn’t really have an opinion on wedding and engagement photographers. I would think that they just took pictures of couples and families at weddings. But as I mentioned earlier, these groups contained TALENT. They were mixing stuff I learned about landscape and portrait photography but with couples! It opened my eyes to creating visual stories. I found this amazing and wanted to do just that when it came to Irene and Mario’s engagement session.
Irene and Mario were amazing. I already had envisioned what I wanted to do with them before the session. We did the shoot fairly early in the morning at 9AM. It was Spring time in San Francisco and was freezing with Karl the Fog lingering around. Perfect. We started off at the pool, a well-known spot for pictures with beautiful reflections. Although I was about 60 feet away from the couple, they were able to hear my poses as I shouted them out. I’m sure other lurkers thought this was funny…or that I was crazy! At one moment, there were a flock of seagulls, I felt that this was the best shot from that pool set.
After we got done with the pool, we found what looked to be maybe abandoned, brick bathhouses(?). The rustic, abandoned brick looked so good with the Karl the Fog! Here I was directing poses, trying to explain scenes from a movie. This was something new that I have never done prior. I learned this by observing photosets from those Facebook groups. Irene and Mario picked up very well on it and had a good time with it! Irene and Mario did a quick outfit change before moving to our next spot.
We then walked up to Lands End and found some private parts in the woods. Upon walking around in the woods, there was this BEAUTIFUL spot the looked out into the ocean. The spot looked as if trees had been purposely separated to create a natural window looking out to Pacific Ocean. Because of all the fog, it was completely white with no visibility of the ocean whatsoever. I was able to create some nice silhouettes here and went for a minimalistic vibe. We ended our shoot with some floor poses. Irene would lie in Mario’s body, I just told them to imagine that you are on a date. They did just that, they ignored me and the poses came naturally.
Irene and Mario, thank you so much for this moment. Thank you for being you. Thank you for giving me a chance and opening my eyes to this path. I wish y’all the best!