Ari and Stephanie are the types of people you immediately want to be friends with. This cool couple brought a little edginess and a lot of laughter to their engagement shoot. Ari and Stephanie chose to do a sunset session with a hint of southwestern influence at the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve in Oroville, California.
The rugged terrain of North Table Mountain in July offered some unique photo opportunities for this adventurous pair. We started the session with a long hike to capture some shots of Ari and Stephanie among the dried grasses and rolling basalt (lava rock) hills. We then stumbled upon some beautiful vernal pools. These seasonal pools are created when rainwater becomes trapped by the underlying basalt and typically have evaporated by this point in the summer. We took advantage of these dramatic reflecting pools and captured some stunning shots of Ari and Stephanie.
We headed back towards the trail where Ari and Stephanie did a quick wardrobe change. Stephanie works for the Chico founded international clothing retailer Lulus—which means their outfits were absolutely on point. Ari and Stephanie remained so joyful through all our spelunking and despite a surprising amount of grasshoppers jumping all around us. These two told me before their shoot that they are super awkward taking photos but as you can see they were anything but. We found a field of tall dried wildflowers that accented Ari and Stephanie’s free-spirited vibe perfectly.
Ari and Stephanie’s session lasted long enough after sunset that we got to enjoy the blue hour. This period of twilight just before dusk leaves enough natural light to capture crystal clear subject shots while the sky shifts to deeper hues of blue and purple. The low hanging full moon was a beautiful guest in many of our final shots.
Ari and Stephanie ended the session by popping a bottle of champagne. A previous client let me in on a trick to get the perfect celebratory spray– You hold your thumb over the top of the open champagne bottle, give it a shake, then move your thumb slightly, like you would a garden hose, to let out just a little bit of champagne… Ari pulled the stunt off wonderfully and created a superb spray of bubbles. I was able to capture a great series of photos and turn those shots into a fun gif. It was a terrific end to Ari and Stephanie’s uniquely bohemian and perfectly romantic engagement session.