Not many people have arranged for surprise wedding photos, but Dennis is a smart man. He and his long time fiance Esther have been together nearly 30 years, and the recently decided to legally tie the knot.
They decided to have the ceremony at the Justice of the Peace with only a few guests present. As far as Esther knew, they would get dressed up, say their vows, and have a nice dinner out afterward. Dennis, however, had other plans. He had contacted me a week and a half in advance to talk about photographing them after the ceremony at a local park and surprise his new bride Esther. It had been a couple of decades since they had professional photos taken of them, and he knew she would be thrilled to have new ones taken, especially on their long-awaited wedding day. Dennis scouted local parks and found a beautiful one in Cleveland that has a lake, walking trail, gazebo, and lots of beautiful trees. We arranged a time for the photo session, giving them plenty of time to drive to the park for a “Walk around the lake” with his new bride.
Because I had never been to the park, I got there about 40 minutes before our meeting time to scout potential locations to shoot photos at. With the beautiful arched bridges and beautiful forest surrounding the area, that wasn’t hard to do. I selected one remotely-triggered speed light with an umbrella and a stand to use as off-camera lighting and my favorite on-camera flash and lenses and waited for the happy couple to show up.
It didn’t take Esther long to understand what Dennis had arranged. Not only had he surprised her with a wedding day photo session, but he also surprised her with a beautiful bouquet and flowers for his lapel. She was thrilled and stunned to learn that Dennis had went to such lengths to set the surprise up so perfectly. They only had an hour to stay because of a dinner reservation so we had to get working immediately. We worked our way from location to location with efficiency, so as to allow us to get the maximum number of photos possible taken while not rushing anything. Having my gear set up and ready to go helped speed things along, and Dennis and Esther were wonderful subjects to photograph.
The love between the newly-married couple is so easy to see in these photos. One of the poses we made sure to capture recreates the pose in Esther’s favorite photo of them taken nearly 30 years ago. It is always so sweet to see a couple so obviously in love with each other and Dennis and Esther were radiant with affection.