Cool winds and overcast skies characteristically greeted us when we arrived at Buda, Marilog District this March morning for a relaxed, intimate, and overall fun engagement shoot.
Ryan and Melissa, both teachers from the same university, had known each other for three years before deciding to make 2017 the year they were going to get married.
This was a laidback shoot-slash-road trip. Along with the couple, I was accompanied by my wife (who also served as our driver), my daughter (who assigned herself as PA and props “girl” to the couple), and two of the couple’s friends, who volunteered to serve as stylists and wardrobe assistants.
I was the photographer slash location scout. Good thing Buda offers plenty of postcard-worthy sceneries at every stopover.
A stretch of empty road, a man-made footbridge that stretched across a lake, a private strawberry farm, the rustic-themed Wildberry Diner, and the pine tree–lined dirt path leading to Our Lady of the Forest provided the perfect backdrop.
“Nothing too outlandish or too colorful” was my advice to the couple on choosing a wardrobe to bring for this shoot. “Wear something you’re comfortable posing in.”
A well-worn favorite sweatshirt, a lace dress in earth tones, and a denim jacket (lent by Melissa’s friend when the weather got too chilly in the afternoon) blended perfectly with Marilog’s cool, somber tones.
As for accessories? Just the engagement ring, a handful of wildflowers my daughter picked along the dirt path, and a wide-brimmed hat were all we needed. No complicated props or setups—I always prefer to make the subject’s genuine expressions shine through in each shot.
Simple, uncomplicated, laidback—my favorite shooting preference, and one that very much echoes this couple’s personality.