Astrid and Ivan. These crazy-in-love souls are from Dublin, Ireland and had been hitchhiking from Alaska for three weeks when I stumbled upon them playing around at Crescent Beach on the Oregon Coast. The previous day I was photographing a couple on Cannon Beach, and the gal told me about this secluded beach that was simply incredible. Since I practice allowing things to arrive in their own time and travel without plans (for the most part), I knew Crescent Beach was where I was suppose to be on my last day exploring the PNW. The hike down from Ecola State Park was beautiful and serene in a canopy of lush green, but straight back up the mountain was a little less peaceful as I huffed and puffed the whole way back telling myself I was the little engine that could. I find myself constantly pushing past my limits with everything in life, and it is always worth it. You cannot grow in comfort, and I would have never experienced this place otherwise.
Each moment I experience in life holds more purpose than what one may see on the surface, and this photo shoot is no exception to that. Several things are being served with this encounter.
1.) Astrid and Ivan have their free-spirited love captured in these few frames. They have documented art of their time together in the States and will, hopefully, always remember the experience of just loving each other in this moment. Even if it's only a tiny glimpse of time.
2.) I pushed my boundaries by approaching strangers spotted in the distance and connected with kindred spirits. I randomly asked to photograph them because everything inside me wanted to capture their essence. It not only put me outside of my comfort zone and allowed personal growth, but it shows that my style and approach to photographing couples can put anyone at ease and allow genuine emotions to shine. Even those who are caught completely off guard by an excited lady on the beach with a camera in tow. Trust the process.
3.) My confidence grew knowing that I truly can shoot anywhere in any light. As a photographer, often I seek out the "ideal" spots or the shaded areas to reduce shadows and what not for a perfect picture. As my brand evolves and personal life the same, I realize there isn't such a thing as perfection, or if there is, I don't want to be a part of it. I want realness. I want in-the-moment. I want authenticity. I want love. It's the fundamentals of what Magnolia + Ember stands for. In the past, if given the option, I would have never ever opted for shooting in the middle of the day with harsh sun and no where to hide. The takeaway: I can fucking do it no matter what the lighting circumstance is. All I did was focus on the dynamic of their spark, and everything else involving the technical side of photography came naturally as it should.
This is it. I'm finally here. The brand I've craved for quite some time now is here in this moment. Hello, Magnolia.