The "Love Story" Adventure The Essential Engagement Portrait - part 1 of 1 2 3

Published 01/12/1999


Text and Photography by Ferdinand Neubauer

It's 5:45 AM. I am to meet Tanya and Josh at a designated area at the beach in New Jersey. It is my first time at this particular beach. In fact, it is my first meeting with them. Elaine, my office manager, booked their wedding months earlier and they asked what the photographer looked like, so she showed them a portrait of me and my wife on the beach. The portrait she showed them was a 24x30 canvas that was taken at sunrise. Tanya's mom really loved the portrait. She asked if we could do a similar photograph of her daughter and Josh on the beach.

After talking to Tanya by telephone, since they were presently living in Texas, we agreed on a time and day that they could fly back and do their engagement "Love Story" portrait session. Since the beach is over three hours from my house, I left the day before and stayed over in Atlantic City.

The next morning when I arrived at our designated meeting place, they were already there, waiting enthusiastically for me.

Upon meeting them, I found them to be a beautiful and warm, friendly and adventurous couple. They thoroughly enjoyed the photo session and had as much fun as I did taking the photographs. As it turned out, several of their photographs won multiple awards in state and international photo competitions, including WPPI's Awards of Excellence print competition.


I truly enjoy photographing people in love who appreciate and enjoy fine photography; people who aren't afraid of doing that little bit extra to get a truly fine portrait, one that will be enjoyed for generations.

Toni and Joe were another adventurous and fun couple. They were getting married in my area but lived in New York City, so they asked if we could do their engagement Love Story portrait there.

As with Tanya and Josh, I hadn't met them yet. They also came in on a Saturday, while I was doing a wedding and met with Elaine, my office manager, to book us to do their wedding. After talking to Toni by telephone, we raphing early in the morning.

We left for New York in the afternoon and Toni and Joe were going to meet us at the hotel and we would start shooting early the following morning. Since we were going to start in Central Park and do a lot of walking, I took along Tom, my assistant. I usually do the Love Story portrait by myself but in this case, carrying all my equipment and keeping an eye on it would have been difficult.

I had never been to Central Park before so when we got there we just started walking. I looked for areas that I liked, and which had good lighting.

With me, this has been a very successful way of finding great photographs. Be prepared, scout around and when the time and place is right, look for the best composition, place your subjects and start photographing. If I had walked around the park looking for the right locations, then gone back later to photograph, by the time I returned, the lighting may have changed and I would have lost an opportunity to capture a great photograph.

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1st Published 01/12/1999
last update 07/04/2022 09:10:28

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