Desert lifestyle shoot | Engagement photography

desert lifestyle shoot

Desert Lifestyle Shoot | Engagement Photography

I remember being a kid and listening to the U2 album Joshua Tree, I was very intrigued by the name. I didn't know it was a place, at first I didn't know it was a tree, I just thought it was Joshua's Tree or something like that (I lived in England, far from any desert btw). Anyway fast forward to 2010 and my first visit to Joshua Tree and I'm so much more fascinated by the place than ever before, I have been going ever since. So naturally the chance to do a lifestyle shoot in Joshua Tree, Camping out with these two fine folks came along I was pretty stocked. This Desert lifestyle shoot was for them, an engagement shoot, but without a set time frame to work within and with an emphasis on capturing images in a more natural, free flowing way, upon the epic desert landscape of Joshua Tree. It ended up being very easy going and totally enjoyable, of course. It was a total flip from the usual engagement shoot approach. Most of my shoots, even if only an hour long are pretty chilled. I don’t like to put anybody in awkward and uncomfortable positions and situations, which can be a challenge when you only have 1 hour to give your couple the images they want. I think that when you put a time limit on a shoot like this it kind of kills the authenticity of "natural". Portraits are great, don’t get me wrong, but some need/want that natural approach and for those couples doing what these guys did might be a perfect option.

Documentation of a time in life, of you being you, fresh and in love, is my preferred way of photographing a couple. Personally, having been on the other end of both types of shoots, portraits & lifestyle, I preferred doing my own thing and not being told how to be, so the lifestyle shoot was a big win, and I’m a photographer. A few years have past since, the photographs that captured me and my wife being us and doing what we do are the ones we treasure most, the portraits on the other hand, well I can’t find them, which says it all doesn’t it.

Anyway, here are just a few images from this Desert lifestyle shoot, check out those stars! A plus side to these shoots is that portraits are inevitable in between moments anyway, unless you go 100% documentation. So why not plan a weekend trip to a place to close to not take advantage of, Joshua Tree being one of those places.

desert trip joshua tree stars photography

We came to Party!! | What your wedding guests really want

People Party Hard

wedding reception ideas

Here is something to mull over as you plan your wedding day. I asked random guests at 4 different weddings this question:

-What did you most look forward to for this wedding?

Being democratic and not wanting this little side project to interfere with my work as a wedding photographer, I was totally random with the people I asked this question to and when I asked it. I didn’t write any of this down mind you. Here are the best responses, the gist of them anyway.

A - The Party, eating good food, drinking lots of booze. It’s kind of a reunion for me and many others. We came to party and celebrate with the couple

A - My state doesn’t allow me to smoke weed. I came to blaze, party, and to look for a new place of work in California

A - Food and Drink and no kids.

A - Dancing with my girls again!!!

A - The trip to California and enjoying my time here

A - This is my job (very well dressed vendor, perhaps wedding crasher, or maybe a paid date)

A - The pre-party, the party, the after-party, and the party the morning after.

best wedding receptions

Most of the weddings I photograph tend to have amazing dance parties. The kind of wedding party you would totally crash if you had a chance to. It tends to be the reason I stick around for so long because the dance parts are so good, the DJ’s are killing it and it’s bouncin! I’m often faced with the question at 1 am, should I leave now, so I ask myself, do I want to go home, to bed? No. I’m I going to a better party somewhere else? No. Is this quite possibly the best place to be right now? Yes.

Wedding Parties are the best kind of party. Which got me thinking, just how big of a deal is the party and dancing to guests because it always looks like everybody is loving them, going all out bustin moves. I’m sure if I was the church wedding photographer photographing dry weddings under the watchful eye of God/Jesus then the answer would have been totally different. Thankfully these are my kind of people. 

wedding dancing