Summer and Mike were up for adventure since the moment we met them at our initial wedding consultation! We started talking about our engagement sessions before they even booked, and they were immediately intrigued with our Starry Night experiences!! Without hesitation, they said YES let’s do it, and we began our planning!! Photographer Steven has been so excited for this session, and made sure to arrive early to our dark sky location, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida’s only official dark sky park! Summer and Mike arrived shortly after, and we got started capturing their daytime portion of their engagement session! We took them around the park, taking advantage of great light, open prairie, and plenty of wildlife and wildflowers! These two are serious naturals in front of the camera, we really didn’t need to help them with posing!
We finished their portraits just prior to sunset, which gave them both time to freshen up and change into more comfortable clothes, while Steven started a quick campfire! The benefit of having our session at Kissimmee Prairie is that we include a campsite with the session, so we can grill food over our own fire! We relaxed, enjoyed the fire, and ate some dinner as we watched the sun set, and the stars emerge! We were so lucky to have a clear evening, considering the spontaneity of Florida weather in the summer!
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve was designated as Florida’s only dark sky park by the International Dark Sky Association! This means that Kissimmee Prairie is one of the few locations left in Florida where you can still see a sky full of stars and our own Milky Way Galaxy overhead, with the naked eye! The park is located just far enough away from our light polluting towns and cities to avoid much of their skyglow, resulting in an inspirational view above! Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we always recommend Starry Night Sessions in the summer, as we face the beautiful core of our Milky Way Galaxy in the summer evenings, vs daytime in the winter! However, here in Florida, that translate to hot and humid, and buggy!! Other than the bugs, we were very surprised at how comfortable it was outside during our session! Summer and Mike were absolute troopers with the bugs though, as mosquitos are frequently saying hello as we have them pose for each photo lol!! However, we are VERY happy with how still they held, and we captured some amazing portraits as a result! We even accepted the challenge to incorporate one of their favorite props, based on the Harry Potter series! We always take these opportunities to explain the perils and problems of light pollution, and how we can all do our part to minimize our impact with artificial light at night! Natural darkness benefits every living being on Earth, including ourselves, so we owe it to our planet to keep our environment as dark as possible at night! We can’t thank Summer and Mike enough for joining us on this adventure, and we’re so excited for their wedding day soon at Club Lake Plantation, in Apopka!
Starry Night Photographer: Steven Miller of Steven Miller Photography Orlando
Dark Sky Engagement Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Orlando Wedding Venue: Club Lake Plantation Wedding Venue, Apopka
Non-Profit Dark Sky Designation: International Dark Sky Association