We took quite a fun trip for Victoria and John’s destination engagement session recently! From our initial consultation with these two, they were blown away by our unique night sky portraits, primarily because they are real, un-photoshopped, and amazing to experience in-person! When they learned that they can easily upgrade their engagement session to a night-sky engagement session, they immediately said YES, let’s do it! When comparing all of the locations around Florida that treasure their dark skies, we all picked the panhandle area! Photographers Michael and Steven have been to a town called Mexico Beach for a wedding in the past, and were surprised to find the milky way hovering above their wedding venue in plain sight! This area of Florida is particularly charming; home to the historic oyster capital town of Apalachicola, and beautiful natural forest and gulf coastline! With all of this in mind, we packed up a car full of camera gear, booked an Airbnb just outside of the Apalachicola area (summertime don’t forget!), and began our road trip!!
What’s great about these upgraded engagement sessions is that you still get plenty of daylight session time with your photographer, so couples get hand-on posing and photo experience, very similar to what we’ll ask for on the wedding day! This ‘practice’ is invaluable to relieving some natural photo-anxiety on the big day, and when we get the chance to travel, get some amazingly different scenery as your backdrop! Once we checked in and got settled, we picked our closest photogenic location and made our way to our night sky destination! Our first stop was St Andrews State Park, home to pristine coastline, pine forest, and plenty of beach-goers lol!! We didn’t linger long in this area due to lack of shade, but we certainly encouraged Victoria and John to take a dip into the beautiful clear Gulf water! Steven maaaaay have joined them as well! We packed up, did a quick outfit change, and began driving to Apalachicola!
Apalachicola provides such a beautiful old-school, historic Florida town as a backdrop! We wanted to make sure Victoria and John had a bit of architecture to their session, so Apalachicola was a perfect choice! We walked around the town getting a great variety of engagement photos, helping them both get comfortable in front of the camera! These two were honestly naturals though, and it was so fun learning about them, their families, and what they’re planning for their wedding day next year at Highland Manor! These sessions are such a great opportunity to really get to know each other and become friends before the big day! We kept photographing, even through sunset, and photographer Steven gave that double-exposure technique a try, we hope Michael approves!!
After the sun went down, we grabbed a quick dinner, then proceeded to a particular location called Indian Pass, right on the water! This area is home to a casual campground, most popular for fishing, boating, and family camping! However, what they might not know is that they happen to be sitting underneath one of the darkest night skies in all of mainland Florida!! When we arrived and got out of the car, the stars were out, and Victoria began tearing up with joy!! That meant so much to me, they were absolutely blown away by such a natural night sky! Unfortunately, as we finished setting the equipment up, clouds began moving in quickly and put a halt to our session! However, Victoria and John opted to wait it out! We didn’t realize that might take at least three hours, but they were absolute champs with the waiting game! We even had to break all of our gear down due to a quick rain-storm not even on the radar! After the storm, though, it finally began clearing up, and we set it all up again and started capturing! When we capture dark sky portraits, we ask the couple to stand or sit perfectly still, so they look sharp in the images! Victoria and John were SO perfect through this process, and we are so proud of the end result!! The clouds cleared up just enough to show off our milky way galaxy high above!! We even captured a few meteors, and even though we couldn’t capture it easily, we noticed bio-luminescence in the water; it was absolutely beautiful!! Taking couples to rare, dark sky locations like this are such a treat for us, and we LOVE educating people about light pollution and ways to prevent it! Be sure to visit the International Dark Sky Association’s website for an endless amount of knowledge on light pollution’s effects on human health, wildlife health, public safety, and economic impacts! It’s well worth the read! Places like this are very remote, and so rewarding to experience! We can’t thank Victoria and John enough for helping plan this panhandle adventure, and we hope they enjoy their sneak peek!
Tags: apalachicola florida, dark sky photographer, florida night sky, indian pass campground, international dark sky association, light pollution, milky way galaxy, milky way wedding photographer, night sky wedding photographer, orlando night sky photographer, st andrews state park