Asbury Park Beach Engagement: Michelle & Jim

You can almost feel the ocean breeze with this fun engagement session–  Michelle & Jim explored a rocky pier together, took in some colorful art and just hung out in one of their favorite places, the beach and boardwalk at Asbury Park

Michelle reached out to me looking for a natural, personalized photography experience.  She said, “We both liked that you weren’t a big company and that you were so personable.  We also liked that you seem to capture more natural moments in your photos, but can also take great more traditional, posed shots, too.”

I started out with a natural moment,  Michelle & Jim are silhouetted in the reflection of a shop on the boardwalk in the photograph above.  The image below is a more traditional photo of the two of them in front of one of the murals along the boardwalk.  If you look closely you can see that the art work is made up of numbers…

I really liked the texture of the boardwalk with its sand and ocean-worn wood and thought it would really provide a sense of location for the photograph of Michelle’s engagement ring.  I also thought that the more gritty look of the boardwalk would really make the intricate detailing of the ring stand out…

I travel quite a bit (NYC, DC, etc) capturing couples favorite places and spaces and really enjoyed having the beach backdrop to work with for Michelle & Jim’s session.

Michelle explained their choice of location saying, “We both love the beach and spending time outside. Any day we have free in the summer we try to go down and enjoy a day there. We even go down off season for lunch or dinner and to go sit/walk on the beach.”

She continued, “We love Asbury Park because it offers more to do than just sit on the beach, there are plenty of little places nearby not to mention the historic buildings and murals are fun and interesting to look at.”

You will see quite a few of those elements in the photos to come– as they walked down the board walk I made sure to capture the unique, historic architecture!

Michelle explained a bit of the backstory of their history of the beach sharing, “Jim was never one for the beach but he went along with me and now he loves going.”  I thought this shot of Michelle pulling him in was kind of perfect for that comment, haha!

I love the soft, romantic feeling of this photograph…
Michelle shared, “Jim is incredibly caring and knows how to make me feel calm. When I am stressed about anything he knows just what to say and do.”

Jim shared,  “Michelle is loving, honest and selfless.  I see that in her dedication towards her work and friendships.”

I love incorporating art into engagement sessions— it gives me so much to work with visually.  Here Michelle & Jim are met with a kaleidoscope of color at one of the stunning Asbury Park murals.

Jim shared, “Michelle & I work so well together.  We make have similar goals and lifestyles and make each other laugh.” 😉

He continued, “We always enjoy each other’s company, whether we are doing something more intimate like cooking together or watching a movie or out and about golfing, skiing or attending each others’ sporting games and events.  We happily maintain an open and honest relationship.”  It shows!

I love the intimate feeling of this photograph, part of it is their expressions as they are so comfortable together and Michelle’s natural look, it is also my choice of lens and angle… I focused right on Michelle’s beautiful eyelashes and wisps of hair.   😉

I told you the art was cool!  Here they are posing by a vintage boombox piece– it’s so fun!

Speaking of fun, Michelle explained, “For as much as we enjoy quiet moments together we also like going on adventures…”

They snuck under the pier and were surprised to find stalactite-like formations created by the salt water.  The water had washed a temporary wooden fence under the pier as well and I used it to give them some privacy…

I like to capture interesting perspectives throughout the session and here I climbed up a balcony to get a birds eye view on the happy couple.  

It was quite a windy day and Michelle’s hair blew in front of her face, Jim smiled and tucked it behind her ear, such a sweet moment…

Michelle explained, “One of our most memorable adventures is hiking up Mount Washington together.  It was something I had always considered to be a lofty task.  Jim is athletic, so I was excited to have someone to try it with.  I brought up the idea and he was on board immediately!”

Jim offered, “I had never really done much hiking before, Michelle told me I’d need hiking boots, so I started to figure this was going to be more intense than I had expected.  Eventually I came to realize that it is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States!!!”

They shared, “One thing we learned after climbing a mountain together is we can go on adventures, take on challenging goals and be there to help each other achieve them, every step of the way.”

They continued,  Over the course of the hike, we encountered difficult situations that required teamwork, communication, and patience. While these situations could have easily led to an argument or us giving up on hiking further, we worked together to come up with a solution and ultimately reach our goal.  Hiking the mountain was a testament of our commitment to one another.”

Michelle and Jim summed it up, saying, “”We love each other more than anything and will always be there to help each other succeed, through the easy and the tough.”

Take a closer look to find Michelle & Jim elegantly silhouetted in the photograph below…

Michelle & Jim, thank you so much for reaching out to me to photograph your incredible engagement photos at Asbury Park!  I think it was the perfect location for you two as there was so much to explore together and you two were in your natural element!  I cannot wait to photograph your wedding next year at The Palace and Somerset Park!

KateJuly 7, 2017 - 12:26 pm

Hi Lisa –

I had met you very briefly during this afternoon photo shoot. I was having coffee with a co-worker when you. Michelle, and Jim walked into Convention Hall. I am blown away by your photography. Just beautiful. If you are ever down by Long Beach Island, be sure to stop in the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce to say hello!
Have a great day! 🙂

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