LBI Engagement at Barnegat Lighthouse: Michelle & Dan

Lighthouses, oceans and sunsets, oh my!

Michelle shared, “We absolutely loved the pictures Lisa took at Kristin and Brian’s wedding.  Even though we had attended the wedding and knew they had a rainy wedding day,  Lisa creatively found ways to capture incredible wedding photos. Kristin also told us that working with Lisa was one of the best choices she made when planning her wedding. At that point we knew we needed to schedule a meeting with Lisa!”

Dan added, “After meeting with Lisa, we quickly came to the realization that she was the photographer for us.  She really made our decision very easy!  She is passionate about her work and cares so much about her clients!”

Michelle continued, “Lisa is able to capture strong emotion in photos in such creative ways.  I also enjoyed the great mix of traditional and candid photos that really seemed to capture the personalities of the couples and was excited to see her work with Dan and I.”

I opened with one of those strong emotional photos during sunset, here is a more laid back moment of them walking onto the beach together– I wanted it to feel soft and relaxed and to show them walking in sync together.  I used a slow shutter and love how their shadow is super sharp and clear, too:

Michelle explained, “Dan and I have both always loved the beach and both grew up spending many summers at the Jersey shore with our families. Choosing Long Beach Island as a location for our photo shoot was easy. Dan’s parents have a beach house there and we both enjoy heading down for the weekend after a long work week to unwind whenever possible.”

Michelle shared, “Dan and I met in 4th grade when he transferred to St. Matthias, the Catholic school I attended. I actually had a bit of a crush on Dan in Junior high but most of our conversations were solely focused on our shared love of the New York Yankees.  We were in the same class for 3 years and looking back our teachers did actually sit us close by each other often  As teacher myself, I realize this was most likely done strategically as I listened in class and Dan was a little bit more of a cut up!  Fast forward about 8 years later and a mutual friend suggested we tried going out on a date. After some time I decided to give it a try even though the idea of going on a date with someone I’d only seen once since I was 14 was certainly a little out of the ordinary…”

She continued, “…but we immediately hit it off! I was draw to Dan’s great personality and sense of humor. Our love of the beach, good food, favorite vacation spots, and the continued shared interested of the Yankees have kept our relationship fun and exciting.  On July 13, 2019 things will really come full circle as we get married right across from the very place we met over 20 years ago!  We can’t wait!”

Dan shared, “After our 2nd date I already knew– I remember texting with my brother who was about to get married, that I knew I had found the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I have never felt so comfortable around someone else before, I felt like she could be my best friend.”

Haaaa I love to play with different photographic elements, if you take a closer look you’ll see their shadows…

Dan went on, “I remember during our vacation in Aruba being on the sunset cruise and feeling the happiest I had ever felt in my life, I think I must have taken about 50 photos and videos during the duration of the cruise so I could capture how happy I was in those moments knowing I had the best girl in the world.”

I love the intimate feel of this next photo– you can almost feel the soft grass and warm sunlight as Michelle reaches up on tip-toe to reach up to Dan:

They continued walking and I noticed these cute little seagull tracks… if you look closely you can see them following the tracks…

While I love capturing moments and emotions and personalities, I also like to mix it up and throw in a few more traditional portraits as well.

This was such an awesome find, for me visually– it was a nearly perfect circle of foliage at the end of a long tunnel of trees….

Michelle shared, “I wanted to go with a nautical look for our  photos and thought that a mix of beach photos and pictures at the Barnegat Lighthouse would be perfect for us!”

I love playing with different geographical elements like the beach or architectural finds like this iconic LBI lighthouse– the sunlight shone bright and golden on their faces…

Michelle fully embraced the preppy nautical look with the navy and white polka dots and lace, even shoes that incorporated “rope” detailing and a bracelet incorporating anchors.

She said, “I had the bracelet prior so that was the first piece I planned on incorporating. I tried on the polka dot pants at Banana Republic kind of on a whim and wound up loving them and then tried to work the rest of the outfit on that.”

I was head over heels for this golden light streaming in to this small section of foliage near the lighthouse.  I focused on the glow of the leaves and gave Michelle & Dan a bit of privacy, hehe:

These two were so sweet together, all smiles and laughs…

They were literally up for anything and I was like, “Hey would you be OK with hopping down onto the rocky pier and climbing down to the little sandy beach below?” They were totally game.  The sun was getting pretty intense at that time.

They were so comfortable and just themselves, surrounded in this pretty amber glow.  I’ll say that is a real benefit to having a longer engagement session, after a while you almost forget I’m there, haha!

Michelle leaned into Dan as they watched the sunset, the color was intense but I thought that this really came across better in black and white.  For me, you could see how proud Dan was to have Michelle by his side, how he respected her and cherished her and even protected her.  Michelle seemed so content and safe and loved and appreciated.  It was a beautiful moment.

We shoot off the seriousness and got back to playing, haha!  We went to this gazebo to watch the sun set.  I thought the shadows were so interesting!

We found these dandelions and they blew them like two kids, for me it was a “throwback” to 1997, being kids in elementary school together.

I’ll end the blog post with this shot of the two of them at the lighthouse together.  Somehow our timing was just perfect and this bird flew straight above and between the two of them!

Michelle and Dan, thanks so much for reaching out to me.  I think it’s so cool that I photographed you both as wedding guests and will soon photograph your Palace at Somerset wedding!  Thank you for sharing this special place with me and your love story!  I hope I did it justice and can’t wait to hear what you think of the photos!

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