Before looking through Kelby and Evan’s photos, you should know three things.
One: their session happened to fall on the coldest day we’ve had this winter. I believe it was -30 windchill. Everything was covered with snow and ice, it was bitter cold, and there was an extremely punishing, Arctic wind hurtling into Connecticut to add insult to injury.
Two: Kelby and Evan live on Long Island, about a two-hour drive from New Haven.
Three: I gave them several opportunities to reschedule. They chose not to.
This is the kind of couple I was dealing with. I couldn’t have been happier.
Despite the seriously harsh conditions, the stage was set for truly remarkable photos. Coated in ice, everything glistened madly in the sun. The snow-covered lake provided the rare ‘blank slate’–a totally free, white backdrop we don’t often see in nature. And the sun, while certainly not warm, gave off a golden light that bounced everywhere off the snow and onto Kelby and Evan, lighting them with a clean, vibrant glow Hollywood studios often emulate. Despite the conditions, this was a seriously awesome day for an outdoor shoot.
They picked me up at my apartment and we drove together to Maltby Lakes, one of my favorite nearby locations. As Evan drove us there, Kelby talked with passion, deep knowledge, and confidence about her many passions: animals (dogs and horses in particular), ballroom dancing, performance…I knew she would be a blast to work with. She wasn’t afraid of the camera, as she has danced competitive ballroom, and knew her body and angles. She was outgoing and informative, clearly a force in the world. I LOVE being around people like Kelby.
Evan was quieter, but there was a strong sense of calm, contentment, and peace coming from him that totally put me at ease. There’s a way someone can support their partner without saying a word, and I found Evan doing that the entire time I was with them. Along with that, I sensed a deep compatibility between the two in the front seat. This was a couple that exemplified the phrase, ‘opposites attract.’ Two very different personalities: but, it seemed, one unified path and purpose. I also liked that they were so on-board with the opportunity to shoot in this white, sparkling world that they were willing to freeze their butts off to do it.
When I say these two were troopers, I MEAN they were freaking troopers. I was the only one truly dressed for the weather (I didn’t have to be photographed!) and I was freezing. They were dressed in things people being photographed would wear, meaning a) fewer layers and b) less coverage. Kelby’s ankles were showing, for god’s sake. But as you can see from their images, they managed to keep it together and keep their love strong and present in every shot. There is also an old-world elegance about this couple that made the dramatic surroundings all the more fitting for their bold personal style.
I loved spending time with you, Kelby and Evan, and I love these images.