Most Tampa wedding photographers would agree with me that Don Cesar Hotel is an incredible wedding venue – gorgeous architecture, stunning interior and of course the beautiful beach with perfect sunsets right behind it. All this makes the Don a true gem and an exciting spot for wedding photography. However, shooting engagement sessions at this resort is even more fun. Unlike weddings, engagements give us, wedding photographers, plenty of time to really explore the venue to its fullest. Add to that a couple who really enjoys picture taking and you have an evening of fun most wedding photographers live for!
Visiting Tampa Bay from Louisville, Ronnie and Lindsey were staying at the Don when one evening Ronnie revealed to his fiancee the real reason there came here – he asked her to marry him! Capturing the couple’s excitement was easy – emotions were strong and everybody around could tell how passionate they were about one another! Our session began inside because the sun was still a bit strong, yet the amount of light we were getting through the large windows of the hotel’s corridors was just perfect. There were not many tourists in the lobby that evening which allowed us get the most use of the Don’s awesome interior. Once the time got closer to the sunset, Lindsey and Ronnie changed and we went out on the beach.
When couples suggest the beach as an engagement spot I always try to incorporate at least one more place which would differ in feel and style from the beach. Beach is fun, don’t get me wrong, but there is only so much you can do with the sun, water and sand. And that’s one of the things I like about engagement locations such as Don Cesar – it offers such a variety of scenery without the need to travel to different places. In and around the Don you get to photograph with beautiful architecture in the background, while few steps away on the beach it’s a completely different feel.
Additionally, I often try to alternate the approach I’m using from one location to another. While inside the hotel I mostly directed and posted the couple, the moment we stepped on the beach I completely switched gears. It all became about interaction between Lindsey and Ronnie – they walked, talked, ran, goofed around and simply had lots of fun. By this time they felt a lot more comfortable in front of the camera and the shooting as well as their interaction was flowing very naturally. Half an hour later, as the sun touched the horizon we finished our session with a series of awesome sunset shots and wrapped it up with few pictures featuring Don Cesar in the background.
Here are few of my favorites from that day, hope you enjoy them!