Framed: Dancing in the Water

This shot was taken a few years ago and will always be one of my favorites. Before I talk about why I like it so much, I’m going to give you a little of the backstory as to how this shot came to be.

This was taken during Cherry and Matt’s engagement session a few years ago. This beautiful young couple wanted something with a lot of variety so we decided to have an engagement that was a blend of urban and nature settings. Cherry is a great local photographer so I knew she had an eye for what really looks good, which really got me excited because she brought a lot of great ideas to the table as well. We started in downtown Des Moines and moved around to a few locations until we felt we has satisfied our appetite for urban settings. I was really liking the way the shoot was going and this couple was phenomenal to work with. By this point, we were all warmed up and decided to push the shoot a little further and tackle some unique nature settings. I suggested Saylorville lake, which was quite a drive, but we had the time and there were a lot of opportunities there that we could utilize. So, we ventured out of downtown, hopped on the interstate and set our sights on Saylorville lake.

When we finally arrived, the sun had dipped lower in the sky and there were some clouds rolling in. It looks like we were due for some rain but, since we drove all the way out here, we were determined to get the most out of our time before the storm cut things short. The location I took Cherry and Matt was a secluded beach that was only accessible by boat or on foot. We ended up parking our cars up on the road and then hiked our way down the rocky dam to the beach below. When we finally made it down to the sand, we took some shots of them sitting together, playing with their little Yorkie, and strolling up and down the beach while the storm crept ever closer.

By this time, the sky looked phenomenal and had this ominous drama about it. Cherry and Matt were admiring it as well when they asked, “So, what next?” In an attempt to be sarcastic and funny I said something along the lines of, “Why don’t you run on out into the water, looks like it would be fun.” Before I knew it, Cherry kicked off her shoes and ran right towards the water with the intent of fulfilling my sarcastic wish. Matt and I were completely stunned as I was only kidding, but it was too late to retract that now. Matt looked at me and said, “What is she doing?” I replied, “It looks like she’s getting in the water. You might want to go after her.” Then, Matt started kicking off his shoes and socks and then went in after her.

The end result speaks for itself. We did a number of photos, but this shot with Cherry jumping into Matt’s arms is my favorite. Aside from actually getting them in the cold water and the drama from the approaching storm, I love the expressions they both have in this shot. The intense eye contact is very representative of the strong connection these two share. I’m so thankful that we got this opportunity thanks largely in part to this couple and their willingness to do what was necessary to get some amazing shots.

Cherry and Matt dancing in the water in front of an approaching