Visiting the Morikami Museum and strolling through the Japanese Gardens is one of our favorite things to do in Delray Beach, and capturing images of people in love during their engagement sessions makes the trip even better.
A long and winding path meanders through the gardens, guiding guests through various differentiated sections of the park, each one representing a different era of Japanese history. Upon entering the main museum building, the lake in the middle of the park becomes visible through the tinted western facing glass walls. After passing by a rock garden containing bonsai trees, wide concrete steps lead down to the beginning of the pathway. From here, visitors may choose to explore the park in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, but an impressive wooden bridge to the right beckons guests to begin their journey by crossing over it. Exotic plants and animals are immediately visible, with iguanas resting on tree branches next to orchids and epiphytes, accompanied by birds known as kites in the air and the occasional alligator in the lake.
This image was captured at the Morikami on a weekday in late November, a time of year that improves the chances for good weather and small crowds. When we return to South Florida from our Vermont summer and fall in late October, many of our clients schedule their annual family portrait sessions, planning ahead to have holiday card images. While Jupiter parks and Palm Beach county beaches are great locations, many clients have opted for the Morikami Gardens, some returning here for multiple sessions. The couple in this image live up north but had a destination wedding in Miami, coming down to Florida in November to finish the preparations for their March destination wedding. They wanted to do their engagement session while they were in town, but they were not overly familiar with the area of southern Palm Beach county, which was the halfway point between their hotel and our studio. Once they saw the images we had taken here in the past, they immediately selected the Morikami as the location for their engagement photos.
If you look at this image long enough, you may notice that the picture has a unique quality to it, even if you cannot quite put your finger on exactly what it is. This is our modern day interpretation of a classic look, similar to what is created by using a medium format camera. This wide view with a very shallow depth of field is not easily achievable with modern cameras, and while the effect may seem vaguely familiar it is not often presented in such a clear and vibrant way. We can attempt to create images like this when operating within specific parameters, most of which are contingent on mother nature. The couple in the image has an idea of how we created this picture, even if they don’t know precisely what was required. Some other professional photographers understand the concept and the step-by-step process involved in achieving this look, but very few take the time and effort to master the skills required for a technique as volatile as this one. We do love when a fellow photographer asks us what lens we use to take images like this. We give them the honest answer, even though that question is not particular relevant when trying to figure out how these are created.
Location: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446.1/1000; f/2.0; ISO 400; 50.0 mm.