Blue Engagement Sessions
It’s always interesting and enlightening to do a retrospective of your own work. I’ve decided to try an experiment. I will publish some of my favorite images from past years, grouped by their dominant color. Here I present “Blue Engagement Sessions.”
Where Do You Find Blue?
One of the cool things about blue engagement sessions is that blue shows up just about everywhere. Or does it? As it turns out, even though a clear sky is blue, and water often appears blue, our ancestors didn’t begin to recognize the color until quite recently. In ‘The Odyssey,’ the Greek poet Homer describes a ‘wine-dark sea.’ If you count the color references in “The Oddysey”, it turns out blue wasn’t mentioned at all. Black? Mentioned nearly 200 times. White? About 100. Red is mentioned fewer than 15 times, and yellow and green both fewer than 10. One of my favorite podcasts, Radiolab, did some amazing reporting on this. While there’s plenty of debate on this topic, it’s still a fascinating episode. Check it out.
As a photographer, I gravitate to colors like a moth to a flame. As you’ll see in the blue engagement sessions below, I often use skies as my backdrop. I steal any shade of blue I can: from the hazy light blues of midday, to the deep, rich blues of magic hour and dusk. However, blue is also in cars, lakes, clothing.
How I Think About Blue Engagement Sessions
One of the most frequently asked questions from clients is: what should we wear? Whenever I plan for an engagement shoot, I always keep in mind this handy color wheel. I don’t physically carry it around with me – it’s kind of in my head. But one thing you’ll notice is that it’s quite easy to determine various color harmonies. Once you become experienced at it, you adapt in the moment. You can get fancy, and talk about ‘triadic’ or ‘split complementary’ color harmonies, but really the eye just kind of knows which colors look good together. So if a couple is wearing red or orange, for example, that’s a perfect opportunity for a blue background.