How do two movie buffs who work behind the scenes in the film industry take totally Hollywood engagement photos? They sweet-talk their local multiplex into letting them have the run of the place!
This unique concept surprisingly wan’t totally out of left field when first Jamie texted me this idea. An old friend I met working together as ‘Cinemagicians’ at a movie theater, Jamie has always loved the silver screen.
Even in the Maine suburbs, she wanted to have a hand in movies and tv. Everyone who met her knew she would someday. Jamie found her romantic co-star in college with Josh, a fellow proud Disney-nerd who loved animation and cult classics. They fell in love then made the move out to Hollywood, and have been making names for themselves in the industry ever since. I’m stayed in touch with them, somewhat selfishly because I want to be able to say “I know them!” when they are on an awards show stage someday holding a statue. So I was FUCKING ECSTATIC when they decided to tie the knot.
These two got engaged during a trip to Europe, with Josh breaking conventions by proposing with a card. Jamie pulled out a man-gagement ring for Josh since she wanted to pop the question too. Once home in North Hollywood, they reached out and we planned how to tell their quirky love story in engagement photos that felt like them. I work often on the West Coast, and don’t charge travel fees on packages booked in Los Angeles.
They were a little nervous for their Hollywood engagement session, because they defy the stereotype of LA vanity. Instead of having a selfie-obsession, these soonly-weds feel super uncomfortable in front of a camera.
I love working with folks who aren’t the biggest fans of getting their picture taken. No seriously, I do! I know a million photographers say that, then cringe behind the camera. But I think it’s just really important to make people feel at ease.
First I encouraged them to find a comfortable place or activity to focus on in their engagement photos. Having something to distract yourself from the picture-taking is a great start to tamping down awkwardness. They settled on having a sweetheart session at their go-to arthouse cinema, the Laemmle NoHo 7. Since Jamie and Josh were regulars, always catching the latest Marvel movies or singing along in gender-bent cosplay at Christmas screenings of Fiddler on the Roof, the staff were quick to agree.
I loved the nostalgia I felt being back in a movie theater, but working in a totally different way: running around the different auditoriums, using buckets of stale popcorn as props, and making sure to reference Mystery Science Theater 3000. After years of breaking up teens making out in the back row, it was fun to encourage folks to cuddle in a movie theater.
Also, because the Television Academy shared a parking lot with theater, we obviously shot some with the giant Emmy statue. Take a look below at some of my favorites of these literal film lovers; bag of popcorn optional (but encouraged)!
PS: Be on the lookout for their wedding photos later this fall when I fly out to the West Coast again to document their ocean-front ceremony on Huntington Beach. And if you’re in Southern California, I am happy to schedule a discounted shoot while I’m there in mid-November!