I met up with Melissa and Ryan this morning for their engagement session at Nisene Marks in Aptos – an absolute gorgeous redwood forest popular with runners and bikers alike. Aptos was its typical foggy self, so I postponed our 10am shoot by an hour just to get things a little brighter. The sun never came out, but the atmosphere for natural light was really gorgeous. But if you follow my work, you know I usually include off-camera light as well – the trick is to keep it looking natural and not, well, flash-y. 8 of the 26 photos below are using un-natural light, can you tell which ones?

Melissa and Ryan were super easygoing, laid back and receptive to my bossy commands. Most couples aren't super used to being photographed with this level of focus, so I do my best to set them at ease and make it quick and fun. Definitely not stressful. We explored one of my favorite routes in the forest, starting near "George's Picnic Area" about 2 miles into the park. From there we crossed the road and eventually made it down to the creek. Here's some of my favorite photos from their engagement session; I'm really looking forward to their backyard wedding in September.