Bailee + Nathan // Ballard Nature Center Altamont, IL Engagement Pictures

I’m loving this springtime weather in late May! It’s just making it perfect for pictures. For Bailee and Nathan’s engagement session we went in my backyard (pretty much, but not really) to Ballard Nature Center in Altamont. It was insanely green out with everything full of life. The paths looked like they were freshly mowed and the scenery was on point for pictures! For their session I wanted to go exploring and see what we could find. Typically I stay in a small area at Ballard because you can get so many great pictures and ones that look so different from the other in just a small amount of space. I was in the mood for walking and the two of them didn’t mind exploring some either so we made our way down a trail with no specific locations in mind, we were just going to see what the trail gave us. It was absolutely amazing. Everything from what looked like hidden trails in the background of the pictures, winding trails, a swamp looking area, vegetation growing up trees, it was perfect. We walked for probably around an hour stopping here and there when the surrounding area screamed picture… which was pretty much everywhere, but I was being picky.

One thing I love about walking around with couples is having the opportunity to just hang out with them and talk, and of course when you’re walking trails for around an hour or so, it’s a great time to get to know each other, talk wedding plans and really just about anything! Photography has allowed us to meet so many amazing couples and I love having the chance to get to know them and not make it so much like a couple + vendor relationship. The friendships we are able to build through these sessions is just great, plus, it allows us to work with the couple more comfortably to get pictures that are a little more candid and a little less posed. At the end of the session, there was a wooded area where the trees were fairly thin, but the vegetation was growing up them. I knew immediately when I saw this that I was going to use it for pictures, however, I didn’t want to make the vegetation the primary focus of the picture. I knew that as a blurred out texture in the background it would look pretty killer and oh my! I couldn’t be happier with the way the pictures turned out. Something I’ve been doing lately is working on playing with angles and taking pictures at angles that are usually frowned upon by photographers, but they are angles you don’t see everyday and sometimes by producing an image from an angle that we don’t typically look at, it makes the picture that more interesting, and I loved how some of our experimental shots turned out!