Christina and Mike – A Rainy and “Spooky” Engagement Session in Salem, MA

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. And as a photographer, this can be frustrating especially when your job is to create an experience to remember for your clients. Well I can say that I was able to achieve a memorable experience with Christina and Mike on their engagement photo shoot.

To start, the weather forecast for the day was slated to be cloudy earlier in the week. However, by day break it called for rain. Being the optimist that I am, I pressed on for the shoot seeing that there was less than 50% chance throughout the day. In the end, we had to scrap plans for our second location on the beach.

I “thought” I left my house with my assistant at a decent time to meet Christina and Mike. What should have been a forty-five minute drive turned into a two hour ride. UGH!! Rain was the culprit here and sitting in traffic on the dreaded Route 128 was painful. Nonetheless, I call Christina and Mike to let them know that I would be late. My call was well-received as I learned from Mike that Christina was having some make-up “difficulties” that I won’t elaborate on [for Christina’s sake]. So he told me not to worry and they would see me when I arrived. No sooner than I get off the phone with him, the rain picks up. UGH!!!

My assistant and I finally arrive at their place (did I mention almost two hours late?) and it’s pouring. What do we do? So, I immediately check weather to see if we would have any chance to salvage the day. Good news! The rain was supposed to break for a bit within 90 minutes and for what looked like a two hour window. So we decide to wait it out and admittedly I didn’t want to sit another two hours in traffic heading back home.

We head to Salem, MA to stake out some areas that might offer some cover in case rain wouldn’t let up as well as some places that offered nice New England colonial architecture. We get to Salem and the weather breaks for us to take some shots in front of some historic places such as Hamilton Hall, Gedney and Cox Houses and in the Salem Mall courtyard. We managed to get some great shots despite the wet weather and quickly fading daylight.

We take some final shots in front of a cathedral with large red doors. Since it was dark by this time, I had my off-camera flash ready for use. Here’s the kicker to this last bit of our shoot…while I was getting my camera settings in order, the light stand that was next to my assistant fell over all of a sudden. Unfortunately, the light stand didn’t survive the impact, but my flash and lightbox did. My assistant didn’t knock it over, and the wind surely wasn’t strong enough to blow it over, so what happened?

We all realized as we were leaving that there were two burial areas on either side of the cathedral entrance. Was it a ghost letting us know we were disturbing it? Who knows, but we were all slightly freaked out when we left. Of course, we checked the last pics for any signs of ghost. But none were to be found. I guess some of Salem’s “haunted” town history got the best of us. Anyways, we all left with something to remember.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the shoot. Enjoy!

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