A Swamp Engagement Session? Really?
Yes, really! North Florida has so much more to offer when it comes to couples sessions than just beach photos. For this swamp engagement session, we took advantage of a nearby bog with a spectacular boardwalk for a dramatic, romantic session.
The intense Florida heat usually has me threatening to move north despite all of my family being fairly rooted here. But I’m the first admit that the semi-tropical climate of northern Florida makes for some spectacular flora and fauna.
It really is a photographer’s paradise for outdoor sessions. We’ve got bright pine forests with the greenest palmetto undergrowth, springs with crystal clear turquoise water, the beach (of course), rivers and creeks galore, and swamps. That’s right swamps.
Shooting in a Swamp
I grew up on the edge of a swamp and it definitely has its pros and cons. There is literally so much wildlife, but it includes snakes and skeeters so, there’s that. It has a distinctive smell, which will stick to you on a hot, August day and not everyone is a fan, but I find it kind of comforting at this point. It smells like home.
So what’s it like to do a swamp engagement session? Well, you’ll definitely need some bug spray and you can expect the humidity to do a number on your hair (not necessarily a bad thing if you’re looking for some extra volume lol) but other than that, it is spectacular!
We did this session around golden hour but the light is definitely limited in the shade of the tall cypress trees. Still, there are always pockets of light and they make for a dramatic, wild look. I love the way Dani’s dress, which was so light and feminine contrasted with the untamed look of the swamp.
One Swamp Engagment, Two Photographers
I always shoot with my husband, which means you get pictures taken from two totally different perspectives. Juan is from from Argentina and is even more of a visual person than I, plus, he’s had a love for photography ever since he got his hands on a camera as a teenager. I’m a native Floridian, born in Orange Park, and while I always loved taking photos for myself, I never imagined being a professional photographer. That is until I married Juan. 😉
We both have professional gear, but Juan shoots Nikon and I shoot Fuji, which results in some subtle differences too. That said, we always try to take similar editing approaches so your galleries feel harmonious. The end result is always a wider variety of photos in your finished album.
More Gems in Northeast Florida
Juan and I are based in Clay County, Florida. Middleburg to be exact, and there are so many fun place to explore from Jacksonville to St. Augustine and everywhere in between. A few local areas that are perfect for photoshoots are Spring Park in Green Cove, anywhere on Doctors Lake if you have access, the Ravines or Gold Head Branch State Park (especially if you feel like combining a photoshoot and a hike), Ronnie Van Zant Park, and my list could go on. Feel free to reach out if you want more ideas on where to do a photoshoot in Clay County, Florida
Outside of our little county are endless options, all just an hour or two away. There’s the beach of course. Guana River Preserve is a favorite of mine with fun beach dunes a tall lookout and lots of flora on the beach side of the ocean. Then you have St. Augustine with all it’s possibilities, natural springs with their crystal clear turquoise waters (although, you have to head pretty far West for most of those), the Jacksonville Zoo, downtown Jacksonville and the River Walk, San Marco, and dozens of parks scattered throughout that are absolutely beautiful – take Washington Oaks State Park, for example.