Hot air balloon engagement shoot

Written by Nature, Photography

I started the day off pretty normally. I went into the office, downloaded some cards from the weekends wedding, and ran my usual errands. At about 2pm my boss had driven in to pick me up for a scheduled casual shoot. We were heading to NJ to photograph a couple’s engagement session on a hot air balloon.

We had originally photographed this exact couple in central park, but it turned out that their parents wanted something more creative. So we brought some accessories (bubbles, mustaches, balloons) and started shooting around 430pm. They were originally planned to take off on the balloon at 615pm, and we were right on schedule. We finished the shoot around 6pm and drove to the location site of the balloon.

The initial plan was to shoot some pictures on the ground with them as the balloon was being filled up with air. Suddenly the soon to be groom decided to ask the balloon instructor whether we can bring a photographer aboard. I saw him walking back to my boss and felt somewhat excited inside. A quick nod from my boss and I realized I was coming along with them.

The ride was very pleasurable. It was calm, quiet and somewhat scenic (would have been better in the fall). As soon as I came aboard I immediately felt the hot air right above me. In order to stay afloat the instructor had to shoot hot air into the balloon. After a short while though I didn’t even realize he was doing it.

The trip lasted for about 1 hour. I managed to capture some awesome shots of the couple and even snapped a short clip which they might use to welcome their guests to the wedding. I usually never ask the clients to take a photo of me, but I got lucky with the groom. After about 20 minutes into the flight he suggested that he take a picture of me. He even suggested the “A-ok” pose.

For privacy reasons I will not post any of their photographs, but they came out amazing. I shot some silhouettes and some standard pictures as well. I only brought two lenses aboard; the 15mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/2.8 were my companions. They both gave me some distortion and the extreme wide end but I managed to reduce it in post production.