An Engagement Shoot Under a Blanket of Stars

couple standing in the middle of road

Starry engagement photos seem to make the perfect marriage in these long exposure photographs of romantic engagements. Photography couple Robert Paetz and Felicia Wong appear to have found a totally novel concept that captures the magic of an engagement. They take their lovestruck clients out into natural dreamy scenery and shoot the starry-eyed couples against a star lit backdrop. They have name for this kind of photo shoot, which is astro wedding photography. The results are so beautiful and perfect that they look like studio staged sets instead of on location shot images.

silhouette of couple

The concept started late last year when a client requested having their engagement photo shoot at Joshua Tree, California. It was a scorching 100 degrees at that time of the year in August. After getting the request, Wong bemoaned the prospect, and in jest suggested to her husband, “Can we just shoot in the middle of the night?!” The joke instead spurred Paetz’s imagination, taking his wife’s suggestion seriously.

long exposure engagement photo

He had been dabbling with some astro photography concepts at the time, so he decided to give it a try. They ringed the couple and asked them to meet up at a “dodgy desert motel, ” at 2am the next weekend for the experimental pictorial. The results were stunning in vintage Hollywood-like style and glamour.

engagement photo by wagon

Paetz takes note though that it’s getting more difficult finding ideal nighttime locations for the pictorials. “A hundred years ago we could all have seen skies like this from most places, but because of urbanization and electricity we have polluted our skies with light, leaving the view of the stars confined to the deserts and wild places,” he laments.

engagement photo under night sky

The right location is just half the story. A compliant night sky is the other. He has become an ardent weather-watcher lately because of other astro wedding photography gigs. He finds that getting as far as 100 miles from an urban center provides ample space to capture scenes devoid of any city landscape. He likewise has to “keep a hawk-like watch on the phases of the moon and the weather forecast.”

astro wedding photography

See their cosmic inspired engagement shots in their website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.