When I opened up the photos of this engagement session sent to us by Elaine Palladino Photography, the first thing that came to mind is what a stunning album they would make. Elaine perfectly captured the beauty of the Everglades without losing sight of the beauty of Tara and Mike's love for each other.
Tara gave us some background on their choice of the Everglades for the session:
"Growing up in Homestead, we both have fond memories of being outdoors. Mike spent a lot of time fishing with his Dad in Flamingo inside the heart of the Everglades or 4-wheel riding with his friends, and I spent many summers as a kid with my family visiting the Alligator farm in the Everglades, or walking the trails of Anhinga trail (Everglades) to have a picnic lunch. When choosing a location to take our engagement pictures, we wanted a place that was true to who we were and what we loved. The Everglades was just the perfect choice to represent where we both came from, what we love to do together and what we will always cherish. And with the help of Elaine and Mike, not only did we take pictures on the same trails I walked as a kid, but we even found the most beautiful marshy field to capture the beauty of Homestead, the Everglades and our love of it and each other."
This is such great advice for those of you thinking about where to take your own engagement pictures... make sure to consider how the location will represent you as a couple (and not just how the photos will look on your wall)! Luckily, Tara and Mike got the best of both worlds.
This photo is one of my favorites. The quality of the light, the way Mike is looking at Tara's ring, and the expression on her face... just lovely.
We also asked Tara how they met...
"We think the neat part about how we met, is really how we DIDN'T meet for so long, which is just a testament to the fact that timing is everything. Mike and I both grew up in Homestead and both graduated from the same high school a few years apart. We both went away for college and for one reason or another we ended up back home. Mike bought his first house less than a mile from my parent's house and we lived that close for 5 years without ever meeting. We have many mutual friends who have known us both for years and we were even able to determine times and places where we were within feet of each other at an event before we ever met.
"Mike is a full time high school teacher at our alma mater and I had returned there on a break from my schooling to be a substitute teacher in January of 2008. We both independently noticed each other around the campus and had both inquired about each other from our colleagues, until finally one Saturday in May, 2008, we were both volunteering our time at an audition for the magnet academy at South Dade Sr. High School. He strategically sat beside me and started a conversation. We were drawn to each other instantly, and on every break we had that day we were sitting together and chatting. One week later we went out with a group of friends and a week after that he asked me out on our first date to a beautiful restaurant on the water in Key Largo, and the rest is history. It was very much worth the wait!"
Many thanks to Elaine for sending us her gorgeous work! Tara and Mike, thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us - I'll bet you've inspired more than a few people still looking for their perfect match. Congratulations, and all the best as you plan your upcoming wedding!
Although sponsorship was not a factor when choosing this work to show to our readers, Elaine Palladino Photography is a sponsor of Floridian Weddings.