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I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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A History Museum of Mobile Bridal Session Most of the photography that I share here on my blog is wedding related. But I also do a lot of commercial and editorial photography. With that type of work, I always have to wait quite a while between taking the photos and sharing them. I have gotten […]

April 13, 2021

A History Museum of Mobile Bridal Session

Most of the photography that I share here on my blog is wedding related. But I also do a lot of commercial and editorial photography. With that type of work, I always have to wait quite a while between taking the photos and sharing them. I have gotten used to this wait, but it’s always hard. The waiting game is similar when it comes to bridal portraits…because you definitely can’t share photos showing the bride in her dress before the wedding day!

When I left Anna’s bridal session on March 12, 2020, I was already counting down the days to when I could share some of my favorite portraits from the shoot! It was the most perfect afternoon and it was so much fun to photograph Anna wearing her dream wedding gown. She was radiant!

Fast forward three days and it became clear that I likely wouldn’t be sharing my favorites from this session for quite some time! Anna and Michael eventually rescheduled their wedding celebration for April 2021. I’d already selected all my favorite photos to share here on the blog, so they just waited in my drafts folder for a whole year. I’m so excited to finally be able to share them!

We decided to do Anna’s session at the History Museum of Mobile. I love this location for bridals because it provides a mix of indoor and outdoor location options! It was so much fun having Anna’s stepmom and future mother-in-law with us the day of this session. They helped adjust the train of the dress, held the veil for floaty veil shots, and protected the gown from getting soiled. It was such a fun afternoon. Looking back at these photos makes me smile!

Hair + Makeup | Jilllian Jensen Holt

Bride’s Bouquet | The Shade Tree

Category:

Anna | Bridals

2021

Open Post

A Grand Hotel Spring Engagement Carrie and Adam were one of the first couples I met with via FaceTime chat last spring. At the time, we were all still getting used to pandemic life. I remember being worried about being able to connect with potential clients via phone call because I was so used to […]

April 2, 2021

A Grand Hotel Spring Engagement

Carrie and Adam were one of the first couples I met with via FaceTime chat last spring. At the time, we were all still getting used to pandemic life. I remember being worried about being able to connect with potential clients via phone call because I was so used to meeting with people in person. It turns out that if your personalities mesh, you can definitely find that out via the phone too!

I knew two minutes into our FaceTime chat that Carrie, Adam and I were going to get along great! These two are just so darn sweet! I loved hearing them both tell the story of how Adam proposed, especially because these two are both great storytellers! And the proposal sounded like it was straight out of a movie.

Carrie and Adam love the zoo and so she wasn’t suspicious at all when he suggested going there for a Sunday afternoon. It was the beginning of March, which happens to be Carrie’s birthday month and the month that kicks off spring, her favorite season. This would also be their first trip to the Birmingham Zoo after it had undergone a renovation. Carrie was excited about the zoo trip and not suspicious at all! She had no idea that massive planning had gone into this very special day!

Upon arrival at the zoo, Adam asked an employee if there was anything they shouldn’t miss with the new renovation. Carrie had no idea that this employee had been in on the proposal from the beginning. In fact, Adam had met with him multiple times to plan his perfect proposal!

A Special Exhibit

Carrie was excited when the employee told them they could see the Lorakeet exhibit that was slated to open the next day. Leading them to believe they were having a “soft opening” of the exhibit, the employee also added that only two people at a time were allowed inside. Carrie was so pumped for the exhibit that even that didn’t strike her as odd.

The moment they stepped inside, Carrie saw a table set with flowers and full of picture frames. She walked over to it thinking it was part of the exhibit. It wasn’t until she saw the photos were of her and Adam that she realized what was happening!!! The next thing she knew, Adam was down on one knee asking her to be his wife! Carrie was stunned! And of course she said YES!

Y’all, I sat and listened to Carrie and Adam tell this story on that initial FaceTime call and I just felt like we were old friends by the time it ended. We planned their engagement session for March 2021 because Carrie just loves both the month and the spring season. She was really hoping for the azaleas to be in bloom when we did their photos. I was delighted when I saw there were still several blooming at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear.

The day of this shoot also happened to be Carrie’s birthday. I love that we got to do these photos on her special day! I also love that Adam wore some sloth socks as a nod to their proposal story for these pictures! Y’all it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Y’all these two are so adorable that people who saw us taking these portraits started applauding!!!

Makeup Artist | Courtney Matthews

Hair Stylist | Becca Townley

Category:

Carrie + Adam | Engaged

2021

Open Post

A Perone Creek Farm Spring Session If I had to pick one word to describe this session, it would be MAGICAL! And it all started when Savannah asked me for location ideas for this session. Savannah told me that she and Michael would like a rustic location for their portraits. Then she mentioned that Michael, […]

March 25, 2021

A Perone Creek Farm Spring Session

If I had to pick one word to describe this session, it would be MAGICAL! And it all started when Savannah asked me for location ideas for this session.

Savannah told me that she and Michael would like a rustic location for their portraits. Then she mentioned that Michael, who is a musician, would like to incorporate his guitar into some of the images. That’s when I had the idea to reach out to Brenda, who owns Perone Creek Farm along with her husband, Jeff. I was fortunate to shoot at the farm last fall, for a story that ran in Mobile Bay Magazine. Brenda is a member of GypsySpark band and the magazine shoot involved music and food. The minute I arrived on the farm for that shoot, I knew it would be a beautiful portrait location. The fact that Michael is also a musician is what made this farm jump first and foremost into my mind for this session!

Thankfully, when I mentioned the idea of going to the farm to Savannah, she was totally game and so were Brenda and Jeff. As I pulled into the oak tree lined driveway on this gorgeous spring day, I nearly gasped out loud. The scene was like something out of a movie. The light was streaming through the trees and the azaleas were sparkling with their gorgeous blooms. I could barely contain my excitement! Then Savannah arrived in the most perfect creamy white dress and I knew we had all the ingredients for some dreamy portraits!

Savannah and Michael are such a sweet couple. From the first minute of meeting them, I could tell that we were in for a fun shoot. I love that they one hundred percent trusted me with this location recommendation, but also that they trusted my vision for the shoot once we were there. There is something about being in such a peaceful environment that is so inspiring! I loved every minute of taking these portraits. I was almost sad to see the sun set because that meant we were finished for the day!

 

 

Category:

Savannah + Michael

2021

Open Post

The Secret to Dreamy Portraits I’m a light nerd. Seriously. I get giddy when I see a golden glow streaming through the trees. I’ve always noticed the glow…even before I was a photographer. Some of my favorite films have utilized Golden Hour light in a way that I found captivating, long before I picked up […]

March 23, 2021

The Secret to Dreamy Portraits

I’m a light nerd. Seriously. I get giddy when I see a golden glow streaming through the trees. I’ve always noticed the glow…even before I was a photographer. Some of my favorite films have utilized Golden Hour light in a way that I found captivating, long before I picked up a camera. I am always in search of this type of light and I’m always excited when I can incorporate it into portraits!

I have often discussed my love of dreamy golden light here on my blog. Many of my brides come to me knowing about Golden Hour, likely because they’ve been following my work for a while. But if you’re just stumbling upon my site and are wondering what Golden Hour is, then this post is for you!

What is Golden Hour?

Golden Hour is the hour before the sun sets or the hour after the sun rises. It’s that time of day when the sun is closer to the horizon. During this time of day, shadows become softer because the sun is at a lower angle to earth. The sun seems to glow and turn more golden as it approaches the horizon. This is why photographers will refer to this time of day as Golden Hour. Another name for Golden Hour is Magic Hour, which I think is totally appropriate because Golden Hour light is often MAGICAL!

All light from the sun is natural light. It’s the light God gave us. But all natural light is not the same. Midday sunlight has a completely different look and quality than Golden Hour light. When unobstructed by clouds, midday sunlight is harsh and very bright. It bounces off all surfaces, causing both color casts and making us squint our eyes.

Additionally, morning Golden Hour light has a slightly different quality than evening Golden Hour light. I’m definitely not one jumping out of the bed to shoot at sunrise (night owl over here!), but I have done so once or twice in the past. In the early morning light, the overnight dew hangs in the air, catching the light in a way that doesn’t happen in the evening Golden Hour. So yes, even though the hour after and before sunset are both Golden Hour times of day, they are each unique from one another.

I love shooting during evening Golden Hour. For this reason, I always schedule portrait sessions during this time of day and love when we can take bride and groom portraits during this window of time on a wedding day.

Just Look at that Glow!

I get so excited whenever I see the glow of golden hour light, but sometimes that glow gets filtered by the clouds. The amount of glow during Golden Hour is directly dependent on two things – the amount of clouds in the sky that day and what is between the sun and my subjects.

Here on Mobile Bay we are used to the weather changing abruptly. We can endure an afternoon thunderstorm in the early afternoon and end up with a beautiful evening by the time Golden Hour rolls around. Our proximity to the water means that there is a lot of moisture in the air and a ton of humidity. Sometimes it looks like we’re going to not get any glow for a session, but then just as we’re getting close to sunset, the sun will dip below the clouds, bathing everything in the golden glow.

My favorite way to capture the Golden Hour glow is when the light is streaming through a giant oak tree, or other element that will let in the light, but still keep it from hitting my subjects directly.

How Water Affects Golden Hour

At Golden Hour, water becomes magical as well. The golden glow of the sunlight won’t be hitting the water as directly, which means it also takes on a softer quality. This creates the perfect recipe for capturing reflections! I am always looking for opportunities for reflection shots. It’s something my eye has always naturally been drawn to. When I find a reflection opportunity that also has amazing Golden Hour glow, I’m one happy photographer!

 

Open Fields + Buildings

The location affects the quality of natural light at all times of day, but especially during Golden Hour. Depending on the location, the opportunity to really capture that glow may come slightly earlier than that one hour before sunset mark. This is especially true when I’m shooting at a location surrounded by a lot of trees.

This means I have to be aware of where I’m shooting at any particular time of day. For example, I know that when I’m at The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, the dense oak tree shade will give me an opportunity for Golden Hour glow a bit earlier than the one hour mark. But, if I’m shooting at Oak Hollow Farm, I may need to wait a bit closer to the sunset mark to get a wide open field shot with dreamy light. If I’m in downtown Mobile, the opportunity to catch the glow will be different depending on which street I’m shooting on because of the different building heights.

It’s a lot of factors to consider, but this is what is rolling through a photographer’s mind when they’re selecting where to shoot during any particular time of day. Where is the sun and how is my location going to affect the quality of light?

What about Blue Hour?

I’ve been talking about Golden Hour for this whole post, so you’re probably wondering what in the world Blue Hour is and why I’m bringing it up now. The simplest answer is that I live near the water and frequently shoot on the bay and sometimes at the beach. During Golden Hour, these locations have direct access to the sun. This means that if I take photos of my clients in these open spaces before sunset, they’re going to be hit with that orange glow from the sun, which is not great for natural looking skin tones or portraits where my clients have their eyes open.

Blue Hour is the brief period of time after the sun sets when the light lingers. It’s often when the sky looks it’s best too! At this time of day I can turn my subjects to face where the sun was, letting that lingering reflection of sunlight light their faces and the scene behind them. Since I’m shooting with mostly natural light in these scenarios, this lets me capture the sky and water in a way that looks very much like a watercolor painting…my absolute favorite look for portraits near the water!

The only down side to Blue Hour light is that it is an extremely brief period of time. The amount of time the light lingers varies depending on the season. In the summer we get a longer lingering of light than we do in the fall. How sunny, or cloudy, the day was also has a direct effect on blue hour. If it was a heavily cloudy day, it’s likely we’ll miss blue hour all together, but that’s ok because it means we can shoot on the water earlier due to the clouds acting like a big diffuser in the sky.

Golden Hour vs. Blue Hour Comparison

Seeing the difference between Golden Hour and Blue Hour can best be seen by comparing portraits taken just before and just after the sun sets. Just before the sun sets, I keep the sun behind my couple, as in this first shot of my sister and brother-in-law. We can see the Golden glow hitting the back of their heads and the grass in the background.

Just a few minutes later, the sun had dipped completely below the horizon and I turned Katherine and Phillip to face where the sun had been before it set in order to capture the soft colors of the water and the sky.

Golden Hour versus Blue Hour on Julie and TJ’s wedding day.

Here’s another Golden Hour versus Blue Hour comparison from Jessica and Quentin’s engagement session.

Finally, here’s what Golden Hour can look like at the beach when it’s an overcast day.

Golden Hour light is one of my favorite types of light because it’s naturally dreamy! On portrait session days, we can plan to shoot completely around the sunset for the optimum Golden Hour window. But, if you want dreamy portraits on your wedding day, remember to consider the sunset and when Golden Hour will be before setting your ceremony time, as well as before you make a final decision on wether or not to share a First Look. These two decisions directly affect whether or not we will be able to work Golden Hour portraits into your wedding day! While we can’t control the weather, we can accordingly depending on the season and sunset time to hopefully get you those Golden Hour portraits you’re dreaming of!

 

 

Category:

What is Golden Hour?

For Brides

Open Post

A Grand Hotel Engagement Cara and Austin make being in front of the camera look effortless. From the first shot to the last, these two were a dream to photograph! I always love meeting my couples for the first time at their engagement session. It’s an opportunity for us to get to know one another […]

March 19, 2021

A Grand Hotel Engagement

Cara and Austin make being in front of the camera look effortless. From the first shot to the last, these two were a dream to photograph! I always love meeting my couples for the first time at their engagement session. It’s an opportunity for us to get to know one another and for me to get a feel for their personality as a couple. After the first five minutes of this session, I knew that we were in for a fun shoot!

Instead of driving to Point Clear just for an afternoon of pictures, Cara and Austin decided to turn their engagement session into a weekend getaway at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. I love that they made the whole weekend a special time for just the two of them. We had the best time roaming the grounds at the hotel, beginning under the majestic oaks and ending the shoot down by the water.

The property was pretty crowded on this day, but somehow we had the rocks area on the beach to ourselves. It was amazing! I love that Cara saved her long, flowy dress for her second outfit. It was the perfect dress for those beachside portraits!

Cara’s engagement ring was actually designed by her friend’s company, with Austin’s input. I love that she also wore her grandmother’s wedding band for the session and that I was able to include it in some of the ring shots. The stories behind the jewelry we choose to wear are the things that make portraits even more unique and personalized. I love when my couples share little details like this with me!

Cara and Austin have selected two of my favorite venues for their fall wedding – St. Mary’s Catholic Church and The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion. I can already imagine these two dancing the night away under the massive oaks on the front lawn and I can’t wait to capture all those fun memories!

Y’all, in an impromptu moment, Austin picked this camellia bloom and put it in Cara’s hair. I loved these portraits with her wearing the flower so much!

Category:

Cara + Austin | Engaged

2021

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

Read More

I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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