I don’t always bring a tripod to an engagement session. But when I do, I try to make a photo that justifies the effort. I hereby dedicate this Olympic Valley engagement photo award to a piece of equipment that I almost never use. Many people think that a tripod is the telltale sign of a professional photographer. I would say that although most professional photographers own a tripod, owning a tripod does not make you a professional photographer. But I digress.

Molly and Sam wanted to meet for their Olympic Valley engagement session in a corner of the valley I don’t often go. Although the area tends to be in deep shade quite early during the afternoon, I was game. I usually opt for locations that feature sun streaming through trees, a secluded beach, or dramatic mountain peaks. Clearly, I have been missing out one of Olympic Valley’s best locations for engagement photos!

This Squaw Valley engagement photo award received recognition for being a unique couple portrait in a beautiful outdoor setting.

A Unique Olympic Valley Engagement Photo

Did I mention a tripod? Yes! Before I met up with Molly and Sam, I knew we might be shooting close to a river. With that in mind I strapped a tripod to my camera bag and figured at the very least it would be some training weight. Fortunately, that tripod was worth the effort.

After helping Molly and Sam navigate a slightly precarious jump across the river, I considered where to position my camera for this photo. Ultimately, my camera needed to be between two large boulders. The adjustable legs of my tripod helped balance my camera in the right position. Moreover, the tripod allowed me to use a slower shutter and capture the movement of the water. A remote trigger allowed me to activate the shutter while also firing a handheld strobe. Since shadows were quite dark under the trees, the strobe provided a small bit of fill light on Molly and Sam’s faces.

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