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Waterfire Providence Engagement Session

Waterfire in Providence is an incredibly unique urban experience combining all of the senses. The dozens of floating fires, food carts, and music stretch along the river and allow guests to take in the experience while meandering along the river or streets above. If you plan in advance, you can rent a gondola, like this couple did for our session. In this case, it was an anniversary photography session but the approach and goals were the same as an engagement session - to document a couple in love in the midst of this gorgeous city event.

Technically, this was a challenge because of the light, smoke, moving boat -- so many factors! I knew the light would change dramatically as the boat drove by each floating fire in intensity, direction, quality and light temperature, though I did not realize that most of the time as soon as light was ideal we would end up drifting, or the smoke would shift and ruin the shot. I was often wide open in aperture (around 1.4). This meant that in addition to the other things I needed to ensure that their faces were on or close to the same plane of focus - not easy when the three of us are all swaying! Thankfully we had many chance to capture moments between the couple as we floated past fires and through the city for well over an hour.

This couple was amazingly natural for this shoot, and it helped that it was their fist experience at Waterfire. The expressions captured of awe and wonder were completely authentic. I may have had them as well, as experiencing this art installation from the boat is incredibly different from experiencing it on land.

A Waterfire Providence engagement session has been on my bucket list for quite a while. I was so excited to receive this phone call and honored to capture these romantic images for one of the sweetest couples I've met.

Having a Waterfire Providence wedding? Let's chat! I'd love to capture some of these images for you! Maybe we'll get lucky and get the same gondolier - ours sang and serenaded us for a good part of the ride. An incredible experience, no matter what you are celebrating.

Location: 100 Canal Walk, Providence RI, 02903.

All images and text ©2005-2023 Jessica McHale Photography.