Thursday, June 14, 2012

Engagement Photo...lessons

Our engagement photos arrived!  And we are super happy with the results.  Neil and Steph from Stem Photography did an amazing job capturing natural photos of Derek and I, while really letting our love shine through.  

I mentioned before that I never actually planned on having engagement photos taken until I learned they were part of our photography package.  Since then I did some research on some of the pros of having engagement photos taken (which you can read about here), and I have to say - I definitely agree.  

Participating in a photo shoot was a learning experience.  Planning our outfits, making and organizing props, deciding on locations and pinning favourite poses took some work.  I'm really happy I did my research, but even still, I definitely learned a few things through our experience.

But before we get to lessons learned, let's take a look at a few of my favourite photos shall we?!

I have to give it to our photographers.  They were so enthusiastic during the shoot and actually spent over 3 hours with us.  They trekked around to 3 different locations and waited patiently while we went through our wardrobe change.  The end result was 170 beautifully edited photos which we love.  

Through the experience, here are some lessons I learned:

Lesson #1: Love your photographer

Like I mentioned, we spent over 3 hours with Steph and Neil.  Can you imagine if we didn't jive with each other?  I think the most important thing is to get along with your photographer.  They were in our face, putting us in awkward positions and doing their best to make us laugh (which they did!) all while trying to get “the perfect shot”.  We ended up having a really great time and the 3 hours flew by!  Had we not gotten along so well I’m sure it would have dragged and we wouldn’t have spent as much time on our shoot, which would have resulted in fewer photos and maybe more uncomfortable and less genuine smiles.  

Lesson #2(a): Plan your outfit(s)

I put a lot of thought into what Derek and I would be wearing.  It was fun for me to check out other engagement photos to see how couples had matched and played with colour and pattern.  A few nights before our shoot, I laid our outfits on the bed beside each other to make sure the clothing matched.  The night before our shoot I tried on my outfits just to settle any uncertainties.  Since our shoot began at 10am, and I really wanted to have a relaxing morning with lots of time to get ready before heading out, I did all I could so as not to have any last minute melt downs (yes, sometimes I act like a 2 year old if my outfit isn't working).  Having our outfits planned ahead of time made the morning flow much nicer.

Lesson #2(b): Move around in your outfit(s)

One thing I didn’t anticipate was the positions we would be getting into while having our photos taken.  The clothing you wear should not only look great, but be comfortable and easy to move around in.  Clothing can look one way when you are leaning against a tree or sitting pretty but it may be a whole different story once you get moving and/or laying on the ground - things shift!  Here are a couple photos which I really love, however as you can see my bra strap is showing in one and my cleavage is just a little too present in the other.  First of all, I don’t know why I didn’t wear a black bra, which would have half solved problem number 1.  Secondly, I know now to move around the clothing I plan on wearing to see how they shift and change.

Lesson #3: Beware of patterned clothing

Through my research I learned that bold, lettered or patterned clothing is not ideal for photos because it takes away from the subject.  I tend to agree, however there are always exceptions to the rule, and I saw some lovely floral patterned dresses and bold striped shirts that looked great!  I love Derek’s slim fit black and white check shirt, so it made the cut immediately.  In most of the photos his shirt looks great, however in a few the check pattern went a little wonky, like you can see below.  Definitely watch out for that, and if you are unsure go with a solid, which always looks classic.

Wondering how my props turned out?  Take a look!  I'm super happy with the outcome and feel they added some personality and playfulness to the photos.

Not too bad, right?

The next step is choosing our favourite photo to use on our Save the Date post cards!  I must stay it feels good to check things off the wedding to-do list!

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