It’s always fun to catch up with old friends and shoot a little film on the beach! Mika and Kesh were gracious enough to sport some fashions for me on this overcast (yet, still hot) afternoon in Miami. Posh sunglasses, crystal blue waters, and a striped cabana give these photos the Miami-flair I was after! I can’t wait to go back! Film photos captured on a Contax645, Fuji400h, Richard Photo Lab.
Heather and Robert’s wedding was quite the glamorous city experience in sunny San Diego. The bride wore a DIY wedding gown masterpiece (!!!), the bridesmaids were dressed in rose gold Badgley Mischka glitz gowns, and the flowers were out-of-this-world beautiful! The reception was draped in vintage decor, gold-dipped feathers, cascading flowers, and feminine touches. Overall, this was my kind of sparkly wedding! The couple had a one-of-a-kind cake designed by well-known cake artist Stevi Auble of Hey There Cupcake, and oodles and oodles of other sweet treats. This was definitely a wedding to remember!
Coordinator: Jennifer Getto
Florist: Simply Glamorous Floral, http://www.simplyglamorousfloral.com
Wedding Dress: DIY! Mermaid silhouette by Wtoo, with added plunging neckline, plunging back, and designer lace
Bridesmaid Dresses: Badgley Mischka rose gold gowns
Cake Artistry: Stevi Auble of Hey There Cupcake, http://www.heythere-cupcake.com
Hair: Kira Pinski, www.kirapinski.com
Makeup: Elizabeth Root, www.elizabethroot.com
Ceremony: Naval Base Point Loma
Reception: Admiral Kidd Club, San Diego
Favors: Homemade French macrons
Why have an engagement session?
(1) to meet your photographer in person (if you have not already); (2) to experience their shooting and directing style; (3) to learn some posing tips and tricks; and (4) to see how your trial hair and makeup look in pictures!
What to expect:
An engagement shoot lasts about an hour and a half and overlaps with “golden hour” which occurs just before sunset (you must take the season into consideration). If the sunset it at 7:30PM, we will meet at 5:45PM to chat and get warm-up shots. I will shoot your first outfit until about 6:30PM, shoot your engagement ring while you change into your next outfit, and then shoot your second outfit until right before sunset. I shoot most engagement sessions on weekday evenings, since weekends are reserved for weddings and family time.
Clothing: I recommend bringing two outfits for each of you: one formal and one semi-formal or casual (see my Pinterest board HERE for inspiration). Simple, yet elegant, will be the most timeless! Bold color pops (green bow tie, bright red shoes, yellow necklace etc.) and certain large patterns photograph well, but tiny patterns or shirts with words will be distracting and should be avoided. When choosing outfits, I recommend you lay your outfits side by side to see how well they complement each other (avoid wearing the same color or attempting to match).
*Brides: If you are wearing a cute dress, tank top, or short sleeve shirt, make sure your bra straps will not be playing peek-a-boo. A strapless bra will always do the trick! Also, give you nails some TLC; a bold colored polish or simple pale pink are always nice. Maybe treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure!
*Grooms: Your outfit is just as important as that of your bride-to-be so please do not wear a t-shirt if she is wearing a dress and heels. Simply adding a belt, emptying your pockets, and ironing your shirt can make a huge difference! Avoid old sneakers or torn jeans. You will want to look at these photos years from now and say, “dang we look good!”
Jewelry: Simplicity is classic, but too simple can be boring. A nice statement necklace or bracelet can really add interest to your portraits, but make sure not to over load on the amount of jewelry.
Bride Hair and Makeup: I recommend scheduling your wedding day test hair and makeup on the day of our engagement shoot! Not only will you know how your hair and makeup photograph, so you can make changes if needed, but you will feel so confident, which always photographs well!
Location and props: The best location will be one that we can use to tell some sort of story; one that has meaning to both of you. Do you both love sailing? Camping? Road trips? Bike riding? Picnics? The beach? Movies? Hanging with your dog? Eating doughnuts? These are great photo “themes” that can make your engagement session fun and personal. The more creative the idea and less crowded the location, the better! If you can’t think of anything, that’s okay! I always have some ideas up my sleeve!
Ring: A couple ring shots are a must at your engagement shoot so make sure your ring is nice and clean. There is nothing less sexy that a close up photo of a dirty ring.
Other tips: It is totally normal to be nervous! I always start sessions with a TON of warmup photos and I will walk you through poses the whole time. By the end of the session you will feel like a pro and will be READY for you big day! Also, I am not going to ask you to stand next to each other for ten minutes and continually smile, so don’t worry about that! We will get a series of candid and “unposed” posed pictures. My goal is to make you feel comfortable so your laughs, smiles, and kisses look natural and fun.
Last tip: Please be on time! If we start 15 minutes late, it will throw off our schedule and make us rush to catch the good light!
One more thing: As soon as the sun is down, we are done! Since you will both be lookin’ so good, it might be the perfect time for a romantic dinner!:)
I hope these are helpful tips!
The first time I laid eyes on that acrylic swivel chair, I KNEW we were meant to be soul mates! I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was inspired by that chair alone! It gave me a vision of a simple, modern, and elegant black and white office, complete with a gallery wall of some of my black and white work, a rain drop chandelier, and DIY spray-painted details. I can’t believe it is FINALLY done…and it turned out better than I could have imagined! It is true to my style and my photography brand, so I am very proud of this space! I just LOVE walking past it every morning and I especially LOVE sitting in my acrylic swivel chair (it’s more comfortable than it looks, ha)! I hope you LOVE my office and are inspired by it too! Enjoy the tour!
DETAILS: Desk (Office Depot), Acrylic swivel chair (LumiSouce), Acrylic guest chairs (LumiSource), Black and white pillows (Amazon), Side Tables (Garden Ridge, spray painted glossy black), Chandelier (Zulily), Curtains (Bed Bath and Beyond), Mirror (Garage sale, spray painted glossy black), Vase (Target, spray painted glossy black), Whiteboard (Target, border spray painted glossy black), Black and white clock (Target), White shag carpet (Target), Frames (Michaels), Mounted prints (BRI), “Blogging Day” mug (Click and Blossom), MacBook Pro, Wacom Tablet Pro
This post is the culmination of nearly 100 weddings and years of experience as a photographer! There is much more to wedding photography than the act of taking pictures. I have learned that forming genuine relationships with couples and guiding them with tips and tricks during the planning stage is the real key to a fluid wedding day and timeless imagery. We need to work together to create the wedding photos of your dreams!
TIPS FOR BRIDES THAT GUARANTEE BETTER WEDDING PHOTOS:
- VISION-if you like my work, your style will most likely fall under the following adjectives: timeless, natural, authentic, elegant, romantic, organic, classic, or clean. These adjectives reflect my vision as an artist! So, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the trends and having a hard time pinpointing your style, try looking up some of these words or browsing some of my favorite wedding blogs: www.stylemepretty.com, www.weddingsparrow.com, or www.magnoliarouge.com! I hate to use the word, “theme,” but in my experience, consistent color palette, textures, and style will look the most timeless in photos and be the least distracting from the true focus of the day!
- COMMUNICATION-I am here to help; I can give as much or as little advice as you need from me! Reach out at any time!
- THE TIMELINE-a timeline is the lifeline of a wedding! Click HERE for examples of timelines that leave plenty of room for photography. Here is a quick example for a 5:00pm ceremony with coverage from 1:30-9:30pm: (1) 1:30-3:00 detail shots/bridal portraits/bridal prep, (2) 3:00-3:45 first look and bride and groom portraits, (3) 3:45-4:30 bridal party portraits/family portraits, (4) 4:30-5:00 bride in hiding, (5) 5:00-5:30 ceremony, (6) 5:45-6:15 family portraits (or head straight tococktail hour), (7) 6:15-7:00 mingle with guests at cocktail hour/photographer shoot reception details, (8) 7:00 reception intros/dances/dinner/cake, (9) 8:00-8:15 sneak away for sunset portraits, (10) 9:30 staged exit. Remember to include travel time!
- DETAIL PHOTOS-the details of your wedding are important elements of your wedding story. I normally allow 1-1.5 hours for detail and setting shots, which could all occur when you are getting your hair and makeup done. I will then photograph you getting into your dress and then we can do a “first look” portrait session if you decide to have one. Here is a suggested list of details that should be in one place and ready for photos: dress, shoes, veil, all jewelry, engagement ring and both wedding bands, clean copy of your invitations (click HERE for examples), bridesmaid dresses, flowers, boutonnieres, and other sentimental items.
- GETTING READY PORTRAITS-make sure there is natural light where you plan to get ready! Hotel lamp light is not as naturally soft and beautiful. It is also very important to keep a cleared area next to a window (the bigger the better) so you have a nice spot to put on your dress and take a couple of portraits. The less clutter, the better!
- EMPTY VENUE PHOTOS-I love to capture the beauty and timelessness of a venue by photographing it before guests arrive. These editorial style photos are absolutely gorgeous in a wedding album and are required to have your wedding considered for publication. Time must be set aside for this.
- THE BOUQUET-the bride’s bouquet makes an appearance in many wedding photos so it should contribute to the story of a wedding and reflect the style and feeling of the day.
- CONSIDER A WEDDING ALBUM-Albums are a great way to bring your wedding to life and preserve your memories in a tangible form. I would love to show you my sample albums, beautifully crafted by RedTree Albums!