Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smile! Say Cheese!

Have you ever smiled so much that your face hurt? Yeah? Well, that's what was happening to me and the fiance earlier this month. I mentioned before in this post that we had our professional engagement shoot and I promised to fill you guys in on how it went.

The short of it all - it was so much fun! We first met our photographer at a bridal show in Orlando back in January. Instantly we both loved her down-to-earth personality and the fact that she was very up front about what she does and doesn't do as a photographer as well as her pricing (which we found many photographers won't tell you up front...). But, we insisted on looking around to make sure we got a good deal. In the end, we choose our photographer based on the fact that her pricing was within our budget, she was funny, and overall she made us feel comfortable about the whole process. So, who did we go with? We chose Tara Huff with Fat Catz Photography.

Having a photographer with a fun personality was a big "must" for us. See... I have what the fiance and I call a "cheesy smile" that emerges whenever I'm forced into taking pictures. Pretty much all of the pictures of us from company Christmas parties and other functions show me with my classic "cheese" going on. So, we figured if our photographer was good at cracking jokes, then it would keep me laughing which melts away the cheesiness in my photos. And let me tell you, the theory worked!

We decided to have our engagement shoot at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, FL. We lucked out - the weather was perfect that day. So, without further ado, here are some of our favorites from the day along with some things we learned along the way:

This image is one of my personal favorites. However, the fiance isn't a big fan of the reflections in his glasses. Our advice, ask your photographer if there is a glare on the lenses. If so, perhaps take them off. The fiance isn't quites as blinds as I am (I wear contact lenses), so he can function without his glasses enough to walk around a park.

This photo is the fiance's favorite.We absolutely love the sepia and black/white photos that our photographer took. When you pick out your photographer, ask them how they do the editing techniques. Is it all done in post-production? Or do they use special film for just black/white photos? If it's done in post-production, the photographer can change the scheme of pretty much any of your photos. For instance, this photo was originally in full color. However, the fiance really wasn't a big fan of how bright my shirt was turning out. So, we asked the photographer to edit the picture, and viola!

Choose your clothing wisely! Try and make sure that your outfits compliment each other. But don't be matchy-matchy. Also, think about your location. Now looking at the pictures, we might have gone with a different shirt in the first picture than the blue one since pretty much everything in the background (lake & Orlando skyline) is shades of blue.

I absolutely love the trees and the background in this photo! My advice for this one is to remember your posture. My posture is normally absolutely atrocious. However, my mother's voice was in my head the entire time: "Shoulders back. Stand up straight. Quit slouching!"

Another recommendation is to bring extra outfits. Maybe what you wore is coming off too bright in the photos. Or, maybe your outfit clashes with the location of the photo shoot. Talk to your photographer before hand about how many outfit changes you'll be allowed to have and whether they can help you pick out your outfits. Also, wear something that you are comfortable in. My first outfit was a dress that I personally consider a little on the shorter side. When we started getting into the positions that required us to sit in pine needles or climb on rocks, it was nice to be wearing jeans (again, a benefit to having multiple outfits).

Have fun with it! This wasn't a pose our photographers had us get into. While they were debating what to do for our next pose, I was threatening the fiance that I would jump on his back if he didn't quit whatever he was doing at the time. The photographers overheard us and said, "Go for it!" I didn't think they were serious. But you know what? The photos of me on his back were our absolute favorites out of the entire day. They were more "us" and more "natural"

Don't worry if it takes you a little while to get use to being followed around by two people lugging around camera equipment. Sure, people around you will stare, but who cares? In the early photos of our shoot there were A LOT of cheesy smiles from both me and the fiance. But, as we got more and more comfortable, the photos just got better and better. Plus, think of it this way: you've just spent an hour or so with your photographer getting to know them and them getting to know you. Now all the awkwardness will be gone on your actual wedding day when you really want the pictures to count.

And now for the final piece of advice (and this is a biggie!): If you are planning on having an engagement shoot, don't forget to wear your ring!! You're probably thinking, "uh...duh!" but I seriously showed up to the shoot without my ring on. I always take my ring off when I shower and do my hair. Call me paranoid, but I'm always afraid of the ring slipping off my finger and going down the drain. Anyways, I was really bummed out that I didn't have my ring. I mean, that's sorta part of the whole purpose of the shoot, right? Luckily, I have a mom that loves me enough to drive 30 minutes out of her way after a long day at work to bring me my engagement ring. :)

So there you have it! Have any of you had professional pictures done lately? And advice you'd like to share with the rest of the world? Also, since the wedding is only a little over four months away (CRAZINESS!) any advice or tips you'd like to pass along for planning for wedding day photos?

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