Boy Meets Girl

It's the story you've heard time and time again.

Boy meets girl.
Boy pursues girl.
Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
They live happily ever after.

Only not.

Our story is more complicated. And yet, it's all so simple.

Boy meets girl.
Girls is unavailable.
Boy and girl work together.
Boy and girl become great friends.
Girl is available.
Boy likes girl.
Girl likes boy.
Boy proposes to girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy gets deployed.
Girl plans a wedding.

I'm that girl, welcome to my blog.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Girl plans engagement session

Girl loves pictures.
Boy doesn't smile.
Girl makes boy laugh.
Boy smiles.
Photographer snaps away.

Engagement pictures.
It's part of my job as a wedding photographer... shooting engagement pictures.
I see so many different kinds of shoots and so many different engagement sessions on a regular basis that, like everything else for our wedding, I had about 10 million ideas running through my head.

I knew I wanted to take engagement pictures before J was deployed. I wanted to have them while he was gone, and I know I want to incorporate some into the wedding itself. Since I will be doing a lot of the planning while J is gone, I knew we needed to get them done before he left. Which left us 2 weeks that he was home on leave to work with.

First question.

You might think this would be the easiest decision ever since I am surrounded by amazing talent. But that is exactly the problem! The single biggest decision about our wedding (aside from the actual decision to get married) is who will shoot our wedding.

But since we don't have that 100% nailed down at this point (we do have some thoughts...) I decided to have my friend Jordana of Hazelnut photography shoot our engagement. She's wonderful. And I love her. And her photos! Seriously. If you've never seen her work, you should make sure to head over to her site (by clicking on her name) and check her out. There's a reason we picked her :)

Okay. So we chose a photographer for our engagement pictures. Now what?
I knew that I didn't want it just to be another photo shoot. I wanted it to be something that really showed out personalities and our relationship. I wanted it to be something that we could use for our wedding. I wanted it to be unique and fun.

Enter Carter and Cook Event Co.
We had already decided to hire them to do the design for our wedding, but when I started brainstorming for our engagement session I knew I wanted help.
So we emailed back and forth and came up with several ideas that represent us as a couple. Then Ashlyn and Heather came up with several different ideas.

This is what they sent me:

2. unknown
3. The Notebook

If any of the above photos are yours, please let me know!

It wasn't too hard to come to a decision as to what direction to go because they did such a fabulous job taking what I'd told them about us and making it into something that completely represented who we are as a couple. Here is what they had to say about the inspiration boards:

We think it's important to keep engagement sessions simple, fun, and about YOU, and not totally overdone. Two different looks I think can achieve what you're looking for. The novel below describes the images in further detail...
Look A Theme: Love Letters and Stars.
We're in love with this theme the most. There is so much symbolism in this shoot that it makes me giddy. Here's our thought...
Love letters are a symbolic idea and image of both you and J. It represents long distance love, the military, and something so darn sweet I can't get enough of it. So you write emails...or letters...or both, it is the IDEA of your long distance romance, and we feel so appropriate as to where you two are at in life at this moment.
Another look involving love letters would be to be near this heart [first photo on the storyboard]...or not, it can be an entirely different staged set up. A desk of some sort, or boxes, or something that has stacks and stacks of old 'love letters' tied up with beautiful strings. They can be stacked on the a drawer (like the photo you see on the bottom right)..anywhere. I love the theme of this look...and also the simplicity. Both very powerful.
Stars. So prior to you saying you wanted to shoot at the Observatory...we had a thought on stars. I really believe stars are a new, fresh, hot, & up and coming symbol that can and will be used in lots of new ways. We like them because it's different, and we like it because of what stars represent for you both.
The Cuban flag an the Army logo BOTH use a single star...which is very J, yet very you. : )
How we use this, we're still playing with the idea, but that star garland on the top right is amazing. I like that it's pretty and sparkles and hangs down, not across. Creating something like this would be fantastic.
Shooting at the observatory is PERFECTION. The stars totally tie into this location, and your fun past date location. {Can you see why we're loving this?!}
I know you love the notebook. You're always tweeting about it, watching it ( reading it :). I love the Notebook era...and think that *if* you decided to go with this theme for your both could look straight out of the 40's. You in a short dress like the one from the Notebook, and not sure how much J will love this..but a simple, and old school outfit..maybe a newsboy cap?
Look B Theme: Biker Chic.
We were having a hard time coming up with the exact look and feel for this one, so the story board is just a starting place, but I think this would be super hip. More old school, vintage biker. Your look can be street/hipster. {Which I'm sure J would love}. *Here* is where it would be FAB to for some awesome finds..old school bike goggles, helmets, etc.

Jeans, leather jackets, hipster street clothes would be a fun contrast here. {See attached biker photos}
Shooting along the PCH for this one would be SO pretty. Not sure how realistic that is...but the view would be different and cool. Haven't seen a shoot along that area really. Having the look be more editorial than staged would be the goal with this theme.

They had so many fantastic ideas, that we decided to kind of tie them all together and make one awesome shoot! I can't wait to share more about the people behind this shoot and of course, the pictures that resulted.

For any of you planning a wedding, I REALLY would encourage you to think through your engagement pictures. Coming from someone who is a photographer, and also a bride, the thought behind the photos can make the shoot. Putting something together that is unique and represents you as a couple will make your photos 10 times better!

I also LOVE what Ashlyn and Heather pointed out about the shoot: We think it's important to keep engagement sessions simple, fun, and about YOU, and not totally overdone

It's so easy to get caught up in details and almost overdo it. Or even to come up with a concept that just doesn't fit. The engagement session should really be YOU. Don't be afraid to discuss ahead of time with your photographer... send photos of wardrobe options, prop or theme ideas... give your photographer a chance to think through your shoot before you even get there!

Choose a location that is meaningful. It doesn't have to be trendy, or super fancy... it should be something of significance to you as a couple. The place you had your first date, where he proposed, or even where you will be getting married. All of these can be fun options.

Make sure you surround yourself with a team of people that you trust and that know what you want and your vision. Pick a photographer and a team of people that you get along with, have fun with and are comfortable with. You will get the best photos when you can trust the professionals and just relax and have fun.

Above all, be yourself. And relax. More times than I can even begin to mention, a couple I have photographed has wished that they had just relaxed from the beginning. This is definitely something that isn't so easy for me (or for J), but I can always see the point in the photos that I just relaxed and let loose. I NEVER have wished it was earlier.

1 comment:

Bianca said...

Sounds like fun!