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Posted by Cayla Capri
Shoot First, Get Married Later
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The engagement photo was once the prom picture with better hair - a tidy token to be published in the local paper then squirreled away in mom’s wallet forever. Nowadays the engagement photo is the engagement portfolio, and the engagement portfolio is you and your man playing Edie and Andy in front of a camera. And the camera just loves you.
the photographer
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Be sure to politely grill your photographer in the vein of stylistic inquiries, waiting for those buzzwords (candid, cinematic, photojournalistic) to crop up. Also, scan the portfolios of others, especially concerning yourself with the artist’s creative dexterity and thinkfast adeptness.
Once you’ve clicked on a professional level, try to schmooze on a personal one. Invite him/her out for coffee and biscotti and brainstorm on locales/ themes/ props. Whip out those internet-uploaded sessions that caught your green eye for added inspiration.
clever tip
If he/she is not in the budget, recruit your very own him/her. Your buds might not be totally dark room savvy, but that’s what digi-cams are for.
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If you’re camera shy, or suffering from second hand jitters via your honey, just relax and follow these rules:
Dig up those acting 101 pointers from your first and very confused college semester. Explore the space you’re in, your body and his. Ignore inhibitions, discard negative thoughts, trust your partner, allow laughing fits (nervous or not) to run their course, relax and finally, PLAY. This refers to jumping, cart-wheeling, leap-frogging, getting jiggy with it, faking uber-seriousness and just generally letting loose.
Live and let live. Any change in plans or unexpected intrusion is an opportunity for uniqueness. If a ladybug lands on your shoulder – that’s a photo op. If you drive by the world’s largest donut on the way to your planned destination – that’s a photo op. And if your boy’s hair is looking flat – give it a good ruffle while your photographer snaps away.
clever tip
Spend a couple of days apart before the shoot. Then, the morning of, whisper something completely evil in your fiancé’s ear. That desperate, ‘gottahaveit’ love will be palpably present in your pics.
your place or mine?
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Stage your engagement session somewhere familiar to you but not everyday; somewhere with dramatic lighting, long hallways and potential for long shadows; somewhere with rustic, splashy, or textured backgrounds. You won’t regret a single arresting photograph.
Laundromat, IKEA or flea market
Orange grove, farmer’s market or ranch
Train track, race track or vandalized underpass
Carnival, wheat field, or high school (for the sweethearts)
clever tip
Outdoor sessions beg for discordant furniture, like a bed, grand piano, love seat or dinning room table.
give each other props
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When it comes to clothes – go with your Saturday outfit, the one you wait to wear all week because it’s casual but pretty and maybe polka-dotted. When it comes to accoutrements – go with anything, especially those anythings that can be manipulated, eaten or toyed with.
jump rope, beach ball or balloons (water or not)
hoagies, comic books or records (best if you dance)
baking a cake, hitching a tent or ‘smoking’ on the water
blowing weeds, sharing a beer-float or making out