Welcome to Spotlighting. Here I will spotlight new and interesting wedding details that I find in a hope to be a reliable resource to my brides and families. Here you will find honest, unsolicited advice and recommendations. Hopefully, you will also gain valuable insight in to who I am and how I view my work!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Engagement Sessions- What Defines You

The engagement session is such an important element in developing trust and rapport with your wedding photographer. It is also exciting for us because under the right circumstances, it is an opportunity to relax and have fun and get to know more about our bride and groom
before the wedding day.

What determines then the right circumstances. That is where the couple plays such an important part. The right circumstance is different for every couple because we all have different levels of comfort. While one couple may want to roll in the waves together on a public beach, another couple may not feel all together comfortable showing too much PDA.

The engagement session has evolved in the past decade. In the past and for some it remains a portrait session with smiling faces cheesing at the camera lens and all the elements of traditional photography applied.

Nowadays however the engagement session has taken on a whole new meaning for the contemporary couple. I have had some odd requests but
I find those are the ones that ultimately capture the very essence of the two people I am shooting and more importantly the relationship they share.

To begin, choose a theme or location that says something about you as a couple. Many couples met because of shared interests or an Alma mater. That is a good place to start. Explore what you enjoy doing together. Make it fun and uniquely you. Is there a special place that you share? It could be the place he proposed or your first date. Maybe there is a carnival in town, or the Panthers are playing a home game. Maybe you've just noticed how beautiful the sun sets on the water as you passover Lake Norman. Note the time and then call me to schedule your shoot.

Call ahead to see if there are any restrictions or permits that we will have to acquire. If you don't feel comfortable making contact with the location then I would be happy to arrange the details.
Make certain you will feel comfortable enough at the location
to be yourself. Everything sounds good in theory but is it workable for you? Maybe you saw some shots of a friend taken at the same location but you know you can't do exactly what you saw in those images that made you love them. You know if you are shy and you don't like people watching you. You know if your fiance is reserved and wouldn't like to be the center of attention in a public place. So don't inflict that stress on yourself. Find a place that is more private and better suited to you.

Lastly, choose clothing that is appropriate to the location but with a touch of your own creativity. Most times we can modify ideas to accommodate what you have on so don't let that limit you. Determine what inspires you first, find a perfect location and then we can work out the wardrobe later. Sometimes as woman we start with the clothes and the shoes first.

But whatever you choose, make it an idea that reflects who you are as a couple and offers chances for us to go out together to have some fun. While we are laughing, there will be so many opportunities for me to capture your relationship. I'll just be along for the ride!

The Freedom From Shot Lists

Everyone from the bride and groom to the wedding coordinator wants your wedding to go off without a hitch. Because I play such an important role in the use of your time on your wedding day, I recognize that it is part my responsibility to make the photography at least flow smoothly.

Often times we will ask for a shot list if we feel that it will help us in the end to facilitate some very tricky maneuvering. And there are many weddings where a shot list is completely necessary because of divorce or family dynamics. My personal preference is to have a shot list for the formal portraits. Every family is different and some family members are no longer with us, therefore the standard shot list of family groups and sub-groups is necessary to coordinate the formal portraits in a respectful and timely manner.

You also want to inform your photographer of important traditions you may be paying homage to, special objects of affection that you may have with you that day or special relationships that you want to respect.

If you are hiring your photographer to tell the story of your day as it unfolds however, the photographer must be free to capture anything that draws their attention or spurs their emotion because the humanness of those moments are the ones you will cherish the most. It is after all the shared human experience that we are capturing.

Some couples just want a photographer on their wedding day to document the day but its my desire to not only document your day but your experience. When looking at photographers make sure you hire one whose photos excite your emotions and make you feel but also a photographer that moves you. You are not only hiring a person with a specific skill set or talent but also a person in which you must be able to bond. Trust is of utmost importance so you must have a rapport to build on. You should feel at ease in their presence and enjoy them as much as they enjoy you.

In the end, any portrait artist can paint a portrait and any person with a camera can release a shutter. Look for the artist who can capture emotion in the portrait and the photographer who can engage you in such a way that you are certain that you can work with. Then allow them to gain freedom for their art through trust and respect. You will be surprised at what the freedom of creativity can produce.