Last night I rushed to design a new sample album to show potential brides and grooms. It is a daunting task that any creative dreads. Why? Because we are emotionally attached to our photos. Imagine trying to pick out your favorite handful of photos per wedding from the thousands of images you have taken every year. For each wedding, I started with the portfolio of 300+ images and picked my favorite 25…only to whittle those down to 5 or 8 photos. It is like picking your favorite child – you just can’t do it.
As a ski-bum-at-heart, I love the winter. After one of the most brutal ones in recent memory, yesterday I got a taste of spring and welcomed the 50 degree weather and dreamt of shorts, flip flops, and barbecues with friends. Today, 8 inches of fresh snow. So much from spring. Regardless, watching it fall this morning made me think of a few things: Every sunrise is like God painting a watercolor for us to wake up to. My dogs are great alarm clocks. Somehow my Tim Horton’s coffee doesn’t taste the same as when they make it. I should take my dad out to lunch. Correction, I want to take my dad out to lunch. My problems are someone else’s blessings. Be thankful. When was the last time I truly did something nice and unexpected for someone and why don’t I do that more often? How can I use my talents for a higher good? Thank God I have a snowblower. My chiropractor must miss me. I am not where I thought I would be, and that is okay. Coffee tastes better when it is in a mug you love. I need to buy more creamer.
There is a lot of talk among photographers whether Pinterest is good or bad for the industry. Personally, I like Pinterest from a creative standpoint. It allows me to see what others are doing and serves as an opportunity and challenge for me to deconstruct the photo while asking, “How did they do that?” From a client standpoint, it can be quite dangerous in terms of expectations. Magic like that doesn’t just happen. The sun doesn’t hang at the perfect height for long and that breeze slightly lifting her hair and dress can’t be ordered on command. It is well planned and perfectly executed by a joint effort from the models and the photographer. Overall, I will say that Pinterest is a great tool for inspiration on both user ends – photographer and client.
Here are some things that you can do to make your engagement photos Pinterest-worthy.
Show Up on Time
The most important aspect of a shoot isn’t the location; it is the lighting. There are two times during the day that are ideal for taking engagement photos, when the light is the softest – about an hour before dusk and an hour after dawn. You can shoot midday, provided you can find some shade or it is an overcast day, but if you are looking for that sun-kissed, golden hue photo of you and your fiancé, the window for that happening is quite small, so you need to arrive on time.
When you really think about it, it is probably one of the few, if not the only moment in a wedding that isn’t scripted and has the potential to bring both laughter and tears to everyone in attendance – the Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches. Talk about pressure! Having listened to a hundred or so over the past seven years of photographing weddings, I have laughed along with the crowd, as well as felt like calling for the dancing emcee like at the Apollo. Here are a few tips to help you plan a memorable and touching Best Man or Maid of Honor speech.
1 – Keep it short
While you may have waited years for this moment to either profess you love for the bride or roast the groom, everyone else is waiting too…for dinner and dancing. By keeping the speech short, not only are you making it easier on yourself, you are making it easier to be more memorable. Can you remember your favorite Shakespearean monologue? Me neither, but I can remember my favorite one-liner from any Will Ferrell movie. Three minutes is about all you need to make a great speech.