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.
I say it humbly – I am so blessed. I have been given opportunities in my life that have changed me, shaped me, and grounded me. One of those opportunities has been traveling. In 1992, I lived in Warsaw, Poland and witnessed a country struggling to adapt to capitalism. To a 12-year old, it was eye opening. Years later, another opportunity came. This time, it was Italy. I lived in Rome for 5 months and documented my ventures on an old Minolta film camera. The photos largely documented places and artifacts, sculptures and ruins, history and culture. I was fascinated with the past to the point where I wanted to live in the past and even considered becoming an archaeologist.
That was 12 years ago.
I drink too much coffee. Not because I need it, but because it is socially awkward not too. See, it is booking season for wedding photography right now, which means I am meeting with three to four brides a week in coffee shops to talk about their wedding. I suppose I could switch to decaf…
One of the things I notice when I meet with brides and grooms is that beyond their excitement, many have no idea what makes a good photographer. Can you blame them? I think we have all seen the Dove commercials that depict the Photoshop transformation of a woman into a Barbie-like bikini model. Pictures can be deceiving. Photographers, websites, and businesses can too. That is why I require brides to meet with me, so I can educate them on the wedding market and the way I run my business. I want them to be both comfortable and confident in their decision, whether or not they decide to book with me. During our consultation, if a bride doesn’t ask these questions, I make sure to bring them up and answer them anyway because, I feel, these are things that can make or break a decision in who you will have photograph your wedding.