Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Talk While Posing, and Other Lessons Learned

I am *so glad* we did an engagement shoot with our amazing photographers before the wedding. Not just because I love the pictures we got, but because it gave us an opportunity to see what it's like to have our own personal paparazzi for a few hours. What looks easy from the outside (stand still, smile) was actually pretty hard work (stand still for a long time, now sit at an awkward angle, giggle, now be serious, oops too serious).

all photos by Paco and Betty

The preparation of picking the outfits and getting ready and all that was a bit of a fiasco unto itself, but the most important things I learned were things I realized during and after the shoot. For instance, who knew that something as awkward as getting your picture taken in public (sometimes in compromising positions!) could feel normal after about an hour, or that it's physically tiring to smile for extended periods of time, or that I am virtually incapable of keeping my mouth shut for more than a few seconds?!

And there are definitely a few things I want to remember going into our wedding day (besides not talking while posing - I got it!). I want to remind us both to do more looking at the camera - at the same time. There are only a few pics of us like this because we're either looking at each other, one looking at the other, or both looking away. Not to brag on ourselves too much, but our eyes are kinda amazing so I want to make sure I have lots of options of pictures where they really stand out.

As the sequence of pictures go on, I can see the frizzies and dark circles starting to creep in ever-so-slightly, which reminds me that I want to be sure I take time to freshen up my hair and makeup at some point during the night. And I want to remember to stay relaxed. Our least favorite pictures are the ones where we felt most awkward, and our favorite pictures are ones where I know we weren't thinking, "How does this look? Am I doing this right? What did they say?"

Another lesson learned - giving up control, and I'm not talking during the shoot (although that's certainly true as well). I mean giving up control of what images come back to us. For our engagement shoot we received 115 images taken in a little under 2.5 hours, which I know logically is more than enough. But since I'm a volume shooter when I take pictures, I'm used to coming home and sorting through hundreds of images all taken in a pretty short time span. If I don't quite like a facial expression or detail in one or three or five images I've taken, there's a good chance I've got at least another five still to choose from. But pro pics don't work that way, so I needed this engagement shoot experience in order to be more realistic in my expectations about how many wedding day images I'll get to look at.

And lastly, though most importantly, I want to remember that everything won't work out exactly as planned and yet all will still be perfectly wonderful.

What lessons did you learn from your experience(s) being photographed? Let's add to this list!

*all photos in this post by Paco and Betty

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