7 Tricks that your wedding photographer won’t tell you about the engagement session

‘Tis the season for family and holiday cheer! What better way to celebrate the holidays then getting engaged!? Yay, he proposed! The ring is puuuuuuuuuurfect!

Ring bling

Ring bling

You’re off to get a mani because you’re going to be flashin’ that bling to all your besties. Once the dust settles from all of the new and exciting-ness of being engaged, and you’ve decided on a date for the BIG day, AND then you’ve picked your photographer, you will soon be scheduling you’re engagement session.

But, oh no, what do I wear? Are my fiancé and I supposed to coordinate? What about the hair situation? Don’t we look like goobers kissing? Ahhhhhh!

Ok, first of all, let me just preface this post by saying, “Relax, I LOVE engagement shoots, and you should too!” Here’s why. I love the casual feel of them, and the honest-to-God love that y’all have for each other in them. I’m very sentimental when it comes to couples getting married. Ah, just so cute!  The kisses and love are still fresh with the “we just got engaged” hoorays. The wedding plans aren’t stressful yet, and your joining families haven’t decided they hate each other…at this point. Life is gooooooood, and all of that goodness shows through your pictures. Also, the engagement session is like the guinea pig session before the big day. You do NOT want the first time your photographer meets you to be on the day of your wedding. I mean, do what you gotta do, but that is definitely not ideal. The awkwardness shows through the pictures, and even having one little session or a nice chat with each other before hand helps ease that tension.

If you are super nervous for your engagement session, I’m just going to give you some tips on what to wear and how an engagement session with us typically goes.

First of all. If we schedule the engagement shoot over email and the first time we meet is for the actual shoot, I will probably ask you some questions on the style you are interested in. I am not one of those photographers who gets really offended when you show them pictures someone else has taken that you really like. There are definitely different styles of photography. Yen Studios does all different kinds, so if you have particular tastes, you should voice these so we know what to expect from you and vice versa. Of course, that being said, if you like a style that you see zero examples of on our website, you probably shouldn’t hire us (And that goes for any other photographer you’re looking at). We may not be a good fit for what you are looking for.

For the session, if you have an idea for a pose, show us! We won’t copy it, but we will definitely create our own version of it that communicates the same thing. People, Pinterest was created for a reason! Use it. Oh, and you also will want to think about your save the dates. Are you going to use a picture from this session? Do you know the layout and design? Not a huge deal, but it’s something to think about and let us know IF you know.

When you arrive, if we are shooting at and around the studio area, we will spend about 10 minutes or so just chilling – chatting about wedding plans, outfit choices, ideas for poses, ideal locations, etc. Maybe even time for a beer. This helps loosen you up. Everyone is really nervous at first, but the engagement shoot is about having a good time!

Go Grizz

Go Grizz!

We will shoot at a couple of locations that we previously discussed, and then I recommend a clothes change. I would recommend doing two different types of outfits, like one pretty casual and the other fancy or snappy casual. Or one southern, and the other glitzy. One that is completely your personality to a T, and the other is something fun or random or your personality dressed up! Haha

D3X_0501

See how much fun they are having!?

This topic leads me into the what to wear section. Bring as many outfits as you want to. Literally, we have a clothes rack! You can hang everything up, we can look through it, and then make a decision. Pick out your outfits the night before, or give yourself some time to find the perfect “we’re engaged” outfit. Don’t leave it till the last minute when you’re all busy and stressed with x, y, and z stuff that keeps randomly popping up. And this means for the guys too, ladies. They will leave this till you are walking out the door, “Uh, what did you want me to wear again, hun?”

1. Something you’re comfortable in. If it’s tight, and you feel like it’s not highlighting the best areas of your body and you have to suck in when I take the pictures, don’t wear it. Give yourself the freedom to move and laugh and not constantly worrying about the weight you haven’t lost yet. Also, if there’s something you hate showing, then cover it up! ie. “Ew, I don’t like my arms.” Wear a sweater!!

2. No bras showing! This is a pet peeve of mine, and you’ll be bummed when you see the pictures too. The first thing you look at is your face, the second thing, you will zero in on your bra strap. It’s not exact science, but close…So bring a strapless or test out the bra you plan to use before hand. Make sure a strap doesn’t randomly pop out all the time.

Love the twirl

Love the twirl

3. Make-up touch ups. I will make you kiss each other…often! Your lipstick will come off. 🙂 Bring some extra for touch ups.

I know this may make you feel uncomfortable to be kissing each other a lot in (a) public (b) in front of me. Obviously I want you guys to be comfortable, but do you really want to be worried about what everyone thinks on your wedding day? That is your day! And you shouldn’t be embarrassed to kiss your new spouse. If you get in the habit of kissing each other in front of a camera now, just think of how happy and kissy-filled your wedding pictures will look. Better to practice now, and be ready on the wedding day than to be all shy and awkward on the day that counts. It also helps to practice kissing each other the day before and take a selfie of it so you know where to position your head. It sounds stupid, but you don’t get a theatrical and photogenic kiss by luck. 😉

Kissy Pic

Kissy Pic

4. Semi coordination with the outfits. In my opinion, you can coordinate with each other, but not too much. That looks gooberish. What I mean by that is you can both wear spring colors or whatever season. The man should probably wear like a polo or nice button-up with shorts or khakis or jeans. It’s obviously very “whatever” for them. Girls, y’all can wear skirts, dresses, rompers, shorts, jeans…whatever you want. Colors can semi coordinate, as in don’t clash. For a more extensive What to wear, feel free to reference my guide here.

Love their spring/summer colors!

Love their spring/summer colors!

5. Bring props if you feel like it! Again, I’m not one of those photographers who thinks it’s silly to bring props. Especially if it’s for the save the date, or whatever else. You bring it, we will incorporate it. Plus props are great to include in the ring shot photos.

6. Shoes. Yes your shoes will be in the picture. Bring the ones that are cute and stylish, yet semi comfortable because we will be walking around a bit moving locations. And bring a few pairs just to be safe. It may require some additional shopping.

7. Clean your bling. Clean the ring before the shoot if you can find time to do it. It really makes it pop in the couples shots, and it does wonders for the ring shot as well!

Clean your ring!

Clean your ring!

Here’s a bonus trick!

8. If it’s cold or chilly outside, bring nicer outerwear (pea coats and scarfs). It makes for better outdoor pictures that can be classy! If it’s raining, you can bring a swanky umbrella or rainboots…

Umbrella shot

Umbrella Shot

Ok, did I miss anything?? If so, let me know.

I hope this helps in your engagement session frenzy!! Remember to keep Yen Studios in mind for your big day! 😀

xoxo

madison

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The Christmas Lull

Ya know, sometimes days just suck. We try to push the Hump Day Pub Day philosophy, but let me tell you, it doesn’t always work! Lesbihonest here (haha, Pitch Perfect, anyone? Anyone?)…it’s almost winter time, which is super gloomy. Literally, the sun is like in hibernation, and the vibrant colors of summer and early fall have a grey tint. And don’t lie, this is truth circle here, you’ve already had 3 quart sized bottles of egg nog, and it’s only Dec. 10.

I like to call this the “Christmas lull,” not to be confused with the “after Christmas lull,” which may or may not be worse. The Christmas lull is that time of year, right before Christmas where exams are going on, budgets are getting close to E, and you secretly want to stab those people with those stupid reindeer antlers on their car doors. You haven’t bought your Christmas presents yet, all these crazy people are out on the roads trying to buy their presents in their crazy Christmas haze (often times the same people with the reindeer antlers on their car), all the while you realize in T-14 days (because don’t forget Christmas Eve) you get to see your ENTIRE family. What’s worse is they may be staying with you?! Eeek.

Not to mention that 2014 is coming to a close; you haven’t lost that Thanksgiving weight yet, only to be compounded by the future Christmas snackage & feasts and of course ALL of the Cheer beer. Wait, you haven’t had Cheer beer? Why it’s Christmas Spirit in a can/bottle! And you’ve been getting your fill because it’s a limited edition while listening to 4 different renditions of “Santa Baby” in a row— thanks for that Spotify. Or OR, what about when you are decorating your toats adorbs Christmas tree, and you “think” you buy enough Christmas lights, only to find out you are one strand short! And if you skimp, then the whole tree is skimped and just looks stupid! Or when you just want to make a decorative bow for a tree topper, and heaven forbid they make that easy!! “Pinterest, YOU’VE LET ME DOWN!!” It all inevitably ends with a grown woman jumping up and down on the crinkled ribbon throwing a temper tantrum while the youtube video finishes with an, “And it’s as easy as that. :)” You can just hear the smile in her voice! Ugh. Not speaking from experience or anything. But needless to say, it’s time to break out the Jack for the Egg nog here, folks. Still counts as “festive”, am I right?? Ah yes, the Christmas lull is here, but have no fear…soon it will be replaced with Christmas Cheer! *BARF*

Drunk on Christmas Cheer

Drunk on Christmas Cheer

Oh, you think I’m kidding? Here’s Madison’s solution to The Christmas lull:

  1. It’s called ONLINE SHOPPING. Amazon Prime your super awesome presents to your doorstep. Shipping included!
  2. Stay inside at all costs. (A. It’s warmer inside. B. You don’t have to deal with crazies. C. You can use Amazon Prime now!)
  3. PUT DOWN the egg nog! This is for Santa, remember?
  4. Calm it down. Here’s a link to some meditative yoga practices to turn your Christmas frown upside down. You’ll be wearing a Santa hat in no time.
  5. Just think of all the little boys and girls who are so flipping excited for Christmas, they can’t even function. Great job “Elf on the Shelf” for creating a surefire way to make kids semi-behave when in reality, they just want to kick and scream and run around in a circle until Christmas morning!
Elf in a treeee

Elf in a treeeee

So here’s to asking Santa for a remington rifle and a leg lamp. Merry Christmas, y’all.

xoxo

madison

Glitz and Grind In the Making

We just finished our December Click Fashion spread at the amazing Cadre building in downtown Memphis! Magazines are in stores now, and I wanted to show some of our new and interesting lighting, settings, and the spread in general! The theme of this month’s magazine is celebrating the holiday party season with fancy schmancy dresses and swanky overcoats. I loved the intensity and colors in this shoot, and the Cadre building played into the vintage scene perfectly. So instead of just showing the finished product, like usual, I thought I could show some of the main contenders for the final cut and THEN show the finished product. 🙂 Models for this month were from AMAX modeling agency: Kori and Mackenzie, and the non-winner pictures are NOT retouched! Also a big shout out to our team! We have Rupert as head photog, Alex Nicole as the fashion stylist and make-up artist, Marcie Seccombe as the hair stylist, Maggie Vinzant as the other fashion stylist and coordinator, and I art directed this shoot.

So let’s start from the beginning with the Intro Spread:

Intro Spread

 

Option 1. We really wanted to show the back of the dress and the purse as a nice accent.

Intro Spread

 

The final product! Our winner and my favorite shot of the night. Still shows the back of the dress, but with a little more attitude. And the purse is now more of an accent in the background.

Next. 🙂

First Shot

 

Option 1: Hand on the hip with the legs crossed.

 

First Shot

 

Winner: Not much difference between the 2 here, but alas, the subtle nuances make all the difference.

Next. Second Shot

Option 1. I LOVE this profile shot of Mackenzie. Her expression and the draping of the clothes is great!

Second Shot

 

Winner! The draping of the jacket is still the same, but you can see more of the dress with the opening in the front. The purse is also more in the picture.

Between you and me – I like Option 1 better, but the winner shows off the clothes and accessories better than Option 1. The choices we make for fashion. Sighhhhhh.

Next.

 

Third Shot

Option 1. We have the 2 girls standing in party dresses. Let me just say that I loooooove these dresses. I wish I had places to go where I can wear these.

Third Shot

 

Option 2. Obviously, the main difference is that one girl is sitting while the other is standing. I like the arm on the railing here, but it’s a little sexy…

Third Shot

 

Winner! Very close to option 2, but a little different in the postures and faces.

Next.

YEN_3936

 

Option 1. Love the feather-y dress. And it takes a very special person to wear a jumpsuit. I don’t think I will ever be quite that special Haha

Fourth Shot

 

Winner! Jacket off and soft smiles. Less of an intense look as Option 1.

Phew. This is a lot…

NEXT!! I feel like the lunch lady screaming “Neeeeeeext!!” after she plops slop on the trays.

Fifth Shot

 

Option 1. Profile shot, and her legs look AWESOME here!

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 4.31.54 PM

 

Winner! They decided to go with the straight on view. It’s nice, and I like the shadowing on her face. But I still like Option 1 better here too!

Neeeeeext! And Final Shot!

Sixth Shot

Option 1. Arms linked. This scene has a very train station-y feel.

 

Sixth Shot

 

Option 2. This one I liked, but was a little staged. It also did not show off the shoes.

Sixth Shot

 

Winner! The winner is the full body shot to show the shoes and a more attractive view of the legs. It’s all about the legs ladies. 🙂

Keep in mind that the non-winner pictures are un-retouched. Here you can also see the areas we retouched it to make it more refined.

 

xoxo peeps.

madison