Engagement Session season is in full swing and keeping in the spirit of that...I made a super quick video featuring Julia & Kameron and our session we captured in Sertoma Park last weekend! Can't wait for their July wedding!!
One of my favorite things of being a photographer is getting the chance to meet other business owners and being able to collaborate with them to create something special while helping each other in the process. As 2016 neared it's end...I was fortunate enough to be able to meet and work with some great people, businesses, and amazing venues!
Though, almost all of my time as a photographer is spent photographing people, these collaborations focused on venue, design, and detail photography...which are all a bit out of my comfort zone. I always feel that if you continue to stay inside your comfort zone, you will never increase your skill set and you will eventually become stale and boring...therefore I usually try to push myself to try different things...even if I am uncomfortable (fake it till you make it)!
Ann Vossekuil, from the Ramada in Grand Forks, gave me the chance to come in and shoot the reception hall for one of their last weddings of the year. I got to meet, and work with, Sadie Gardner of Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, North Dakota who beautifully transformed the, already beautiful, Ramada Ballroom into something truly elegant and unique! Then, a couple of weeks later, I ventured to The Avalon Events Center in Fargo, where I met Jackie Bruenjes (the social events & marketing manager), who gave me the chance to capture Sadie's talent yet again.
Photographing both events was an awesome experience! I love being even just a small part in helping to create something great and I hope that I did Ann, Sadie, and Jackie proud. Thanks to all of them for trusting me to show off their talents and venues!!
Grand Forks Ramada, 1205 43rd street Grand Forks, ND 58203
Ann Vossekuil (701) 775-3951
Sadie Gardner (701) 317-3255
Jackie Bruenjes (Social Events & Marketing Manager) 701-219-3433
Sadie Gardner (701) 317-3255
Congratulations! You are engaged! Now-a-days, engagement photos have taken on a life of their own. Couples use engagement photos for Save-the-Date announcements, wedding invitations, wall art for their homes, gifts for family members, greeting cards, photos to display at the wedding reception, photos to view in wedding slideshows, social media updates...You name it!
So...how can you make sure that your engagement photos stand apart from the rest and leave friends and family members talking about them??? Follow these 5 tips and you'll be on your way to get some truly unique and memorable photos.
1. Comfort is Key
Being in front of the camera can be a little unsettling sometimes…especially when you are asked to show intimacy with your fiancé in a public place. To make this insecurity a “non-issue”, set up a consult with your potential engagement photographer before your photo session. That way, you can ask questions, talk about ideas, and most importantly…you can see if you all “Click” and will be a good fit to work together.
Hiring a photographer who you can get along with and who can make you feel calm and “at ease” is VERY important…especially if you decide to hire them for your wedding day because they will be with you the entire day!
2. Location, Location, Location!
Meaningful places help make engagement photos all the more special…but don’t be afraid to think outside the box here. If you want your photos to be different, then you can’t shoot in all of the same locations as everyone else. If your city has a landmark that EVERYONE has their photos taken at, avoid it…plain and simple.
Talk with your photographer about ideas for a unique photoshoot. Are there places that are special to you and your fiancé that can help tell your story? Does your city have other, less known, landmarks that help define it? Look for areas with different textures and colors. A lot of photographers come from ART backgrounds and know about things such as color theory, composition, leading lines, contrast, and juxtaposition…so discuss these things with them and don’t be afraid to use (and trust) their creativity.
3. Wardrobe, Hair, Make-Up…
If you are unsure about what to wear or you don’t have a stylish wardrobe, consider consulting with a stylist. Go outside the realm of your regular everyday wardrobe. After all…this is a one-time event (hopefully). You want these engagement photos to stand out and make an impression on your family and friends.
Spend a little extra money and splurge on that dress you had your eye on…or that sport coat and watch your fiancé has been eyeballing. Avoid anything that will make you look dated. You don’t want to look back on these photos 10 years from now and wonder why you wore those skinny jeans and lady Gaga T-shirt! Also…avoid trying to match each other’s outfit. Instead, try and complement each other’s outfit. Don’t forget to bring accessories like shoes, socks, belts and jewelry too.
As for Hair and Make-up…Get both done by a pro and you'll not only look amazing, but the extra confidence will shine through. If you are hiring a makeup artist for the wedding, they will likely want to do a practice run, and the day of your engagement photos would be a great try out. If you are doing your own makeup, consider wearing matte since it photographs best.
If you want unique, memorable photos…the key here is to pretend you are movie stars, get all dolled up, present the photographer with the best versions of yourselves, and do something different.
4. Watch the weather…and the clock.
So…when IS the best time of day to shoot engagement photos?? Most photographers will tell you that the light is best in early morning, or late evening…and I’m sure most photographers will tell you that early mornings aren’t for them. So that golden time right before sunset is perfect.
The common misconception is that bright sunny days are great for shooting portraits. Quite the opposite is true. Mid-day, when the sun is directly overhead, causes many problems…such as harsh downward shadows over faces, Raccoon Eyes, squinting, Bright Blown-Out Highlights, and a few other troubles. So try to avoid scheduling your engagement session around mid-day, if at all possible.
If, however, it is overcast, foggy, or even drizzling outside….it can favor your photo session and you can get some interesting, great looking shots during mid-day.
For the most part, it would be safe to schedule your shoot 1-3 hrs BEFORE sunset for the most flattering natural light possible.
So, you paid all this money to hire a professional photographer. You paid more money for clothes, hair, make-up, and props…had a super fun time and got some truly stunning photos of yourselves and couldn’t be more excited about them. But when it comes time to order prints, you are satisfied by getting a few prints made at the local drugstore or Mega-Chain-Department store down the street!
Why spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on that whole experience only to have a $2 8x10 department store print in a $6 craft store frame? Getting engaged is one of the biggest moments of your lives and you should invest in preserving that whole experience by displaying a professional, museum quality, piece of art for your home. The difference between a store printed photo that costs $2 and a Professional Photo lab metal or canvas print that may cost a few hundred dollars can be vast. How do you think department and drug stores can offer you prints at such low costs? Probably because they are using cheaper inks, papers, printers, materials, and laborers.
The point? Your engagement (and wedding) are precious memories that you’ll want to remember the rest of your lives. They are priceless! So, if you treat them that way and invest in a quality piece of Art for your home…you’ll be able to admire it for decades!
to win a FREE engagement Session with Shawn Morrissey Photography!!
2016 is bringing a whole slew of new products to Shawn Morrissey Photography. This is one of my favorites! It's a new custom engraved crystal Flash Drive with an amazing matching Snap box. I'm ecstatic with how they turned out and clients that I've already given them to have loved them! They're available through PhotoFlashDrive.com and am a huge new fan of theirs. These will be available for my weddings, engagement sessions, and bridal sessions.