Sunday, October 17, 2010

Engagement Pictures

This post is a late one, but when you come home every night after being verbally harassed at work, typing up a witty blog is not high on your list of priorities.  Drinking wine is.  And whining to your beleaguered fiance.  But today is a better day, so blog I shall!

A few weeks ago we randomly decided to take our engagement photos.  We've been engaged now for like 8 months, (holy shit I had to count that time twice.  Time has FLOWN by!), so we're a little late on the engagement photos bandwagon.  We never intended to take engagement photos because Mike refuses to put an announcement in our local paper, (which I'm okay with because they consistently spell people's names wrong and leave huge gaps in their type...especially in the obits...which I find tacky and obnoxious...go Ridgecrest journalism!), and we weren't planning to send out engagement announcements.  Our fantabulous photographer Ray Hocker, (Sierra Photography Studios check him out!!), offers them free with our wedding package so we figured what the hell.  We had planned to take them months ago, but Mike's father got sick so we kept having to reschedule and never really found a good time.  A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Ray's wife saying that he could do them that weekend if we were free.  Perfect, let's get these suckers over with!

The day arrived.  Panic ensued.  I had NO plan.  As a hopefully future wedding planner and a bride planning her own wedding, I check wedding blogs and magazines daily.  I have an overload of ideas and images in my head.  There are some adorably cute engagement sessions out there with props and themes galore.  I had nothing.  While planning my wedding beyond an inch of its life, I had let this little detail slip by.  Shit.  Mike and I literally spent that day bickering.  I was pissy, he was pissy, it was not conducive for romantic lovey dovey engagement photos.  Mike also chose this day to decide to veto using our dogs in the photos which was my only prop.  I couldn't get my hair to work, Mike bickered with me about his outfit choice, and I realized as we were about to leave that our outfits completely clashed.  To top it all off, Mike and I both HATE having our pictures taken and neither of us are particularly photogenic...especially me...the queen of blinks and double chins.  It was too late to cancel now, so I chugged a glass of wine and off we went.

So we start taking pictures and I'm not feeling totally comfortable.  I've never been good at standing still and I always feel awkward in poses.  Ray also informed me that I blinked in the first four takes.  It's official, I will never be America's Next Top Model.  After a few shots, Ray let us come around and look at them on his camera.  I was shocked.  Thank God for Ray, his fancy schmancy flash, and lenses.  We looked faboosh.  I was immediately put at ease.  Mike and I just embraced the poses and laughed through the rest of the shoot.  Ray was so complementary and sweet and might I add FAST.  We got through with our shoot in about an hour and less than two weeks later had 83 perfect shots to choose from.  Here are a few of my favs:

Aren't they pretty?!  Everyone loves them and I'm so pleased with how they came out!  Ray rocks.  I do, however, because I am after all ME, have some regrets.  So here is my advice for ladies getting ready to take their engagement photos:

1)  Don't wear something you've never been photographed in before.  I love the dress I wore in this and it's my wedding colors so I thought it'd be perfect.  The top photographed so baggy and for someone like me with big boobs, wearing a baggy top made me look even bigger.  Some of the shots, to me, are unusable because of how the dress made me look.  Case in point:  

Thanks to Ray's photography and Mike's hotness, this would be a totally cute picture.  Except, the bagginess of my top and my bad posture makes me look like I have the saggiest boobs in the world.  Not cute.  Shot from the front, this dress makes me look wide as a house too.  So do some photos in what you want to wear to make sure you look as cute as you feel!!

2)  Have a plan and make sure your photographer knows about it.  I had researched engagement sessions I liked and sent some ideas to Ray's wife months before the impromptu session, but without the ideas fresh in my or Ray's mind, they fell to the wayside.  If I could do it again, I would have printed out examples of pictures and poses I liked so we could recreate them in our own photos.

3)  Bring props!  I wish we had brought at least SOMETHING.  I especially love the photos where the bride and groom to be hold signs or flags that say Thank You on them so you can use them for your after wedding thank you cards.  Just bring something.  Balloons, flowers, dogs, umbrellas, something to change it up.  Even if you don't use the photos later, options are good!

4)  Be more vocal with your photographer.  Ray was great and did exactly what we asked, but I wish I had asked him for more.  I was so flustered from the bad day we had had and from my nerves that I didn't ask for things I wanted.  I will definitely not make this mistake at the wedding!


  1. Nicole Padellaro SpanoOctober 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Great blog entry, beautiful pictures! Thanks for putting your "case in point picture" with your advice to go along with it, you totally put a smile on my face with your comments--- silly girl! Congrats to you and Mike!

  2. Beautiful! You both look so happy and in love! They couldn't have turned out more gorgeous!