Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting Good Photos... what YOU can do.

Getting great wedding photos is sometimes completely accidental. I mean, most bride's and groom's don't really get to practice and most people don't really know what they can do to make sure their photos are great. In fact, I'm often surprised by the fact that many people think great photos they see are candids...just caught at some moment when everything was perfect. Those beautiful candids are mostly a combination of the photographer's know-how and directions given to the bride and groom. They are the most important photos you will have from your wedding--the ones you hang on the wall. They aren't accidental and here's what you can do:

First of all, make sure your dress is comfortable!!! I can't stress that one thing enough. If you are in pain it will show on your face. Make sure you can walk, sit down and move in your dress. So many wedding gowns are so restrictive that the bride can barely breathe. This insures that all your pictures will look the same. You will stand there like a pillar and we will change the people standing near you. No romantic seated embraces or twirling happy faced shots for the bride who is just getting through the day barely able to breathe. Don't just try on the dress at the dress shop and stand in front of a mirror...sit down, dance around, throw your hands in the air ...and if you pop out of the top or it feels like a straight-jacket, look for another dress! You will be so much happier and have so much more fun.

Do not tan right before your wedding!! Tanning can make you look like an oompah loompah on film and if the groom is ruddy and the bride is golden there is no adjustment that will help. If you must tan, do it a week or more before the wedding. Try a seaweed wrap or massage instead of tanning if you need to relax.

Men, don't get your haircut right before you get married. It's the one thing that can almost be counted on: the groom will get his hair cut the day of or before the wedding. A haircut needs a week to look it's best. Some short cuts actually make it look like your balding so no haircut less than a week before. Women, try out your hair and makeup before the wedding. Some hairstyles you see in a book may be disastrous on you! The only way to know is to try it out. Some truly lovely brides get hair styles that just don't go with their faces or bodies so get your hair done well before the wedding and try it out...twice if you don't like the first one. If you need to travel for your wedding, have your hair done at home until you love it and have someone take a picture of your hair for the stylist at the wedding location.

Makeup...those mineral makeups work very well for photos. They are light and natural looking and reflect a smooth surface back to the camera. For most people light lids and dark crease works the best for eye makeup. Don't let anyone do a dark lids on you--the corpse bride is the only person that works for. It makes the eyes look sunken -- most lighting will tend to do that anyway (deep shadows under the brow) and dark eyelid makeup will make it worse. On the other hand a fairly dramatic eyeliner will make your eye-lashes look lush.

Glasses...will sometimes reflect light and hide the eyes. Some people are uncomfortable seeing themselves without glasses but remember that these images are the kind that last...and probably will be cherished by your children and their children so take a couple without the glasses so people can really see your face. On the other hand, if you wear contacts, bring glasses to wear if your eyes get tired from wearing the contacts. Comfort is really important for having fun and looking your best so if you are not comfortable without your glasses, it will be fine, just wear them (and have fun)!

Finally, my personal favorite, take time...just a little more time with your photographer while everyone else is having a good time. Steal away for 20 minutes and allow yourselves to have pictures done while you are relaxed and having fun. I promise it will be worth it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Website and URL

I've just completed my new web site with a great deal of work from my husband, Val (who is a fantastic Web Designer). I also have a new URL : as well as the old one I hope it will make it easier for people to find me and also to find the information they need once they get there.

There are a couple of things about the new site that may not be self-explanatory. If your mouse rests on the large slide show that plays for the opening of each section (weddings, portraits and commercial) the show will pause until the mouse is removed. So, if you want to look at a particular image longer, you may.

I think it's a much easier to navigate site with the pull down menus . If any part of the site doesn't work on your particular browser I would appreciate your letting me know so I can fix it. If you want to return to the opening page with the wedding slide show you can click on my signature at the top of the page.

I've been finding typos as I check the site over and if you find any I would appreciate a "heads up".

I hope you will enjoy the new look and that you will let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inn at Mountain View Farm, East Burke

I was just going over my new portfolio order and marveling at all the pictures I have from certain venues. I was stunned at how many of my favorite wedding images are taken at the Inn at Mt. View Farm in East Burke.

Yes, it's in the neighborhood, so to speak but so are many other places I shoot regularly. The thing that makes Mt. View so special is that everywhere you look is a beautiful backdrop...from the room where the bride gets ready to the stately wrap-around porch, the many gardens, fields and barns. Even the swing out front is great for a photo-op.

This is a wedding that included the bride, groom, his best friend, her best friend and officiant and me. I could shoot freely without being in any of the guests way. Here they are going up the "aisle"

It doesn't get more ideal than this. One of my favorite shots EVER was from the garden area next to the big barn. It's another one of Mountain Views idyllic settings. We shot the formal hedges as an album end shot.

and serendipity happens most often in this kind of setting. The Inn has an animal rescue barn and one of their guests became a curious wedding guest.

Chris Willy catered most of the weddings I shot at the Inn at Mountain View Farm...that was before he opened his new sensational restaurant in East Burke (Willy's). If you can get him to cater your affair I suggest you do it while you can because, with food like Chris makes, he won't be available much.