Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to Kiss Your First Kiss

Okay, I'm not going to get too graphic here since I don't want screams of "too much information!" But I need to share some thoughts on the big first kiss when you are getting married.

1. Don't crane your neck. Cranes work great for constructing buildings, but not for first kisses. Lunging towards your soulmate while standing many feet apart does not result in the best kiss on film. Move close and then make it happen.

2. Take your time. One client of mine kissed their first kiss for precisely 2/10ths of a second. That makes it harder for us photographers to capture something good. You are not kissing your grandma here--no quick pecks on the cheek allowed. Think Wesley and Princess Buttercup--enjoy the moment and have fun. Kiss for at least 2-3 seconds. And try to count in your head (1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi...) or you will ruin the kiss if you count out loud! But remember, though you are not doing a grandma kiss, she is probably sitting in the front row, so keep it PG-rated if you get my drift.

3. Take a dip. Guaranteed to win the crowd over every time. Talk about romance and true love. Might want to practice first. But the look of surprise on the bride's face during and after is priceless, so surprise her, too!

4. Get your limbs involved. Get creative here. Embrace. Put hands on his lapels, ladies. Or touch her face, guys. Throw an arm around their back and reel them in. Remember the key here is being natural, yet passionate. Might even get your legs in on the kiss, too, if you excel in the creativity department.

5. Don't rush into the kiss. Kind of restating #2, but don't feel like when your officiant says 'You may kiss the bride' that you have to leap towards her and start kissing instantly. Just like when there aren't 250 people staring at you, hooting and hollering, take your time and look at each other in the eyes for a moment. Remember why you are marrying this person. Flash back to when you first met or when you first laid eyes on each other and knew you would be married someday.

6. Kiss the first kiss, then go for two. Who says you have to kiss just once? One of the most exciting first kisses was actually two. They kissed a pretty passionate kiss. Pulled away and then went back in for more. Well done. And the crowd went wild!

Camilla & Ryan Get Hitched at Rembrandt Yard

This was the first wedding I shot for a former soccer player I used to coach. Granted Ryan was just 8 years old when I coached his Boulder Junior Soccer team back in the mid-80s. And Camilla grew up in England and is a big fan of Little Britain TV show. After promising to not get heat stroke at their wedding last weekend, we ended up having a great time over at Rembrandt Yard just off the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder (inside joke--you'll just have to hire me to shoot your next wedding to find out what that's all about!)

Watch the slideshow here to see what we did during the formals session before guests arrived. Got to love all the texture down on the alleyways off Pearl Street.

Go to the online gallery for the full event here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Top 5 Best Spots to Get Engaged Around Boulder

If I were secretly being paid by a groom to photograph them actually in the act of getting engaged, here are 5 really sweet places I'd want to be:

5. Lost Gulch Overlook: Beyond the top of Flagstaff Mountain another 5 mins up the road--sweeping views of Continental Divide and of Boulder. Lotsa big rocks to scramble upon, just don't drop the ring or yourself off the edge or it will be a very short engagement.

4. The Boulder Train Museum just NW of Valmont Butte. It's free and also a cool spot, especially for train buffs. Climb on restored locomotives and usually nobody out there to spoil the moment. Private. Vibrant colors, too.

3. While rockclimbing up the 1st Flatiron--never tried it but I bet it would be neat. Unequalled views and a rush for adrenaline junkies. But I will be shooting with a long lens, as you won't get me to bring my best gear where one slip up and it (or me) drops 800 feet to an untimely demise.

2. Hidden alleys in back of Pearl Street Mall--great brick walls, strange things stuck to the sides of buildings, and lots of neat people out and about. Okay, so this would be better for an engagement shoot rather than having to drop to 1 knee to propose for the actual thing. Up to you. But great texture!

1. Mesa Trail hike ending in romantic picnic above Chautauqua Park and the Flatirons. Charming. Gorgeous. Popular, but well-deserved reputation. Have picnic outside of concert hall and listen to world-class Colorado Music Festival for free. Walk the heavily wooded trail just south of hall for a fun adventure.

How the Top 5 Coolest Spanish Words Make For Great Wedding Photographs

Something about that Spanish lifestyle I remember from our trip around the world for a year after 9/11. "Estilo de vida", or the style of life. That slower pace that comes only from oppressive summer humidity and great sangria. "Manana por la manana", tomorrow is for tomorrow--just think 'don't worry, be happy'. These and the top 5 I collected here can help you turn your wonderful, yet stressful wedding day into pure joy, but only if you live 'em out.

5. cállate - Means "shut up". Often the best policy, guys. Keeping your mouth shut has many benefits, especially on wedding day when everyone is excited and excitable. Something about a closed mouth gathering no flies comes to mind. And shutting up in Spanish is always so much more fun!

4. chiste - A joke. Learn a few, deploy sparingly. Humor during a tense ceremony gets everyone laughing and relaxes even the most uptight. Just make them tasteful or you will be called a "baboso". Look it up here (it is not one of the top 5).

3. las nalgas - Buttocks. Not sure how that fits in here, but I just like the sound of that one. Has a certain ring. Now you can turn the other cheek in Spanish when you get a strange look from one of your guests.

2. pantalones - Pants. Not necessarily a cool word, but it sounds cool. Also can be used to mean "courage" or "guts". I like it better than pants or jeans. Just sounds more fancy. Be sure not to forget your pantalones as you stand at the end of the center aisle as your gorgeous bride comes walking your way.

1. tranquilo - Cool, quiet, composed, laid back, chilled out. Can also use it as a command to tell someone to relax and calm down. My favorite brides are cool under pressure and make my job a piece of cake. And they look more beautiful on wedding day. Tranquilo is the enemy of bridezilla and the lesser known, yet equally devastating horror film nightmare known only as Mother of Bridezilla.

Hazlo! (go do it) Your friends will call you "genio" (genius--used similar to "cool!" or "awesome!")

How To Pose For Your Wedding Photographer

If it bends, bend it...create a flattering S-curve by back-weighting your feet... lean towards the camera a touch by putting weight on the balls of your feet in order to slenderize your neck...don't stand square on to the camera or it will add 10 lbs to you...all these are great tips. But even though you can learn a lot in a lecture, the laboratory is where the real learning takes place. Grab that full length mirror and start posing. Wait till your significant other is out of the room and then have at it. Strike a pose! Blast your iPod to avoid getting the police called. Have fun. Copy some modeling poses from the glamour magazines. Project some attitude and learn how your body moves. Cross your arms, shift your hips, kick a leg up, even if you are hopelessly uncool (like me). Then when it comes time for your engagement session, senior portrait or bridal formals on your wedding day, you'll be more comfortable in your body and the camera will be your best friend.

After all, when you practice in the lab and study hard, you always do better during the exam!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Looking Lovely in Boulder

I love finding places to do a photo shoot where clients actually express a hint of concern as to my choice of locations. "Are you serious? You want to do our engagement session in an old alley? Won't that look bad in the photos?" Strangely enough, I don't get too many clients like that. Maybe they just get scared off by my style. But Stephen and Monika were great sports last night as we shot them amidst old bricks and alleyways off Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. Theese two got into the shoot and did a great job--very fun to work with and quite natural in front of the lens. And they weren't even bothered by the old socks stuck to the wall behind them.

See Stephen and Monika having too much fun during their engagement session here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wedding Testimonial

Lots of happy customers this week. One bride. One mom of the bride. The third a bride from 2 years ago still excited about her wedding images. Bride Sarah said "Oh my God--the photos turned out beautifully! Thank you so much! I cried the whole way through as I am sure my mother did. Thank you thank you thank you!!

Her mom, Becky, said "I was so excited to see your email! One word: fantastic! I've just run through them quickly, but there are some absolutely STUNNING photographs. You captured my daughter, my husband, my family & those I love (and perhaps me, too), and all the fun we had that day. I can't possibly thank you enough!"

Ashley wrote us a card thanking us for coming all the way down to Oklahoma for her wedding and that she still loves the photographs we created for her.

Thanks you guys for the kind words!