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!