Jake and I hadn’t gotten professional photos of us done SINCE OUR WEDDING DAY. I know, I’m such a hypocrite, right? Here I am, always expressing how important it is to get photos done, no matter what stage you are in your relationship! And I hadn’t done it! To be fair, I am a professional photographer so I have taken my camera and tripod along to pretty much every trip we’ve taken. BUT NOW I KNOW THAT IS SO NOT THE SAME THING, so stop yelling at me! I asked in my instagram stories if anyone was interested to hear what I learned from the experience. To my surprise, it was an overwhelming YES.
First off, I have to thank my girl Andie Avery Photography, because holy moly, I AM IN LOVE. Never have I ever loved photos so much. She’s become a good friend of mine in the photography world, and Jake and I made a trip all the way to Sedona, Arizona specifically for this shoot! I wasn’t surprised at how much I loved the photos…What surprised me the most is what I learned from the experience. Here I was being the client for a change! And it was honestly so transformative. It really helped me to better grasp what my couples go through for their photoshoots! So, let’s get right down to it.
I had this shoot planned for like TWO MONTHS, people. While it was on my mind, I just kept procrastinating. Then, all of a sudden, it was November and I had nothing. Jake had nothing. AND I FLIPPIN’ PANICKED. We spent the good portion of the day before AND THE DAY OF our shoot going to stores in the Sedona area (which, by the way, there aren’t many). I had a specific idea of what I wanted and wasn’t finding it anywhere. Thanks to yours truly, it was too late to get things online. COOL.
It just added some frustration and discontentment not finding outfits I absolutely loved. I know that is silly, but considering we hadn’t gotten pictures done in 3.5 years, I wanted to love everything about them?! So, my advice to you, is to shop IN ADVANCE. Get your things in order with plenty of time to change your mind! I think you should have your outfits completely 100% settled at least one week before your shoot, so you don’t freak out like me. It took a little bit of the fun away because I was so preoccupied about that! Which leaves me with yet another wardrobe tip…
This was a completely new realization for me. I’m pretty sure I’ve told couples to wear new clothes before. If that’s you, I AM SORRY! I take it back! Sure, we all love the feeling of new clothes. But do you ever have the experience of realizing how something REALLY fits after you leave the store? Like in normal life? Think about it! When you’re trying clothes on at the store, or even in your room after an online shopping spree, you’re just kind of standing there. You might do a couple of twirls (I know I do), but that’s it! Then, you finally wear this cute new outfit to a workday/wedding/party/WHATEVER, and you realize it’s not great. This area rides up a little or it feels a little big or it’s kind of stiff and you can’t move around as easily. These are all things you find out when you’re wearing it for the first time, and that is not fun to think about during your photoshoot! You want to wear something that you feel great in ALL DAY whether it be just standing there or running around playing tag (because that’s the kind of thing both me AND Andie have our couples do hahaha!).
Hiiiii, speaking to myself here! I live in my head! Nerves were at an all time high leading up to our session. NO IDEA WHY. I was thinking I want to be the best client ever, look real cute, act all in love, whatever, haha. I was just thinking WAY TOO MUCH (story of my life, Alexa play Ride by Twenty One Pilots). Luckily, I had a lot of trust in Andie. I was super in my head and nervous leading up to the shoot. However, once we got there, I made a mental switch. This was going to be fun. I am so glad I made that switch, you have no idea! When I see these photos now, I really see US, not us trying to be anything we saw on Pinterest or Instagram.
I thought I would bring this to attention because I see my couples struggle with this occasionally. Pinterest is great for ideas, but sometimes it plays too much of an influence. You are not meant to look or act like anyone else, so stop trying! I had one couple say that they saw tips on Pinterest that they were supposed to ALMOST kiss, rather than actually kiss during their shoot. While I get what the message is trying to say, you should kiss your partner all day long because this is your time to really love on each other! Your photographer will be the one to direct you, but don’t let what you’ve read or seen somewhere else direct you. Trust in the process and be present. It’s meant to be a fun date, but how much can you enjoy each other organically if you’re thinking so much about how you look or want to look? Which brings me to my next point.
Just in case I haven’t bragged on Andie enough, I completely trusted this girl. I’ve followed her for a while, have become friends with her, and learned from her. So I knew long before we even booked with her that she would be able to capture us the way we are and get genuine moments out of us. Hiring a photographer you admire and trust is the only way you would even be able to accomplish my last point! If you don’t trust the way they direct or think they will capture you in an unflattering way, you will be in your head. It would be like you trying to be the photographer and the subject. That’s way too much to think about to create honest photographs! This was extra hard for me because hiiiii, I’m the person behind the camera all the dang time. If I can get out of my head, so can you, if you pick the right person! If you’re thinking of posing ideas during your photoshoot, or even ahead of your photoshoot, that indicates that you don’t fully trust your photographer to create images you would absolutely love. And then what’s the point?
You didn’t need to follow me long to know that we are obsessed with our dogs. We have two little fur beauties, and as lame as you animal haters might think, they’re a huge part of our lives! It wasn’t the easies thing bringing them along for a 13 hour road trip, but it was so important to us! I am so glad we brought them, even though they were absolutely insane. But I mean, look how freaking cute they are!! We will have photos of Maisie punching Piper’s face (like she always does) and both of them licking any exposed skin they can find (like they always do) forever. So what is important to you and your significant other? Do you frequently have pizza and wine dates? You should incorporate that! Or maybe your summer people and love going to the lake! Have your session there! These photos are supposed to represent you, no one else.
I didn’t realize what Jake and I were missing out on. We have our wedding photos and engagement photos, but man can things change in just a few years! We are different people than we were back then. Every year we evolve so much and our relationship adapts and grows. I want to continue to have photos that portray that! I love these photos so much more than our wedding or engagement photos because these represent us now. This is who we are. And years down the line, I will have these pictures to look back on and remind me of who we were during this time! So you better believe we’re doing something like this every year now! And you should too! Scroll down to see what the amazing Andie did for us!
Thanks for being here! I hope to send you more and more tips, so keep following along!