Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Engagement Photos

I wanted to share a post about our engagement photos and the process.  I thought it might be useful for photo sessions in general or to impart my knowledge to someone who may be preparing for their own engagement photos.

First thing, a good photographer can take great pictures of you no matter the location.  That being said, a great location can make for really spectacular pictures.  Knowing that I would have my very talented friend shoot the photos, I wanted to pick something fun and different that would be new for her and fun for us.  Originally I thought a Fair themed shoot would be so fun, but my fiance said he wanted us to take nice pictures without a gimmicky theme.  Especially since I am doing stuff like that for Salty Sisters all the time.  Our next plan was to go out to our friend's farm property.  Unfortunately, the only week we had available to do our pictures, it rained every day so we had to come up with a back up plan.  Janie, our photographer, suggested a park that has a beach where she has done many shoots, except to use parts of the park that she had not considered before.  Finally, Friday afternoon, our last available day to do the shoot, the sun came out and the sky cleared up in enough time to get some pictures.

I knew that I wanted a shot on a dirt road holding vintage suitcases for our save the dates.  I had also acquired a really fabulous vintage sofa that we are using at our wedding.  I knew I did not want beach pictures but I was ok with water in the pictures.  So with all that in mind a put all of my trust into Janie capturing what we wanted.

As for our wardrobe, I wanted classic with a twist and clothes that reflect what we typically wear.  I also knew that one of my outfits needed a little drama, and all though I might not wear it in real life, that it would look great in pictures.  So Chris stuck with jeans a shirt and blazer for one outfit and then changed into a different shirt for his second look.  I chose a blue and white polka dot dress with a large flower brooch for the first look and wore a denim shirt and over sized white tulle skirt for my second look.  I went heavy on the makeup, knowing that it turns up lighter in the pictures.

So here are some pics with our first outfit.  And I will note some interesting things about some of the pics.

This clearing is actually part of a Frisbee golf course.

Janie had us climb into this patch of overgrowth for some of these shots.

This quaint dirt road is actually a very short path used by service vehicles at the park.  And this area is not very wooded, but through the lens you wouldn't know otherwise.

This is the shot we ended up choosing for our Save the Date.

The next batch has me in a new outfit and Chris changed after a few shots.  But this time we hauled out the sofa down to the shoreline.  This park has an actual beach but we liked how the grass met the water in that area.

While Chris went to change his shirt we took these.

 Then we abandoned the couch and took the rest.

As a side not this last batch was all taken after the sun had set.  We kept asking Janie if it was getting too dark but the camera was picking up so much light and it was this beautiful pink color.

I am soooooooooooo happy with how our pictures turned out.  We felt so dorky at first, but the more natural we could get ourselves to act the better those pictures looked.  I also said I didn't want kissing pictures and we publicly kissed in that hour more than we have in our whole relationship.  And go figure our save the date picture has us kissing!  So just go for it, certain poses that you wouldn't expect to look great might be your favorite and some that you thought would be great might not look as good.  

Most of all have fun and be yourself!

Here is a breakdown of the Stuff and vendors:
Chalkboard Sign- Salty Sisters Junk
Vintage Suitcases- Salty Sisters Junk
Vintage couch- Salty Sisters Junk
Tulle Skirt- Habana Collection
Location- Picnic Island Park, Tampa, FL

We also made photo books of our shoot on Shutterfly and they came out great.  Highly recommend ordering from them. We made a large one for ourselves and our parents and smaller ones for our grandparents.

Friday, March 8, 2013

DIY Vintage Postcard Save the Dates

I have not been doing a good good job keeping up with DIY's or any blogging lately but now that I am planning my own wedding there should be lots of fun posts coming your way.

I wanted to start with our save the dates.  I had a lot of fun working on these and they came out great.  We got a lot of responses from our friends and family this week when they received them so I figured I would share how I put them together.

I am by no means a sophisticated graphic design artist and I do not have really fancy software, (although I just started subscribing to adobe creative suites online subscription, I have no idea how to use all that stuff yet!) so I used Microsoft Publisher to make the layout for the cards and then uploaded them to Mpix and ordered them.

I am learning very quickly that there is really no such thing as a budget wedding, unless you only invite 20 people.  So with that being said, there are certain things that you inevitably have to pay for, but I thought this was a great way to cut some costs.  I probably spent about 6 hours working on these and the cost came to just a little over a dollar after postage. This was about 50-65% cheaper then ordering one with a premade design online.

First step was to chose our picture, which we had professional pictures done so that was easy.  I wanted the save the dates to be more fun and whimsy so I went with a fun picture and a chalkboard background for the info side.

There are no filters or edits to the coloring of this picture.  The effect is all natural light and shot by the talented Janie Koike from Life Writing Photography.

I got the specs needed to layout the cards from the Mpix website and made sure that I set up the page according to their dimensions.

The Save the date and numbers font is Janda Stylish Script and the flourishes are from the Nymphette font.

Our names are Captain Howdy Font and the "and" is from Bergamont Ornaments font.

I made a text box for each word and the date at the top.  Then each flourish was added and then some tweaking was involved to get it just right.   Then I grouped the text boxes together so I could move it around.
Our names are in the same text box which works fine because it was just straight across and centered.

For the backside I downloaded a free chalkboard background I found on the internet via google search.

I wanted to use a mix of fonts for the information but I also wanted it to be legible so I tried to stay away from anything that was over styled.

All the cursive is the same Janda Stylish Script that was used on the front.  I also used Captain Howdy again for the names, Florida and the bottom line.
The date is EcuyerDAX, the fancy "And" is Bergamont Ornaments and the plain lettering for the rest is Modern No. 20.
The dot lines were just free form lines available through Publisher.

When I saved the image I saved them as Jpegs with high resolution.

I like to use Publisher because its really easy to position all the boxes in a simple way.  Before I started laying everything out though I searched through tons of websites for ideas.   Originally I was going to just order them through a similar premade template, but I would like something from one company and another from somewhere else, and with Mpix great pricing I figured it was worth taking a shot.

From the beginning I knew I wanted something with a vintage feel to notify our guests about our date and destination wedding and I couldn't be happier with the results.  I think that the save the dates are also a great way to have fun and be less formal about announcing the wedding.

I also opted for the larger 5x7 size since this would be hanging on fridges and I wanted all the info to be easily read.  At first I thought maybe it would be too big, but it was just right.  Also the stock was very thick and perfect for sending as a postcard.  VERY pleased with Mpix.

On a side note, I had a vision of a dirt road and vintage suitcases as the pic for our Save the dates before we even took the pictures, so it worked out perfect that I had that in mind during our engagement shoot.  I will be doing another post about engagement photos soon.  I will also be sharing a post about our invitation process with the company we chose.  I have been able to incorporate some original artwork into the design that I am looking forward to sharing.

Email me with any Questions and I hope you enjoyed this post!