"There comes a time when you meet someone and you just want to make them smile for the rest of your life."
Nathan and I have been together for close to eight years and oh how we've changed since those days in our early twenties. Oh to be young, dumb and in love!
A few things have remained the same over the years - his witty banter on the daily, my ever present spunky nature and our love for Friday night couch dates. Another thing that's stayed the same is doing things our way and taking our time. We took our time getting engaged, we're taking our time planning this upcoming spring wedding and we will probably take our time planning for other big life events. At times this has been a struggle for me. I'm a planner and I usually move at the speed of light but this boy slows me down and I've found it's usually for the best.
Slowing down continues to teach me that the best things in life come from living in the little,
in-between days not the big, planned ones.
Just like our relationship, photography and taking pictures is done by taking your time and through your own personal lens and style. We recently had my mom snap some engagement pictures for us and it got me thinking about all the tips and tricks Cat and I have learned in our year of blogging thus far. We don't claim to know it all and are definitely still learning, but I thought letting you in a few of our secrets will help you be a little more resourceful behind the camera, especially when planning for a specific event or trying to capture that perfect Instagram photo.
1. Lighting is Key
We never really realized this until we started taking photos a gazillion times a week, but cloudy or overcast days are always better.
Sun makes you squint and can create shadows in all the wrong places. It's also sometimes too bright for a good edit. The photo to the right was taken when the sun was brightly shining and you can see sun spots all over. Now look at the difference between that and the one just above. We found a big shadow to lay in and the difference is huge. The colors are more vibrant and there's not all those weird lighting issues going on. Clouds bring out the best in a photo!
2. Your iPhone camera is amazing!
You don't need run out and buy a $5,000 camera. Learn how your iPhone works, practice a lot and use an app like VSCOCAM for editing. It'll do you wonders. With the holidays fast approaching and on a social worker's budget I didn't want to spend a few hundred dollars on engagement photos. However, I knew this was a time of life to be celebrated and photographed. We all have a friend or loved one who's creative, so get them to help you out and snap the photos for you! My mom knows us, has a creative eye and wanted a good picture just as much as I did, so I knew she'd be perfect. She used my iPhone to take all our pictures and then I had Cat's brother, Luke, throw an edit on them with his mad Photoshop skills. Couldn't be happier with them and best part - it was FREE!
3. What you wear matters
If you're shooting a specific event, like an engagement or pregnancy, make sure you choose your outfits wisely. You want to feel comfortable, but still look your best. Make sure you stick to more solid colors. If your man is a flannel guy then let him wear the flannel just make sure you're wearing a vibrant solid color. Two prints is too much and will take away from the photo. A little more jewelry, make up and styling goes a long way in a photo, but tame that over accessorizing beast and don't go all cray looking. My other big tip is dark jeans!
Dark jeans makes everyone feel slimmer and they just downright look classy.
4. Be You
Some of my favorites from our engagement shoot were the outtakes. That's when we were the most natural. Relax! There's always a delete button and the best part is you can start over. Try a new angle, tell yourself a joke to make a real laugh come out for the photo and just keep clicking.
A few really good photos are bound to show up in the eighty you snapped.
5. Learn from others
A few other helpful tips we like are from this article on A Beautiful Mess and over at Darling Be Daring. They were both definitely "duh" moments for us when we read them and are things we've implemented in our photos. Also, don't wanna set a timer on your phone and run to your spot? Use a Bluetooth enabled clicker. That's how we snap ten photos in a minute without running back and forth between our phone and the spot we want to stand in. And last but not least, use a tripod with a cell phone adapter added on top!