Shoots you should do :)

I've gotten a couple of inquiries recently about creative photo shoots.  I love that I have awesome clients who are asking me about these shoots they're hearing about, and I'm always open to new ideas that anyone has (within reason haha).  I figured I would post about the 3 shoots that I get the most questions about, which are also the 3 that I have a little experience in doing and would recommend to any bride.  If any photographers reading this want to add their input or anyone out there who has done any of these shoots want to post your experiences about them, please do!  Positive or negative, I'd love people to have the full idea of what they can expect from shoots like this :) Boudoir Shoot: Okay ladies, here's the deal.  You have to buy something for your groom on wedding day.  Okay, you don't have to, but if you want that blue Tiffany's box to show up while you're getting ready, then you better be ready to reciprocate with an equally awesome gift.  Enter boudoir sessions.  This is a chance for you to get sexy and wear something that you might not normally wear.  No, you do not have to get naked, and no, you do not have to be a perfect size 0.  There is someone out there who loves you and your body just the way you are, and so why not have a little fun and show him what he's about to marry?  This is your chance to get playful, get sassy, and show him that just because you're getting married doesn't mean the fun is over.  After the session, you pick your favorite pictures and then we design an album, a "little black book" if you will.  It makes the perfect gift for wedding day, especially for the groom who already has everything.  And don't worry, we make sure he opens it in private and not in front of all his groomsmen :)  And if anyone has any doubt on what a great gift this makes, just ask me for a copy of one of my recent groom's reaction pics to opening this gift... his expressions were priceless!  He was one happy groom.

Here is a shot from a recent boudoir I did...

First Look: A "first look" is a wedding day shoot that is done before the ceremony, alleviating any pressure of time constraints and crazy schedules.  I know, I know, it's not for everyone.  Lots of people want that "ahhhhh" moment of seeing their future husband or wife as they're walking down the aisle.  But "first look" still gives you that, just with a lot more privacy.  It's not like you just casually walk up to each other, all "hey what's happening?"  Nope.  We set it up so that the groom is standing in a picturesque spot on the grounds of the wedding venue.  We coordinate through the beauty of cell technology and two shooters to make sure he is facing away as his bride approaches.  Meanwhile, we're shooting, shooting, shooting, as she walks up and taps him on the shoulder and VOILA!  You have a totally awesome moment between the two of you as you see how amazing the person you're about to marry looks.  After you've had a few minutes to say hi, laugh and cry and all that emotional stuff, we start shooting portraits.  Then, if time allows, we also try to do the family/ bridal party stuff during the first look as well.  This means you can enjoy your cocktail hour after the ceremony, or, if you're a photographer's DREAM, you will want to do pictures then too.  Can you imagine how many portraits you'd end up with of you and your new spouse from your big day?  I may be a little biased, but I truly feel like photography is one of the most important things about a wedding, and if I ever get married, I know I'd want as many pictures as possible of me and my hubby looking fiiiiiiiine in our wedding gear.  And in case your hubby is the one holding out, I'm going to link up a post from my photography IDOL Jasmine Star.  Seriously, love her, and can't say enough about her work.  I mean, hi, every magazine/photography association has her listed in the Top 10 list of wedding photographers in the entire world, so that should tell you she knows what she's doing.  And pretty much every wedding she does, the couple opts to do a first look.  She asked a few of her grooms to write a summary of what they thought of it, and I'll link that blog here.  Just scroll down to the second blog post :)

Here's a shot I love from Kat and Ray's first look.  Totally unposed, just them having a moment to themselves.  I shot this with my 70-200...

Trash the Dress: Trash the Dress is a session done after the wedding, before you put that dress away, never to be seen again :)  It's basically a way to get more pictures of you and your spouse in your wedding attire.  What's the point? The point is to have fun, to relax, and to get some great shots without having to rush off to take care of some wedding day detail, or worry about everything you may be missing by allotting an extra long portrait time on wedding day.  Or maybe because of venue constraints you don't have as much time as you want for pictures on wedding day, or maybe you're getting married somewhere for logistical purposes, but you really want some wedding formals on the beach, or in a boat, or on a busy city street.  Trash the Dress is your chance to slip back into that bad boy that probably cost more than a few paychecks and get your money's worth!  I know a lot of people will say that they really want to save their dress, and I understand the sentimentality of that for sure.  But "trash the dress" doesn't necessarily mean you have to trash it.  I did 3 last summer that we kept the dress perfectly intact, albeit a little bit dirty... but with a trip to the dry cleaners the dresses were as good as new!  It's totally up to you how into it you want to get.  And also, just something to think about: my mom saved her wedding dress.  I saw it in the basement last year and thought my God, I wouldn't be caught dead in that thing.  But my mom looked absolutely beautiful on the day she married my dad, and what I do wish is that I had more pictures of her in it.

You might recognize this as the first picture of my opening slideshow on my webpage.  It's of my friend Shelby and her husband Yuri, and it wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't done a Trash the Dress.  They got married at a church in Milton in November of 2008, and because it was like my first wedding EVER, I didn't think to talk to her about timeline or anything like that.  Therefore, we did pretty much no formal pictures.  Like, none.  I look back and I'm so mortified at how bad I was starting out lol.  But the following summer we went down to Newport and took a ton of pictures both in regular clothes and wedding clothes, and I think I made up for my rookie mistakes :)  This picture is one of my favorites, right by the Goat Island Lighthouse.