ShootAnyAngle.com Wedding Photography Blog

What story will your photos tell? We're a husband and wife photography team, and we want to capture your special day so you can relive it every time you look at your photographs! On this blog, you'll find all things wedding to inspire you for your big day! Check back often for posts on photography, DIY, dresses, decorations, and more!


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Behind the Shot: Camping Styled Shoot

Since James and I love camping, and had such a trip already planned, we decided to take advantage of our time in the outdoors by doing a camping themed photoshoot!  It was a lot of fun, and our two models, Jenn and Chris, were such great sports (and it wasn’t an easy shoot).  They needed to pose out in the lake and even have a water fight.  On another night, we kept them up until midnight to get nighttime photos!  They were more than willing to try everything, and they seemed to have a lot of fun too.  We know we did!

We love the way the final pictures came out (here’s a sneak peek), but we also loved what when on behind the scenes.  Take a look!

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Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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Behind the Photo: San Francisco Classical Elegance Shoot

We recently had a great shoot at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  We had beautiful weather, and the fog cleared up just in time for our shoot at the Golden Gate Bridge.  It made for some great photos!  You can see a sneak peek at the shoot in this post, but one thing I’ve always been fascinated by is the behind-the scenes stories.  So, I thought we’d share some of ours!!

We started across from the Palace so we could get wide shots with our models.

We started across from the Palace so we could get wide shots with our models.  While taking those shots, we kept seeing a huge fish jumping out of the water.  We’re still not sure what kind of fish it was!

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For these shots, we had to lay on the ground to get both them and the dome in the shot.  Not the most glamorous pose, but you do what you gotta do!  Well, while I was laying on the ground shooting away, a tourist walked up to me and took a picture of me with his point and shoot and hurried off.  I’m sure I looked pretty comical on the ground, but with the gorgeous architecture around us (and two stunning models), I’m still not quite sure how I managed to win the honor of being the subject of the photo.  Anyway, if you happen to see a picture of a girl laying on the gravel ground wearing gray pants, black wedges, a tan chevron shirt, a black backpack, and a camera in hand – looking both a bit confused and a bit perturbed – that was me.  If you see it on the web, send it my way!

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For these stunning shots, we traveled across the Golden Gate Bridge, and up the Marin Headlands.  It was REALLY cold and windy up there, but those two were troopers.  We gathered our gear and hiked up to the shooting location in the dark.  We told them they could wear coats in the photo, but being the great sports that they were, they decided against wearing the coats and instead huddled together for warmth.  The pose was so cute that we asked them to keep it for the long exposure, and we love the result.  We were all frozen by the time we were done (mostly them – James and I wore coats), and we gathered up the gear and started our hike down.  We came across a GIANT ant that was a couple of inches long.  I’m sure it wasn’t actually an ant, but it certainly looked like it!  Ick!

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And, as is now tradition, we took our classic selfie shot!

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Photography by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography


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What to Wear to Your Engagement Shoot

whattowearIf you have an engagement shoot coming up, you’re probably wondering what to wear, and there are some outfits that are better than others.  Think about these tips when picking out your outfit.

AJH_3904WMWear solid colors or large prints (avoid small prints and logos)

Small prints can hurt the eye, and some screens will even show a rainbow effect when showing off the photos.  So, stick to solids and large prints. Checkered prints and stripes are fine as long as they aren’t really tight.

 

Avoid neon colorsshootanyangle.com/weddings/

Neon will be quite blinding in a photo.  Though the photographer can dull down the color a tad in post-editing, it’s best to avoid it.

 

 

 

_AJH3421.2WMJeans are fine

Engagement photos are supposed to be natural feeling, so you don’t have to be dressed to the nines (you certainly can be if you want to though!)  Thus, jeans and a nice top are just fine.

 

 

Dress for the location and activityAJH_1905WM

Talk with your photographer to plan the shoot, and let them know what you’d like to do.  Then, plan the outfit accordingly.  If you want to take pictures in the city, heels are fine, but more comfortable and supportive shoes would be needed for a wooded area.  Dresses are fine in any area (this includes floor-length if you can move in it), but I recommend wearing bicycle shorts (or similar) underneath.  The reason for this is your fiancé may lift you in the air, or you may lay down in a field of daisies, or you may jump to make it look like you’re flying.  Photography can be a more physical task than most anticipate, so make sure the outfit is comfortable and conceals all it needs to conceal even when moving around.  That means nothing to short or too revealing.

 

Consider your personalities_AJH4755.2WM

Dress similarly (though maybe a tad nicer) than you normally dress.  If you never wear jeans, don’t wear them for the shoot.  If you never wear dresses, don’t wear one for the shoot.  The reason behind this is two-fold: 1, you should be comfortable in what you’re wearing (especially since being a model may be a tad uncomfortable at times), and 2, you should look like yourself.  These photos are supposed to represent who you are both as individuals and as a couple, so let your personality shine through.  That also means that if you like particular outfits or costumes, wear it!  Just talk with your photographer ahead of time as some locations require normal dress (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an example of this).

 

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Accessorize!

Feel free to add in cowboy boots or an accessory or a specialty item.  Add a strand of pearls or your favorite earrings or even bring along props!  Shoots look great with bouquets or old cameras or even little bird cage veils if that’s what you’d like.

 

 

Have fun!!

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How to Pose for Photos

They say the camera adds 10 pounds, so let’s figure out how to lose those 10 and then some! While at my Bachelorette Party at Disneyland, the girls and I were constantly trying to correct our poses to look the best we could. It was Dapper Day, and since we were dressed up to the nines, we wanted these pictures to turn out the best they could. I remember having a conversation with my cousin about it, and we agreed to help pose each other. In truth, posing is not easy, and it takes lots of practice to finally be able to do it without thinking. However, if you know some basic tips, you can start posing better right away!  The tips below work for either gender (with the exception of a few), but it’s mostly geared towards women.

Posing is not natural, and it can be uncomfortable.

It’s not natural at all. I’ve often joked that if a pose feels really awkward and painful, it probably looks great. Now, that’s not always true, but it can be true more often than not. Posing is an exaggerated form of your natural stances, so it requires you to pay attention to your body more and twist and turn and arch in ways that sometimes feel awkward.

Don’t slouch.

Yes, the lesson your mother has been teaching you since childhood applies here too. Slouching looks bad – and not just on camera!

Relax your forehead muscles.

If you aren’t going for a goofy photo (I love goofy photos, personally, but there is a time and place for them), then relax your eyebrows and forehead. Otherwise, the wrinkles will be obvious.

Bring your face forward.

This is a big way to make your photos look better. Bring your head, as a whole, closer to the camera. Your chin should still be level with the ground, so it’s your neck that is doing all the work. From the side, you’ll probably look like a turtle, but straight on (so, for the camera), it’ll look great. Plus, this gets rid of the dreaded “double chin” look. You can also try tilting your head slightly. This lets your hair hang more freely (if you have long hair).

Leave space around your waist.

You want to emphasize your waist in photographs and the best way to do this is to leave space between your arms and the waist. Putting your hands on your hips is a good way to do this. Or, you can just lift your arms away from the waist slightly as they hang down. Space should be left on both sides.  If you have your arms against your side, your body loses its shape.  This is true for men too.

Twist your waist, but not your chest (as much).

It kind of sounds like we’re becoming contortionists here, huh? If you can twist at the waist so your bottom half is at an angle (so, the camera sees a 45 degree angle of the bottom half) and keep the chest relatively straight on (but not perfectly), your waist and legs will look thinner.

Rotate the shoulders and relax them.

This may sound impossible, but it is doable. This is why your chest shouldn’t be perfectly straight on. Having your shoulders twisted slightly will make them look more shapely, but if they are stressed and raised, your neck will be shortened. So, twist and lower your shoulders into a relaxed state even though it may not feel relaxed at all!

Lean forward slightly from your waist.

This technique will make your legs smaller and be more engaging if a full body shot, and more engaging if it’s a close-up headshot.  However, if you do it too much, or if you already have broad shoulders, it won’t look great. Try some pictures leaning forward and some without to see which works best for your body.  This technique will also make men look like they have a slightly larger chest.

Put one leg just in front of the other, but close together.

Think of a ballerina’s stance. This makes your legs and thighs appear to be thinner. And point the toes towards the camera. If they point out to the side, they can look like clown shoes.  This technique is more for women than for men, but they can still do this pose in a wider stance.

Arch your back.

If you’re sitting in a chair or have your arm around someone, arch your back. I’m the first to admit that this is not the most comfortable position, but it looks better for the camera. I’ve used this technique at our wedding while posing in wooden sunglasses, and it worked great.  This is primarily a pose for women.

Keep your nose on your face.

At least, as the camera sees it. This may take the photographer guiding you or just practice in the mirror, but you shouldn’t turn your head so much to the side that your nose’s shape is clearly defined since it’s outlined by the background. To put it another way, the nose shouldn’t be at a 90 degree angle from the camera. When you look at the resulting image, the nose should be completely surrounded by your face, not by the background.

For the bouquet shot, lower the bouquet.

For the classic shot of your bouquet, the photographers tend to photograph you straight on. Make sure your bouquet is not held right up to your bust, but rather have your hands below your natural waistline. This will allow the photo to show details of the dress, and it will keep your arms looking more natural (instead of showing off pointy elbows like when the bouquet is held higher). Again, make sure there is space between your arm and your waistline on both sides.

For the ring shot, relax the hands.

Think of it like posing for a Dove soap commercial. Your hands should be slightly limp, and fingers should be mostly straight (but relaxed). This will make your fingers, nails, and (of course) the rings better.  Men can do a more firm stance with their hands (such as being the one to wrap their hand around the lady’s), but a relaxed look is great too.

I understand that learning to pose properly can sound daunting (and uncomfortable), but with a little bit of practice, it is possible to pick it up quickly. Try each tip individually prior to combining them. That way, it’ll be less complex. Also, these are just guidelines.  I’ve seen plenty of photos that I found to be spectacular that were not the epitome of perfect posing.  That’s why it’s good to play around with these tips and see what works for your body and what doesn’t.  That way, you’ll know the perfect pose for your own body.  And, most importantly, have fun!  A person having a good time is the most photographic of all!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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Congratulations, You’re Engaged! What’s Next?

Our proposal in Disneyland.  James had hidden cameras on tripods to capture the moment.   http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

Our proposal in Disneyland. James had hidden cameras on tripods to capture the moment.
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Congratulations! You’re engaged! You’re grinning ear to ear, and you’re distracted by your sparkler all the time (stop looking at it while you’re driving!). It’s a very exciting (and tiring) time in your life, but now it all the sudden dawns on you that you have to plan a wedding, and that’s no simple task.

When James and I got engaged in Disneyland (yes, he proposed in front of the castle – he did good!), we were immediately overwhelmed by all the “congratulations” and attention we were getting. Actually, at one point, a Disneyland cast member came up to us to offer his congratulations (we were wearing the Mickey and Minnie Bridal Ears, so we were easy to spot). Though he was actually saying intelligent and clear words, we both heard the sound of Charlie Brown’s teacher coming out of this guy’s mouth! We just stared at him dumbfounded until he repeated himself. We were just so tired from all the emotional excitement that our brains had completely shut down. This became especially difficult when we were immediately asked questions that we couldn’t possibly know yet – like when and where the wedding would be. Yes, you just got engaged and yet people are going to ask. So, here is a quick set of guidelines to help start the process (after you take a nap and eat some food, that is!).

Step 1: Set your budget.

Now, when I say “set your budget,” I don’t just mean your overall budget, though that’s also necessary. You need to also set your budgets for each aspect of the wedding. There’s a basic breakdown at The Knot: http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget/articles/wedding-budget-101-establishing-your-budget.aspx?MsdVisit=1.

Going along with setting your budget, make sure you and your fiancé know what is most important to you. For me, it was 1, photography; 2, details; and 3, location. Each of you should have your top three important aspects chosen, so you can adjust your budget accordingly. Setting a budget now also helps pull in the reigns on your spending. My first few trips to Michael’s, I was tempted to buy all of their bridal pieces. I ended up buying some that I never used, so hold back on the spending until you know how much you can spend and on what.

Step 2: Set a basic time for your wedding.

Not the actual date, of course. That would depend on your chosen venue’s availability, but choose a basic time when you’ll be tying the knot. It can be something as simple as “in about a year” or more specific like “spring” or even a specific month, but something. This is mostly so you have something to tell people when they ask, and so you can start the preliminary planning.

Step 3: Determine where you’ll get married.

This generally happens awhile after the proposal (as opposed to the first two steps, which should be completed soon after), and that’s just fine. Talk with your fiancé, and write down a list of areas you both like (or specific venues, if you know of any). At this stage, you should also be thinking about who you’re going to invite (more on that next), and who you really want there. This is important because if you really want “Aunt Nancy” to be there (and she’s in a wheelchair), then that venue that your guests have to hike up a volcano to get to (though impressive and a bit terrifying) is probably not the best option. On the flip side of that, if you want to cut down on the guest list, having a destination wedding can be the way to go.

Step 4: Determine your basic guest list.

Every bride is going to have a massive headache over her guest list, so stock up on the Advil now. I also advise creating a “Relax” playlist that is ready to go whenever the stress becomes too much. Though it is your wedding, those around you also believe they have a say in who attends, and they will verbalize it. The sooner you know your list, the better prepared you’ll be for those moments. Think of it this way, if the venue only allows 75 people, and you already have 90 on your list, you simply cannot accommodate other invite requests. That being said, you need to also pick and choose your battles. Inviting a cousin’s new boyfriend is a small price to pay if it means you can get out of inviting the parent’s nosey and obnoxious co-worker.

Step 5: Determine what you do and don’t want.

If it’s really important that you be married in a Church, let people know early on. That way, you won’t have people suggesting that you get married elsewhere. If it’s really important to you that children are not invited, express that as well. Basically, figure out what battles you will fight for. That way, you’ll know what other areas you can compromise on. I also suggest that when telling others your feelings on these topics, that you make it clear that the decisions are final – but in a polite way. If you’re not clear on that point, people will try to change your mind.

Of course, there are a lot more steps involved in planning a wedding, but these first tips should help you get the ball rolling. Being organized and knowing what you want in the beginning will make everything go a lot smoother!

And, of course, congratulations from ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography!

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Photography Night Magic

We’ve all seen those stunning wedding photos on Yahoo or social media sites that beg the question, “how did they do that?!”  It’s always a good idea to go for a wow factor in your engagement, Save-the-Dates, wedding, or newlywed photos, and it’s definitely possible. The nice thing about couple photos outside of the wedding day is that you can create shots that you couldn’t necessarily get at the event itself. An example of this is nighttime long exposures. These kinds of shots are really neat. They look as if they are Photoshopped, but they are completely real!

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A newlywed shoot as a long exposure at night!    http://shootanyangle.com/weddings/

The funny thing about long exposures is that though the result can look quite glamorous, the process of doing it is anything but. For this shot, James and I had to hike down to the frozen over lake carrying all of our equipment in 19 degree Fahrenheit weather. Talk about freezing! We had only our flashlights and the glow of nearby houses for light. When we got down to the waterfront, we set up the gear, and put the camera on a timer. The flash fired in the first second, and then we stood perfectly still for 30 seconds to get the shot we wanted. Yes, that’s a long kiss!  We were quite cold standing still like that, but it was worth it!

Our Save the Dates were made by utilizing a technique called

Our Save the Dates were made by utilizing a technique called “light painting.”
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For our Save-the-Dates, we were under pressure to produce something awesome (we are photographers after all!), so we decided to do a nighttime long exposure with light painting. For those of you who don’t know, light painting is using a source of light (flashlight, sparkler, etc) to literally paint something in the photo. So, for our shot, we set the camera on a tripod with a countdown timer. I stood out in the field to mark the spot, and James triggered the shutter. Then, he ran to greet me and pose. The flash went off, and we stood perfectly still in the pitch black. Next, he ran out of the frame, and I pulled out a flashlight. I wrote the numbers in the sky, imagining where they’d go since you can’t actually see them as you write. Then, I ran out of the frame too as the camera finished the exposure.  Our guests loved the result. We had several people ask us how we made it. Apparently, they were taking bets!

These shots both turned out great, and we really did have so much fun making them (even if we were cold!)  So, try something at night for your next photoshoot, and stay tuned for more shots from ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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