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!!

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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And, make sure to check out our latest feature with Wedding Chicks & Coca-Cola!


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How To Make Your Own Bouquets

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 Flowers can be very expensive, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on your boquets.  Do them yourself!  You can get flowers at Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco, and many other places for good prices.  Then, assemble them!  Plus, it’s a good skill to have not just for weddings, but for other events such as Mother’s Day!

When I assemble bouquets, I use florist tape, scissors, and then whatever ribbon I want for the stems.  You can get florist tape from Michaels for a couple dollars.  I’ve found it best to make little bundles of 4 or 5 stems and wrap that in florist tape.  Don’t wrap too widely though.  Keep the tape area as narrow as you can so you don’t have to cover up too much with the ribbon.  Once you’ve made all the bundles, add them all together to make the final bouquet.  If you want it to be a rounded bouquet, make the center bundles the highest point, and lower the side bundles to give it the desired shape.  Once everything is secured, cut the bottom of the stems to even them out.  Sometimes, I like my bouquets to have more of a “mussy tussy” look, so I’ll purposely leave a lot of the bottom stems showing and vary the length of them slightly.  If you want a more formal look, wrap the stems tightly and fully, and trim evenly.

There are several options for the stems.  You can wrap them in a criss-cross pattern with ribbon, tie a single ribbon around to cover the florist tape while keeping most of the stems visible, or you can use fabric or wide ribbon to cover most or all of the stems.  If using this last option, secure the fabric in place with florist pins (also available at Michaels).  If you want the stems completely covered, cut a circle out of fabric that is about 2 inches wider in diameter than the diameter of the stems.  Place the stems in the middle, and wrap the sides up around the stems.  Then, wrap your ribbon or fabric starting from the bottom up to hold that fabric in place and secure with pins.

Making your own bouquets also opens up a lot of area for creativity.  You can use fake flowers or a combination of real and fake.  You can make bouquets out of pinwheels or pearls (Pinterest, anyone?), and make it truly unique.  So, have fun with it!

Photos and bouquets by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.


    

Photos by ShootAnyAngle Wedding Photography.

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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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