Most people are utterly shocked to realize how many 2-4 gigabyte hard drives I have that are filled with nothing but clients photos. I have taken so many thousands of photos that within just a few years as a working photographer, storage of all those photos starts to become a real management issue. :-) My point to all this is that as in my work with thousands of people of all types, shapes, sizes and colors, one common reoccurring theme I see on nearly a daily basis is a fear or discomfort with being in front of a camera. I've literally lost count of how many times I've heard, "I'm not photogenic."
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"My fiancé and I had our engagement photos taken by Bodhi a couple weeks ago, and we are so happy with the way our pictures turned out! I contacted Bodhi via email a week before our vacation to Oahu and he responded immediately with his availability. He suggested meeting at 8:30 a.m., so then I asked if we could meet in the afternoon instead, since I'm not an early bird ;P He advised us that the best time to have our photos taken would be in the morning because it's cooler outside, not as many people out, and the sun won't be in our eyes. I really appreciated his feedback, because it was sooo true!
Koko Crater Trail is a short but nasty beast of a hike at the best of times - ie; in the daytime - with over 1000 double height stair steps made from old, crumbling railroad ties. As I stood at the bottom of the steep WWII relic tramway at 3:45am, shrugging my camera backpack into position and looking up at the dark shadow of a the peak looming over me, I wondered yet again what the hell I was thinking when I agreed to do a sunrise surprise proposal at the top.
Posing for couples portraits is like having sex - there are really only so many ways two human bodies can fit together. So it's HOW you fit together that's really the important part. The trick to natural looking romantic photos is to choose a basic pose you like and then make it your own.
Minto initially contacted me a month before his vacation in Oahu with his girlfriend, Elda. He wanted to surprise her with his marriage proposal somewhere with an epic view. The two of them loved hiking he said, so I suggested Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail in east Oahu. When I sent him photos of another couples surprise proposal I had done at the top of Makapu'u, he was sold.
Today, when I found myself suddenly at loose ends with no photos to edit and no elopement, engagement or family photo session scheduled, I suddenly realized I had never written a blog post about engagement sessions! Huh. Well, the good news is that there are really only a couple things I like to cover with couples before - and during - their engagement session. So here goes...
Or, The Surprise Proposal I Almost Ruined!
Embarrassingly true story: Agustin spent two months planning his surprise marriage proposal to long time girlfriend, Alondra, and 15 minutes before he pops the question I nearly ruined it.
Yep. Even just writing this is making me cringe again in horror.
Boy Meets Girl, Falls In Love, Proposes, Girl Says Yes!
The photography request I'm always the most excited to get is the super secret surprise proposal! Arranging the secret plans, the code words and then getting to see it all fall into place and capturing the special moments as they happen is just, well, so...romantic!
He suddenly drops to one knee during photo session...
I'm a little embarrassed to admit I'm a closet romantic. I love working with couples in love and I especially love when I get to help a guy capture that romantic special moment when he proposes and asks his girlfriend for her hand in marriage! How sweet.
A Couples Session that became a Surprise Proposal
Analise booked a couples photo session with me 6 months before their vacation to Oahu Hawaii. She knew where and when she wanted her portrait session too: Lanikai Beach at sunrise. As the day drew near, we texted back and forth a few times to confirm where we'd meet and what time. Then, the night before we were to shoot, I received a text from her long time boyfriend, Michael. After sneaking a peak at her cell to get my number he texted to let me know he planned to propose to Analise during the session.
On Halloween morning, 2016, I got a call from Damien asking if I was possibly available that evening. After a month of setting up several vendors for his surprise marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Janine, every one of the vendors, including the photographer, had cancelled at the last minute!