Tag Archives: engagement pictures

Jamie and Taylor's engagement shoot

I have the rest of Jamie and Taylor’s engagement pictures uploaded and ready to share with you all today–at least my favorites from the approximately 100 that I Photoshopped. (Click here for the first batch.)

The whopping two times I’ve done engagement shoots, I’ve been so nervous upon arrival at home after the shoot itself. No matter how tired, I rush to the computer to download the pictures and just confirm as quickly as possible that it was not a disaster.

With each good shot I find, I breathe a little easier . . . until I reach a state of excitement over the results that drives me to start working on them in Photoshop immediately.

And once I open Photoshop, as my husband and sister can attest, I become an obsessed maniac. I don’t stop to get a drink. I don’t stop to pee. I promise myself a cup of coffee as a reward after completing 10 pictures, but when I finish them, I keep going without the coffee.

I’ll get the coffee after 10 more pictures, I whisper to myself. And I continue promising and then denying myself rewards, stuck to my seat, eyes getting more and more glazed over, until someone wrenches the Mac from my hands.

Some people may confuse this for ‘efficiency’ or ‘focus.’ But deep down, I know its manic roots.

Anyway, after spending a serious amount of hours looking at these pictures, playing with different editing techniques in Photoshop, getting advice from my sister Heidi and from my husband, I’m so happy–given my level of skill–with how they turned out.

One day I hope to say that I’m completely happy, without adding the skill-level disclaimer.

Of course, I can see so many areas of improvement–especially with my Photoshop skills. But, at this point, the learning curve is fun.

And I’m talking about improvement of my skills–not of how these two looked! They looked fabulous every inch of the way.

I only wish I were so carefree and relaxed in front of the camera. I always admire those who are able to act naturally as the big glassy eye gives them the stare down. Last summer Erica tried to instruct me in the ways of a relaxed smile . . . but I can’t say the lesson stuck.

I think it would be loads of fun to do a blogging series with advice on how to pose–and not just how to angle your body towards the camera or what to wear, but also how the heck to make your expression non-monstrous. Not over-worked . . . but also not over-blank.

Heidi had one idea which I’ll be sharing with you soon–possibly even with pictures of myself to back it up. I just have to have a quick conversation with my soul to see if I’m ready to share some hideous looks.

Then again, if you’ve seen that shot of me performing a facial stretch in the Fake Smile post, it can’t get much worse . . . except for maybe alien space-doll Jenna. That one still gives me the shivers. Not because it’s especially horrific, but because I thought at the time there might be a chance that my expression was classy and elegant–and it was so much not that.

Anyway folks, enough about my posing woes. Have a great weekend, okay? That’s an order. See you all on Monday, and enjoy the rest of the pictures in this little slideshow!

Lovebirds spotted at Hollywood Beach

Right before leaving for Alaska, on a lovely and breezy Sunday evening, I had the privilege of taking Jamie and Taylor’s engagement pictures.

I had only met them once before, in a very noisy bar and in costume–at this Milano concert last Halloween. But I kind of felt like I knew them since Jamie grew up with my friend and bandmate Carrie. Carrie happened to tell Jamie that I kinda like taking pictures, Jamie emailed me, I enthusiastically accepted. And that’s the story of how we connected.

Jamie and Taylor hiked up to the Northside of Chicago where I live, and we took the pictures at Hollywood Beach, just minutes from my apartment. It was such fun to get to know my neighborhood from a behind-the-camera perspective.

I climbed up on top of that very lifeguard stand to get some cool angles, but unfortunately a lifeguard across the beach spotted me and began to shout, vigorously blowing his whistle. Then he started running towards me, sand flying.

I was compelled to make a hasty retreat.

Hey, anything for a good picture, man.

The wind in Jamie’s hair created some wonderful drama . . .

. . . though my wild camera settings did cause me to completely blow up the above picture. Don’t tell my Mom, but I kind of like it anyway.

The set of pictures I’m sharing today were the first ones that caught my eye the night after the photo shoot. I couldn’t resist working with a few of the images to see what things were lookin’ like (and to stop myself from worrying about the results) . . .

. . . but I worked on the rest of the 1,000 pictures during the Alaska vacation. And I’ll be sharing some more of their beauty with y’all on Friday.

That’s right. 1,000 pictures. I blame it on the photogenonnity of these two.

So smiley. So positive.

Ah, me. I love a good engagement shoot.