Shivering in between takes, our photographer friend Jay kept telling me "tiis-ganda!," a Filipino term which roughly translates to "suffer for the sake of beauty." I had to remind myself through our seemingly long, grueling engagement shoot that I was the one who persuaded Jomar that the snow would look lovely in photos. Looking back though, all the teeth-chattering and silent prayers for warmth were worth it :)
Here are some tips for my fellow brides-to-be when shooting in the snow:
1. It's a given that it will be very cold, especially if you choose to not wear weather-appropriate attire or you're simply not a winter person, so get a photographer that will be patient enough to wait for you to get out of your jacket in between takes and will tolerate your (well, my) whines of "I'm soooo cold, why is it soooo coooold." Jay has been a good friend of ours for years, so thank God he and Jomar were used to me hahaha.
2. Make sure to do your due diligence and check that your venue will be open on the day and time of the shoot! We originally planned on having it in a park in DC, but ended up relocating to a smaller park in Silver Spring, MD. Because of the change of venue, we had to make do with tighter shots since we were also sharing the space with local joggers.
3. Wear color. If you're going for a more muted look, then by all means do that, but if you want to stand out and take advantage of the snowy landscape then you'd want to opt for brighter shades like the red I chose for our shoot. To tie your look with your fiancé's, you can make your own bouquet and a matching boutonniere for him. The bouquet took about 20 minutes to assemble, while the boutonniere took me just minutes to make.
Me: Dress from Nordstrom rack / Heattech tights from Uniqlo / Patent bow flats from Nine West
Jomar: Slim necktie from Penguin / Suit from Express / Black slip-on leather shoes from Rockport
4. Practice your poses beforehand. If, like us, you're awkward in front of the camera, look up engagement photos online for inspiration. Browse through Pinterest.com, Ruffledblog.com, and Stylemepretty.com. I wanted ours to not look too cheesy and I had a general idea of what I wanted our pictures to look like, but we ended up being coached by Jay because "winging it" did not suffice. It's not obvious, but there were a lot of "what do we do?!?", "where do I look" and "my arms feel so weird, I have no idea where to put them!" moments in between takes.
5. Practice your hair and makeup a day or two ahead and take a picture for reference. The two hours leading to the shoot was a blur of hair products and makeup, littered with problems that kept popping up, e.g.: a. my inexperience with fake eyelashes (I had trouble aligning them with my real eyelashes, but they really make your eyes more beautiful in photos, so use them even if they look ridiculous to you in person) b. my hair refused to hold a single curl, so I had to rush online and find an easy yet appropriate updo, and c. my forehead pimples kept trying to rebel against the barrage of concealer, primer and foundation I piled on them (thank goodness I was victorious!).
6. Have your winter jacket within easy reach so you can warm up in between photos. Or you can be sneaky and pretend to want to use your fiancé's suit jacket as a prop for some of the pictures (hehehe).
7. Remember the reason why you're out languishing in the cold (instead of doing the sane thing, which is staying at home, sipping a cup of hot chocolate in your warmest pajamas): it's to commemorate you and your fiancé's love for each other. So relax, have some laughs at the ridiculous situation you've put yourselves in, and patiently wait for the beautiful pictures you'll soon be getting. All will be worth it.
8. Ah, so you thought I was done? Wrong! After the shoot, you're going to be tired and hungry, so you might want to hit up a nearby restaurant for some good, tummy-warming eats. We went to Thai Taste by Kob, which serves your normal Thai fare alongside street-style food.
|Obligatory after-shoot pic with Jay at Thai Taste|
Wishing you all the best on your engagement!