Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the honor of taking some engagement pictures, in San Diego for a friend of mine, and his bride to be. Normally, I do not get these types of requests, but since Ted is a friend and also the owner of the Old Julian Photography Gallery, where I sell my art, I said I’d be happy to.

Now you know me and the need to be prepared, so I decided to get a jump start by scouting some locations ahead of time. I know he wanted to stay local, which meant, in Eastern North County. I had two places in mind that would fit the bill and I could not wait to share them. One was my favorite Historical house on Citrus and the other we’re some Victorian houses in Grape Day Park, in Escondido. I wanted everything to be perfect, from location, to dress, to the weather and I even checked my Gold Hour Calculator app, just to be sure that the lighting would be perfect as well. I shared this information with the “client” and they must have just gotten back from dinner, because my friend Ted suggested I check out a restaurant called Hacienda De Vega.

After our conversation, I found out the couple would be dressed in lighter colors, which meant that the Citrus house was off the table, since it is yellow with white trim. There were no contrasting colors and the couple would blend into the background; and let’s face it, it just wouldn’t look good. I was really hoping that they would drive by the Victorian houses and fall in love, but ya that didn’t happen. So, I drop by the restaurant and it looked good. I spoke with the manager, got permission to shoot on location, which is luckily is never an issue and got some sample shots to share.

Fast forward, to the day of the shoot; I arrived early, as usual to double check a few of the spots I had in mind. One thing, I was really worried about was the lighting; even though it was pretty much perfect. It was an overcast day, but there was a hint of light; however as the minutes went by waiting for the client I could see the sun slowing setting. There would be no “Golden Hour” today.  Finally, the couple arrived in wardrobe with hair, make up and ready to go, thank god. I had picked a few places out front of the restaurant, all the while keeping in mind that we were slowly losing our light. We then migrated to the back patio, and found a few more spots that caught our eye. The bride changed dresses and we revisited some of the previous spots with the new dress on. We took about 5 or 6 shots at each location and the entire shoot lasted about an hour and a half. Afterwards, we packed up and enjoyed a nice dinner.

I hope I have not bored you too much. I had fun writing this one. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.