Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Engagement Photos Are In!

Well, things could certainly have turned out much worse.

One of the first pictures. The photographer said, "Well, why don't you maybe possibly sort of walk toward me and we'll see what happens." (OK, not those exact words, but with that little conviction.) I was smiling out of sheer nervousness.

This one is cute, if you can see that Eric is looking at me with his cute "oh yeah?" look and not with some other strange look. Plus, you can't tell what that thing behind us is (it's the lines of a parking space; we were up on a hill along the side of the road that runs through the park).

The requisite ring shot. Too bad it was the only ring pose he did -- I don't particularly like it all that much.

Another gripe: The photographer suggested we shoot in Cherokee Park, but wasn't really that familiar with what the park had to offer. I was the one to suggest "that fountain thing at the next intersection," which turned out to be a stone dragon boat fountain. I have no idea why it's in the park, but we have a similar photo from our Hong Kong trip two years ago, which is kind of funny:

The more I look at this photo, the more I like it. Eric's totally gangster.

We're pretty hot here, I have to admit. And my hair actually looks nice for once (you'd think that would make me want to do my hair more often, but no).

We were the ones who decided to run. Out of a lack of direction from the photographer, and being tired of just walking toward him or away from him.

I like the setting of this shot -- it's really pretty. And we're far away enough from the camera that any weird faces we're making don't ruin the shot :)

We look pretty silly when we kiss. Good thing people don't see us do it that often. Well, except for that one after the officiant says, "You may now kiss the bride." Crap -- am I really going to be nervous about that for the next 18 months now?

You can see the rest of the photos here.

Overall, I can't complain, since we didn't pay anything for the photos. And there are a few good photos, which should have been worth a small fee if we had paid it. But the reason the whole experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth was because the photographer did not take control of the photo shoot and seemed so nervous himself. He's weird on the phone, too, so I think his "nervousness" is just his personality, but it totally rubs me the wrong way. I've read reports from other brides who say that "getting along" with your vendors is so important, and I never really believed it. As long as the product is good, what does personality matter, especially if you're on a budget, right? Well, now I know that I need to find a better balance, because if I had to work with someone like this guy again, I would have a nervous breakdown. That's part of my personality -- if I'm not 100% confident that someone else can take charge, then I feel like I need to take charge, and there's no way I have any authority or expertise to be taking charge of photo shoots, so I'd rather pay someone else to do it.

You know what would have made the whole experience a million times better? If he had just taken two minutes at the beginning of the process to say, "Most of my shots are going to be candid, so I want you to pretend I'm not here unless I ask you to look at the camera. Just act like the two of you are spending the day in the park, and ignore me. I might ask you to turn a certain way or make certain actions, but let me know if you're not comfortable with any of them and we'll try something else." And then during the process he should have said, "OK, now sit on that bench," not "Hmm, do you maybe want to sit on the bench?" Argh.

Anyway, the final product is here, and it's not a total loss, and I didn't pay anything, so I'll stop complaining now. He even gave us a set of proofs of all the shots, which wasn't part of the original deal, and that was really nice. Watch for these to reappear on save the dates or Christmas cards next year or something like that.

(I haven't mentioned our photographer's name on purpose. Since we didn't pay for the session or photos, I don't feel it would be fair to name him. The guy is trying to make a living, and I think his photos are pretty good, so it's possible he'll adjust his demeanor as he works with more clients.)


Crissy said...

Congratulations! Your engagement photos are great. :)

Best of luck with your planning!!