Practicing What I Preach | My Paris Portrait Session with my Honey
I often tell my clients how important the engagement session is because it's probably the first time they will be together in front of a professional and their camera. The engagement session gives us time to get to know one another, to get used to working together, for the couple to get used to how it feels to be directed by a professional and to see how they look in professional images... It's just important. Trust me.
So after the engagement session, the wedding day is their second time in front of a professional camera. But should it be their last? Even between their wedding and their first child, should they resign to only selfies and friends' iPhones and digital Rebels? If you ask me, my answer is no. I try to think back on the last professional photo of my parents alone, as a couple, without kids. The one that comes to mind is a grip-and-grin style shot of the two of them together on a cruise boat for a work outing. My mom is wearing an 80-s style side-pony as they both smile into the camera.
If you're going to have a family, don't let that be the lasting memory of who you are as a couple. Don't let your wedding photos be the last professional photo of you two until your 50th anniversary. And if you're NOT having kids, well heck- why do you think you're excluded from the annual family photo tradition? You're a family, too!
So here's where I put my money where my mouth is. Literally.
Since our first wedding anniversary, I have convinced my painfully camera-shy hubby to have regular portraits taken with me. We hired a sweet local friend to shoot us in 2009 for our first anniversary, a now-friend and wonderful photographer in Jamaica for our second anniversary, and then I gave him a two-year break. Okay, well I really WANTED to hire an amazing photographer in New Orleans for our third anniversary, but schedules conflicted and if I'm ever back in NOLA she'll be getting a call from me.
So this year, as our fifth wedding anniversary approached, we were headed to Europe for a two-week adventure. And lo and behold, so was a very talented and passionate friend of mine, David Lok of Aymeli Photography
. Over a discussion at a late-night photographers party in Vegas, we determined that I'd hire David to photograph my husband and I... IN PARIS. In April of this year, we met with David at our hotel in Montparnasse and set off on a 9-hour adventure. It was AMAZING. We were tourists in one of my favorite cities, and we explored Paris with David. We laughed and learned and had wonderful experiences, and every once in a while... David took a couple pictures. Now THAT is the way to do a portrait session!
Here's my favorite image from that session:
There are so many wonderful images from that session, but this image is my favorite for two reasons. Reason #1: that little painting that the artist is showing us is now framed in our home. It's a part of OUR story. When we travel, we buy art instead of trinkets and t-shirts. Our home is decorated with independent artists' creations from around the world. I find that to be a great way to support artists and fill our walls with memories and meaningful pieces as opposed to Pier One decor. (nothing against Pier One- love that place but not for art!)
Reason #2: my husband's hand picking at the end of my hair. I absolutely LOVE when he does that. It's one of the ways that he reminds me he's there and he's mine... He touches my hair. I could not believe it when I saw that David had captured such an intimate, personal little moment. Sure, I could complain that I have a double chin. I could complain that my bangs aren't quite right. But I didn't hire David to pose me perfectly or to style my hair. I hired him to capture the fun that my husband and I had on our journey through Paris. And THAT. HE. DID. Beautifully.
You can see more of our photos on his blog post, here: http://aymeli.com/m-e-paris-lifestyle-session/
And so, everyone, here's the message to couples everywhere, young and old: KEEP HIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS. Don't stop just because you're married. Don't stop because it's no longer expected. Keep having your love story photographed, as it evolves and grows. When we were first married, buying art on our trips wasn't such a big part of our relationship because we hadn't truly begun our HOME together. Now, that part of our story is told. What part of your love story has evolved since your wedding? Since you said YES? Since your family became more than just two?
Your love story is part of your legacy. Let it be captured. Because MOMENTS MATTER.