Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Tips to Rock Your Couples Boudoir Session

 :: Top 5 Tips to Rock Your Couples Boudoir Session ::

MRSter is excited to present this post from Kinzie Ferguson, of {MRSter Approved} The Empowerment Photographer. Kinzie is a truly amazing photographer who has an awesome ability to help people connect in ways that reflect their love and commitment in stunningly gorgeous fashion. Her comments follow:

As the Empowerment Photographer, I create space for couples to connect (or reconnect) in intimate, powerful, couples boudoir sessions. It’s a time to focus on your partner, to unplug from the rest of the world, to cozy up, love each other really hard, and add some kindle to the fire that you’re building together.

Doing a couples boudoir session is so much fun, but if you’ve never done one before, there can be a lot of unknowns. Here are my top five tips for making sure you can get the most out of your session, and end up with photos that you love!

1 :: Find a photographer you trust (and like!). Your photographer should help you feel safe and confident the entire time. When I photograph my couples, I make sure they know exactly what to do with their bodies and their facial expressions at all times. You should never have to wonder if you’re “doing it right” or if you look good.

Don’t worry, though! Your session won’t look stiff and posed — when you know exactly what to do with your body, it allows you and your partner to interact naturally, resulting in genuine, connected images!

2 :: Talk about the session with your partner. Figure out what their fears may be in being photographed; ask them what they’re most excited about, and what they’re hoping to get out of the photo shoot. It could be that you’re approaching this experience from very different perspectives, and knowing what’s going on in your partner’s brain can make the experience even more intimate.

3 :: Wear what makes you comfortable. Don’t try to squeeze into something that is too small, and don’t go out and buy something you would never want to wear in your own home. Dig into your closet, ask your partner what they love seeing you in. Use this as an excuse to go shopping if you want to, but make sure you only invest in items that make you look and feel great!

4 :: Take time before your session to do something wonderful together. Write each other love notes and bring them to your session. Go out to lunch and don’t look at your phones the entire time. In fact, turn your phones OFF for the entire day of your session. Take a long bath, go get massages, do yoga! Have sex! Indulge in the time you have leading up to your session, which will not only put your minds in the right brain space, but will also help you be open to the powerful effects of your session.

5 :: Don’t be afraid to laugh! I’m all about finding the sexy in your images, but it’s also so important that the energy of your relationship can also come through. Let’s face it – being photographed while semi-naked can get a little ridiculous, and when it strikes you in the middle of your session just how silly it all feels? LAUGH! Giggle. Grab your partner and hug them! Posing rules are made to be broken. It’s in those moments that we find the true joy and connection that you and your partner share.

Now, I know it’s not possible for every single person reading this to book a session with me tomorrow (but if you want to, come visit me in Kansas City, MO!! I’ll greet you with open arms, awesome dance moves, and probably a plate full of nachos). I do encourage you to look for a photographer you love and trust enough to do a couples boudoir session with. This is an intimate experience, and you should be thrilled to have your photographer guiding you through this sexy, empowering time!

And in the meantime, carve out some time with your partner, snuggle into their side, find what makes them special, and love on them really hard. They are worth it, and so are you.

Top Five Friday :: Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session

:: Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session ::

Guess what? We have a MRSter approved photographer who does underwater photography, even engagement sessions! We thought this would make a fascinating ‘Top Five’ feature. So as a result, we are presenting the “Top Five Reasons Why You Should Consider an Underwater Engagement Session,” featuring photographer extraordinaire Alyssa, of {MRSter Approved} Alyssa Campbell Photography.

1 :: Anyone can have an underwater engagement session. You don’t have to have special skills to be photographed underwater except being able to swim, being able to open your eyes underwater, and being able to hold your breath for brief, intermittent periods of time. Alyssa says, The most important thing in my experience, is that people feel relatively comfortable underwater. If having your head underwater makes you feel panicked, then an underwater session isn’t for you. I’ve found most people who are interested in underwater sessions naturally are “water people”. You definitely do not have to be a professional swimmer/freediver, etc however! I can’t hold my breath that long, so we are generally only under the water for maybe 30 seconds at a time.”

2 :: An underwater engagement session is a truly unique and awesome experience and underscores the specialness of your love for one another. Per Alyssa, “Water has this interesting, almost magical quality of making things look so beautiful and graceful. People often tell me that they are amazed at how graceful and beautiful they look when they see the finished photos. This is due in part to good photography and coaching, but mostly, that’s just the effect that water has! My style is also based heavily on natural emotions and interactions between couples. I have a psychology degree, so I draw on that in observing couple’s natural interactions and personalities, and bring that into the shoot in order to make the shoot reflective of each couple’s unique personalities and relationships.

3 :: Your photographer is highly experienced and will let you know what to do every step of the way. Alyssa states, “ I’ve been doing underwater portraits for at least 5 years, and professionally for about 3 years. I have been a photographer for over 6 years and a scuba diver for half my life. I draw on all of those skills for my sessions.”

4 :: As far as where to shoot, Alyssa tells me: “I currently have a “home pool” in Mesa, AZ where I do most of my sessions, however I am happy to come to clients’ homes if their pools are suited for a session, or travel – especially to places such as Hawaii! 😉 Water clarity is the most important factor for the shoot success. If someone wants portraits somewhere that the water clarity might not be as ideal, there are lots of other options to still get some underwater portraits. For example, let’s say that a particular beach in California is especially meaningful to a couple and they want some beach portraits, then some underwater portraits. Oftentimes on beaches, sand gets stirred up by the waves, making the water clarity pretty bad until you swim out pretty far, at which point that makes most people a bit nervous and uncomfortable because of the water depth. Not to mention it’s a lot more physically taxing. So, in that case, I would do regular portraits on the beach, then move into the water and have the couple be half submerged. It still gives the look and feel of underwater in a location that is meaningful to them and mitigates the issues of water clarity. You could also do this same idea for example at a river, as long as it was shallow and posed no safety concerns. Safety is where working with a professional UNDERWATER photographer – not someone who wants to try it for the first time – is essential. Any time that I am in a place where my clients can’t touch, I have an assistant for safety.”

5 :: Underwater engagement sessions give you an empowering sense of freedom and an ability to express yourself like no other venue. Alyssa agrees. “It’s such a unique way to express your personality and get something different from ANYTHING else out there. That’s the number one reason people come to me – they want their engagement photos to look different. Underwater photography is a very small niche with only a few photographers doing it currently. The possibilities are endless. You can have a simple session with just you and your partner, or you can bring a theme which opens up a lot of potential fun ideas to explore. You can also do a half underwater, half more traditional land shoot as well.”

Well, I have to say that this blogger is impressed. Kinda wish I had known about this a long time ago! Thanks Alyssa, for opening up a new world of photographic possibilities for our readers. How would you feel about an underwater photo shoot?

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 April Fools Wedding Ideas

:: Top 5 April Fools Wedding Ideas ::

You and your fiancée/fiancé decided to think outside of the box and are getting married on April Fools Day. Well, that just naturally calls for a prank or two, don’t you think? Here are five ideas to get you started.  

1 :: Pretend that one of you two hasn’t shown up for the ceremony. And then of course, make a grand entrance at the last minute, rushing in with a crazy story about why he or she was late.

2 :: Prearrange with the officiant to end the ceremony by saying, “You may now update your Facebook status”. If the officiant has a good sense of humor, he probably has a few prank suggestions of his or her own.

Facebook

facebook‘ by Prachatai is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

3 :: Write the words, “Save me” on the bottom of your shoes so that when you kneel, the guests can see. You may also look furtively over your shoulder at the guests with a pleading look in your eyes. Don’t take it too far though, and make sure you say, “April Fools” before you get up.

4 :: Pretend that the wedding party has lost the wedding rings. Then let one of the wedding party produce the rings from a Cracker Jack Box or step in with one of those huge candy rings. Make sure the guests see what is happening. 

Candy Ring

Treasure‘ by Elizabeth Albert is licensed under CC BY 2.0

5 :: Announce that a famous singer or movie star will be attending your wedding, and then hire an impersonator to pretend to be that person. Make up some story about how you met the famous person and spread that around.

Have fun with this. Tailor your pranks to the two of you. We would love to hear from you about the pranks you came up with!!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun

 :: Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun ::

Weddings are a time to celebrate! Two individuals have found that amazing thing called love and want to share their happiness with their circle of friends and family. Keep the occasion joyful by providing ways for your guests to share in the celebration. Here are MRSter’s Top 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun…

1 :: Music :: Of course! What better way to celebrate than to ensure you have a terrific upbeat and fun, fun, fun, supply of music on hand. Spend time developing your music list, enlist friends, ask people about their favorite tunes. Add a few slower and romantic numbers. Whether you hire a DJ or a band, make sure you are on the same page when it comes to the music selection. Most music professionals can offer a great selection of wedding appropriate music and can give you some ideas if you get stuck.

2 :: Dance :: I know, I know, kind of obvious, but well thought out dance themes are loads of fun for the dancers and the onlookers. Make sure to include participative dances like the Hokey Pokey, The Chicken Dance and the Bunny Hop. Throw in a couple of line dances. Go a little crazy with period dances like The Charleston or The Stroll. Go wild with ethnic dances… There is a ton of choice! Have some friends who know how to boogie? Enlist them to do a demonstration and engage the audience by teaching them a few steps.

3 :: Feed Them :: Even if you are serving a full meal, having a nosh station filled with simple snacks will keep everybody happy. These don’t have to be super expensive or elaborate. Veggie sticks, chips and dip, cheese and crackers are some simple ideas. Food makes people happy!

4 :: Beverage Them :: Yes, I know this seems obvious too, but I’ve been to too many weddings where the booze has run out far too quickly and the party poops out. If your budget is tight, offer a champagne toast on you and a no-host bar on them. Cheers!

Now that we’ve mentioned the all-important staples, there are a variety of unique additions to your wedding on the market that provide ample entertainment; everything from carousels to fireworks. One of our personal favorites is a photo booth, they are TONS of fun… 

5 :: Think Photo Booth! :: FABuLIST vendor Tammie Billey offers {MRSter Approved} Social Station; a fabulous and fun “sexy little machine” that produces wonderful photos as keepsakes of, and for, your guests. The Social Station provides a fun, simple and amazing addition to your event. Tammie says…

“We are a sleek modern booth per say, that has one of the simplest set up’s yet! We have been known to accommodate up to 14 people in one photo!  With an amazing quality, the Social Station brings out everyone’s photogenic side. We want to help you capture the energy and create some fun memories. The Social Station is an experience, that every event needs! The Social Station is NOT a typical photo booth! There is no box. There is no dark space. It’s an open fun space that allows many people to come together and capture memorable moments in time! It’s creatively artistic with colorful backdrops, props and most of all, a great time! Guests are easily & happily drawn to the Social Station because every picture ensures a party! It encourages guests to let loose and socialize! That is how the name, The Social Station came to life! Smile! Click! It’s a party! It’s that easy!

Have any tips of your own to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Top Five Friday :: Toasting Tips for the Wedding Party

Top Five Friday :: Toasting Tips for the Wedding Party

Not to scare you, but wedding toasts can be beautiful moments or horrible disasters. They can make or break the atmosphere at a wedding. Making a wedding toast is both an honor and a responsibility. If you have been chosen to make a toast, read up on our top five toasting tips to help you get started…

1 :: Relax :: Be yourself. No one is expecting you to metamorphosize into Shakespeare or an academy award winner. You were chosen to make a toast because you are a special person to one, or both, of the happy couple. Let the idea of the toast mull around in your head for a few days (but don’t procrastinate) and then sit down to…

2 :: Write :: Think of why you were asked to say a toast. What is your relationship to the couple? What makes that relationship special? Why are you happy for them? Make it personal and sincere. Research and find beautiful quotes on love and marriage, find a story you think would be great to share, to use in your toast, or simply just to inspire you to write your own words. Get it all down on paper and then edit, edit, edit. Ask a friend (not the couple who are getting married, of course) to look over your toast and offer some constructive criticism.

3 :: Rehearse :: A lot. Read your toast over and over again until it’s practically, if not actually, memorized. Let it flow from your heart.

4 :: Keep it short :: Wrap it up in 5 minutes or less, otherwise you risk boredom. Conclude with the raising of the glass and don’t forget to have a glass of your own to raise as your are toasting; a detail that is forgotten way too often!

5 :: Stay sober :: Don’t have a lot to drink before your toast or you could wind up embarrassing yourself and the wedding party. I’ve seen this happen too many times to not offer this bit of caution here. You can party hardy after your toast!

Photography ::

Photography :: Lemon Three Photo

Do you have any toasting tips of your own to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments below!

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin

Happy Valentine's Day :: Thoughts on Love // Unconditional, Messy, Beautiful Love

Happy Valentine’s Day :: Thoughts on Love // Unconditional, Messy, Beautiful Love

The wisdom of the ages has often tried to define love. What is love, you ask? There are many different types of love: love for a puppy, a piece of art, a special song, a favorite dessert; the love you feel for your parents and siblings; the love you feel for a friend; the love you feel for your child. But on this Valentine’s Day, MRSter would like to offer a short list on the elements of love that happens when two people are drawn to one another and it binds them together.

MRSter-Valentine

Love happens to hetrosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people. Of this there is no doubt. But why are we drawn to one another? What makes one person special above all others? What is love?

:: Love gives.

:: Love laughs.

:: Love cries.

:: Love is powerful.

:: Love is magical.

:: Love is action.

:: Love is attraction.

:: Love is involuntary.

:: Love is content.

:: Love cannot be bought or sold.

:: Love cares for the other as much as the self.

:: Love when felt, is known.

:: Love is being cared for and wanted.

:: Love begins with intensity and settles into longevity.

No doubt you can add to this list… We would enjoy hearing your ideas on the topic of love!  In the meantime, MRSter wishes you a beautiful Valentine’s Day with the one you LOVE.

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

:: Last-Minute Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day ::

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there are probably many of you who have absolutely no idea how to celebrate the day with your love. Am I right?! Well, don’t panic!! You don’t just have to opt for the seemingly mandatory candlelit dinner! Instead, why not change it up a bit and do something different? Even if you are single, some of these ideas would be a total blast with a friend or two! 

MRSter have comprised a list of our top five last-minute ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day (that won’t seem last minute)…  

1 :: Plan to spend the entire day in bed. Valentine’s Day is on Sunday this year, so for many people this is a realistic option. Start the day by making a yummy breakfast to be served in bed (of course), and settle in for a day of cuddling and a movie marathon. Order a pizza to be delivered when you both get hungry! A truly lazy Sunday… Aren’t they the best?

2 :: Go site-seeing in your own hometown. Explore neighborhoods. Pick an unfamiliar road to travel and see where it takes you. Have lunch at a place you’ve never been before. Bring a camera with you and record your at home adventure.

3 :: While you’re thinking of adventure, head to the airport and grab a last minute flight to anywhere (wherever is the most outrageous, the cheapest, or the most inconsequential), and go on a whirlwind weekend trip.

4 :: Write a poem or a love letter. The written word can be something to cherish for a lifetime. Put your heart and soul into it. Just think of why you love your partner and write down your thoughts. The impact will be far greater than a drugstore card. Consider reading the poem or letter out loud to your partner, or if there is time, mail it through the USPS.

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

5 :: Create a SPA DAY at home. Think of ways to pamper your partner. Be prepared with essentials oils for a sensuous massage and a scented bubble bath. Do a manicure or a pedicure, or both! Have soft music on in the background and add low lights for ambiance.

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. ~ Aristotle

Have any other awesome suggestions? We’d love to hear them, so let us know in the comments below!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives

:: Modern Wedding Guest Book Alternatives ::

Guest books in which guests sign their attendance at the wedding and maybe add a sentiment, are fine and make a nice keepsake, but they are not the only way to collect guest names and well-wishes from your guests. If you and your spouse to be, want to step outside the box, here are a few ways to do so:

1 :: How about gathering advice from your guests? The advice can be written on practically anything. Wine bottles, note cards, tags of any sort, old records or a guitar, plates, a wooden plaque, puzzle pieces, stones, globes; virtually anything that can be written on. Just let your imagination take over.

Guest Book

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography

2 :: Have your guests write their messages to be used in a time capsule. The capsule can be any receptacle that can be sealed or locked and opened years later on a special anniversary, like five or ten years from the marriage date.

3 :: How about finding a treasure box and supplying guests with cards on which to write their thoughts about the two of you. You can even add some colored pens to allow for more creativity. I have one of these from a milestone birthday party from several years ago and I take it out periodically to remember how much I am loved. You will too.

4 :: Create a spontaneous photo album. Supply a polaroid camera, plenty of film and an album. Ask guests to take a photo, stick it in the album, and write their message beside the photo. You can even assign a guest to be in charge and help with the photo taking.

There are truly endless ideas on collecting guest names and well-wishes. Just take your thing (musician, techie, artist, cook – whatever), and run with it for ideas that are uniquely you. We would love to hear some of your favorite wedding guest book alternatives… Simply write them in the comments below!

Wapwallopen, PENNYSYLVANIA :: Caitlyn & Connor :: Oh Christmas Tree! // Real Engagement

:: Oh Christmas Tree!  ::

Submitted & Photographed by :: Kim Spath Photography

Caitlyn and Connor are one of my 2016 couples! Since their wedding is in the fall, we decided to go for a different feel to their engagement shoot. The shoot happened in November, so it was the perfect time to enjoy the Christmas tree farm! When I told them about my idea they were totally open to it and came perfectly prepared for a cold and wintry shoot! We all froze a little bit that day, but even so, this is one of my favorite engagement shoots of all time! The colors are muted but warm, and the couple were absolute perfection in front of the camera!

DISTINCTIONS

Christmas Tree Farm. Winter. Perfection.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Kim Spath Photography

LOCATION

Helen and Ed’s Tree Farm, Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania.