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?

Snohomish, WA :: A Bohemian Glam Wedding // Styled Shoot

:: A Bohemian Glam Wedding ::

Submitted & Photographed by :: GSquared Weddings

The Lookout Lodge is an amazing wooded venue nestled deep in Snohomish, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We chose to play off of the surroundings and create something different from the normal rustic country inspired wedding. The theme for this styled shoot was ‘A Bohemian Glam Wedding’.

We especially love the rich tones, unusual bouquet, and the fact that it rained, on and off, throughout the shoot. The vendors involved executed the vision impeccably.

DISTINCTIONS

Styled Shoot. Bohemian Bride. Country Glam.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: GSquared Weddings
Venue :: The Lookout Lodge
Apparel {Bride} :: Estelle’s Bridal Suite
Floral :: Flowers by Karen
Shoot Coordinator :: Thrifty Beginnings
Decor Rental :: Sweet Buffet Lady
Hair :: Olive & Opal
Make-Up :: Shear Heaven Bridal Makeup & Hair NW
Chalk Artist :: Champagne & Chalk
Handlettering/Etching :: Craft Works Design
Cake :: Sweet Nothings Custom Cakes

LOCATION

Snohomish, Washington, USA.

COLORS

    

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Look Photo-Ready When It's Cold Outside

:: How To Look Photo-Ready When It’s Cold Outside ::

Brrrr, it’s sooo cold outside and you’re due to meet with your photographer for an outside photo shoot. The wind is blowing, your cheeks are red, and your teeth are chattering… So what can you do to look your best while braving the cold? Here are a few tips that may help you survive a cold weather shoot:

Photography :: Thea Volk of Rivets & Roses

Photography :: Thea Volk of Rivets & Roses

1 :: Think underwear. Hopefully your outer outfit will accommodate thermal underwear, aka long johns. There are a variety of styles on the market that are close fitting under your clothing and will help you keep nice and warm. Just make sure to try them on under your outerwear to make sure your thermals can’t be seen.

2 :: If the wind is blowing, this can actually be a good thing for your hair as captured by a professional photographer. A windblown hairstyle can be quite attractive. Just make sure to let your hairdresser know so that a product conducive to the weather can be used. Make sure however, that you bring styling products with you, including a brush and a comb, to facilitate quick touch ups between shots.

Photography :: Rhonda Lewis Photography

Photography :: Rhonda Lewis Photography

3 :: To tone down bright red checks, carry a compact and mirror with you. A bit of powder should do the trick.

4 :: If at all possible, have an indoor place available close to the shoot to take a quick break, even if it’s just an automobile. You’d be a surprised at how quickly you can warm up and be ready to brave the cold again.

5 :: If you’re not worried about camouflaging the cold weather in your photos, consider playing up the cold theme by wearing really cute coats, scarfs, hats and boots. This way, you can have all sorts of fun and still stay nice and warm. Besides, you know you’ll be looking good, even with those extra layers.

Always, in any photo shoot, in any weather, just be uniquely you! You’ll be helping your photographer get the very best shots by relaxing and having fun! 

Do you have any tips as to how to look photo-ready during a cold outdoor shoot? We would love to hear your ideas!

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Oscar & Gary :: Modern Desert // Styled Shoot

:: Modern Desert ::

Photographed by :: Chadwick of Mod Wed

We had an amazing day being part of this ‘Modern Desert’ styled shoot together with some awesome MRSter Approved vendors!! As always, Oscar and Gary were wonderful to work with, and Chadwick of Mod Wed captured some amazing images of the day…

MRSter :: Almost a year after your wedding in California, what was it like to walk into another ceremony space made for you both?
O + G :: It is hard to describe, since it is really a feeling that lives independent of the design, décor and flowers and beautiful creations. And that is not meant to diminish every amazing design and production on that day – which truly surprised us at every turn – but based on our three ‘wedding’ events now, we have seen firsthand that any space created for an event built exclusively on the foundation of love is simply elevated to a new level of wonderful. The creations are the groundwork and the love at the event takes it to a different level. It was beautiful.

MRSter :: What do you think of what The Four Seasons is doing reaching our to gain exposure within the LGBT market?
O + G :: Well, in all candor, our first reaction was guarded. The gay community is fiercely loyal, yet somewhat cautious of seemingly opportunistic companies. The community builds a relationship with a brand, looking for brands that truly support the community and are not just making a quick ploy for some easy sales. But as we worked with MRSter and The Four Seasons, it was clear that they were doing this out of commitment to the LGBT community and their stance for equality, while also allowing us to see their genuine pledge to the human experience. As one of the premier resorts in the world, to be one of the first to reach out directly to the LGBT market shows strong and principled leadership. Taking a stand in an often rigid and closed world is a risk for any business, and for that, they have our respect and gratitude.

MRSter :: How was your experience working with the vendors involved with the styled shoot?
O + G :: We were meeting our generous and talented team for the first time, but it felt like we had known them for years. Their ‘almost-psychic’ understanding of our personal style, the way they connected every aspect of the design for the shoot – not to mention, their smiles – made us feel right at home and we naturally settled into their surroundings. In true MRSter style, every person involved was perfectly in tune, and the resulting experience with the team was music.

MRSter :: Why did you both decide to model for this shoot?
O + G :: The story of our wedding had an affect on so many people, which we had never expected or planned. We simply told our story. It started with the unfortunate happening at our original wedding, and suddenly, the story reached and touched so many people, and it all culminated in the outpouring of support and love from Coronado and all over. Given that a story of love and support – not gay marriage, but just marriage – reached so many hearts, we wanted to provide something in return. If doing the shoot could share our story and help any other couples looking to make their marriage commitment to find a welcoming and supportive group of people like those at The Four Seasons and MRSter, then we were in.

MRSter :: Tell us about why it was important to include Hugo in the shoot…
O + G :: How could you not want to photograph that mug? He is a ham. Hugo is part of our family! We believe that in life you choose your family. Family is not only relatives, but also those people (and pugs) that are there with you through anything. They are the people that you know you can truly rely on – not due to blood-ties, but due to love-ties. Our wedding embodied this belief, and included those people in our lives that we consider to be our family. The definition of family does not fall within a narrow definition from outside groups – it is ours. And yes, that includes a pug.

MRSter :: Do you have any suggestions for other venues that would like to set up a same sex styled shoot?
O + G :: Our experience has been that many venues tend to get hung up on standard bride/groom traditions, and get flustered when dealing with a same-sex marriage. With marriage equality now law of the land, those traditions and what are often considered hard-and- fast rules in weddings may or may not apply. A planner cannot just replace the bride or groom with a groom or bride. Bride side and groom side? Tossing the bouquet? Best man toast? Giving away the bride? Both genders may want them all. We don’t suggest that venues or planners throw out the standards and anticipated rules for weddings, but simply eliminate the gender category from their list of rituals. Open up any and all traditions for any gender or party to consider. A photo shoot taking new standards, or no standards into account should get plenty of attention of those same-sex couples or any couples who are not keen on the long-time customs of marriage.

MRSter :: What was your favorite part of the experience?
O + G :: Our favorite moment was seeing each other in our tuxes and recalling that moment when we first faced each other at our first wedding. There was an undeniable glow in our faces as we both relived at the same time how that specific act of commitment in marriage changed our perspective on life – and was something neither of expected.

MRSter :: Any last thoughts?
O + G :: A same sex wedding, as any wedding, requires time in preparation and as we experienced, the best first step of any couple to just do it. Set a date (conscious of weather), a time, and a location. Those three factors will help you to unravel the rest of the story.  It does not matter if your ceremony/ritual is one that is formal or informal, the recollection of that day should be one to remember your entire adulthood life, and you should be prepared for it. That day should be one full of joy and happiness. After all, you are requesting from the universe, a “wedding bliss”.

DISTINCTIONS

Styled Shoot. Modern Desert. Photogenic Pug.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Floral + Design :: Butterfly Petals
Paper Products + Details :: Life Design Event Planning
Photography :: Mod Wed

Venue :: The Four Seasons, Scottsdale at Troon North

Models :: Mr. Oscar De las salas and Mr. Gary Jackson

LOCATION

Scottsdale, Arizona.

COLORS