For years, you dreaded school picture day because it was the one shot you had to look great for the class picture or yearbook that would forever be found amongst its pages. (You know, if you ever became a celebrity and they showed your picture in a magazine to "guess the celebrity.")
While engagement pictures are definitely more fun, for most people it is the first time you are in front of a professional camera again since your senior portraits when you took pics in your letter jacket leaning against a tree or in a studio with your head resting so modelesque on your fist. Engagement pictures are enjoyable but require some thought and planning. You have to think about your outfits, picture style, and more importantly your new prop—your fiance!
When discussing our options, I kept having flashbacks to the hilarious episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler are getting engagement pictures and Chandler looks great until the camera comes out and all of their pictures turned out with a horrible smile. I reminded Mike of this and both of us promised we would let the other one know if they looked terrible when the flash went off.
Mike and I wanted to get pictures in the spring/summer; however we never had a free weekend, and since he didn't get settled in Minnesota until October, it was getting too late into the fall for good outdoor pictures. So we waited until the snow fell to capture our pictures together . . . after all, he did just move to MinneSNOWta!
Our wedding photographer is often traveling in the winter, and since I didn't want to have a friend have to chase us around in the snow taking pictures, we found an amazing photographer, Nicole Reyes. She had taken pictures of my sister's family over the summer that turned out great and were extremely reasonably priced. (And if she could get my two little nephews to stay still and take adorable pictures, then Mike and I had a fighting chance!)
We had a date scheduled at the end of December between Christmas and New Year's, and, of course, the day we had scheduled had a forecast of freezing rain all day. Nicole e-mailed me the day before and asked if I was working, which I was but I said I could leave. So I had 75 minutes to drive home, shower, get ready and drive back downtown! I remembered Danielle's blog about photography where she mentioned the importance of having good nails, and since mine were looking pretty rough, I ran to buy fake nails and glued them on in the truck while Mike drove us there. (They actually looked pretty good and I only glued two fingers together—thanks to a big pothole!)
We got pictures taken at the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park downtown, which was beautiful given the mounds of fresh white snow and scenic views of downtown Minneapolis. Nicole showed up with her big snow boots and we traveled all around to take pictures—often times we were crawling on top of and into places that were a little dangerous (such as ice caves), but they definitely made great pictures!
We did a fun, quick change into jerseys to represent out love of hockey (and our own favorite teams). Nicole had some great ideas, but she was also open to anything we suggested and we gave it a try!
We used one of our favorite pictures for our "Save the Date" magnet. We made it online at Magnetstreet.com, but during our research we found that there are a million different websites and some are very reasonably priced (such as Costco.com). We wanted one that had a proof sent to us from a graphic designer, so that's why we went with the site we did. We created it online and they made any editing changes we couldn't make in the tool. (The costco.com tool didn't allow Mike's last name to fit on the line and I was worried they would all print that way!) I also really liked the magnet idea, because I know myself, and I would open the mail and put the card in a "special place" that I would not find again . . . if I had a magnet it would go up on the fridge. (Many companies will send you sample magnets so you can see the size and quality, which is really helpful.)
Whew! The first big mailing is done, and now we need to look at invitations . . .
Picture credits: Julia Robert's High School Pic, "Friends" episode, All pictures by Nicole Reyes Photography