Engagement Photography Tips, Article 2

Are You Serious?

If you are — don’t be! When you go out to have your engagement photos taken by a friend, you need to have a good time. Focus solely on your fiancé and your love for them. Enjoy spending time with them! Too many people focus on the camera and get nervous and uptight: and it shows in the photos.

Hopefully your fiancé is the only person in the world that can help you forget about everything else – which would include the camera…

Do Your Homework

Planning for an engagement session will usually improve the quality of the results. Here are a few steps I would suggest you take as you begin planning:

Run Google searches for “engagement photography” and “engagement photos.” Look for images that you think you and fiancé could imitate. Print off about 20 of your favorite images. Go over them with your fiancé and narrow the list down to the ones that both of you really like and think will be possible. Then, show those to your friend who will be taking your pictures. Whittle the samples down even further based upon their thoughts and feedback. Try to end up with 5 or 10 sample images that everyone is excited about.

Look closely at those sample photos to see what types of location are being used and what the lighting looks like. A lot of engagement photos are taken in either a park or city location. I would suggest driving around and scouting possible photo locations for the session. But don’t just do a “drive-by scouting”! Get out of your car with your camera and take actual photos inside each park of the locations you think would work best. Compare your snapshots with the sample photos you printed off.

You can also do internet research by looking at the web sites of local wedding photographers. While your previous search for engagement photography would have returned nation-wide results, the goal of this research is to see where the local wedding pros are shooting their engagement sessions. You’ll likely recognize some of the parks and buildings that they are working in and near.

Lots of Photos

Hopefully your friend will be using a digital camera. That way they can take lots of images without worry about film expense. Sometimes the difference between an average photo and a great photo is simply changing the angle and perspective of the camera!

This point was really driven home to me with some recent engagement photo sessions I have done. I am in the process of creating an eBook to help couples take top-notch engagement photos. I had another photographer help me out with several engagement sessions. Together, we shot about 600 photos during each two-hour engagement session. During the session, I would often setup and take photos of the couple. While I was doing so my assistant would be moving around and photographing the same scene at different angles. Afterwards, I would look at the photos I took and also some of the side-angles my assistant shot at those same times–and there is often a night and day difference between the two. The couple didn’t move or change their pose; the only difference was the angle at which the image was taken!

So, once you have found a good location for your photo session and you and your fiancé are in position — let your photographer snap away! Don’t limit the shots they’re taking!

And again: have fun with the session. Smile a ton. Laugh a lot. Make the photo session a special memory that you and your fiancé will share for a lifetime.

Family Tree Creation: Reasons To Create Your Own Family Tree

What is the purpose of family tree creation? Why would you set out to create a family tree, or even write the genealogy of your family?

For a lot of people, the answer is simple. They want to know where they are descended from. They want to know who was in their family before them and what those people’s lives were like.

But what more can family tree creation mean for you?

Surprising Information

Other than just satisfying the curiosity about your roots, you could stumble on to information that could change your life. Some of the greatest discoveries about people have been made in the process of finding out their family tree. People discover inheritances that were left for them, or family treasures, which they would otherwise never have known about had they not started to look into their family’s past.

A lot of people also discover great stories. Some of these stories have been published and have earned the authors a great deal of money. Alex Haley wrote the biography of Malcolm X, but that’s not what brought him into the limelight. He became famous when he took time to research 7 generations back into his family; he discovered great stories of how lives were lived, how hardships were overcome and successes made. When he wrote Roots, it was an instant hit; people like to read true stories of people who came before them because it validates their existence today.

There is nothing to stop you from doing the same. Perhaps your family tree creation project could turn you into a millionaire too! Each family, each person in your family, had a unique life that’s worth telling about if you can craft it in such a way as to make an interesting read.

Science and Medicine

Family tree creation is also a valuable scientific asset especially when it comes to researching genetics and diseases. There are particular diseases that seem predominant to very small sections of the population, and research into how these people are related, which has been done using family trees, has shown certain groups to all be descended from one gene. In terms of looking for cures, it narrows the scope so that scientists are able to isolate a single gene and deal with it if, for example, they were looking to cure or understand a disease.

Criminology

In criminology, it’s been found that some serial killers have a violent gene that runs ways back through the family lineage. If you have someone who is particularly errant in your family, you might want to trace your roots and learn about the lives of the people in your family who came before you because it could help explain why this particular person is the way they are – there may be people in your family tree who suffered similar problems and it would help to know this as you look for a solution.

Your Legacy

Family tree creation is also a way of leaving your own legacy behind for those who will come after you. There is no better gift to the next generation than handing them their genealogy: they will know from whom they are descended and somehow, this seems to give people a certain satisfaction. If you can put your family tree together for your kids or grandkids, it’s a perfect gift that they too can add onto and then pass on to the next generation – it means that no one in your family will ever go un-noted.

There are all kinds of ways in which family tree creation and writing your genealogy can be of benefit; it’s worthwhile spending the time recreating your family’s history because, unless you do, you will never know what wonderful stories are waiting there for you!

Top 10 Celebrity Styles For 2008-2009

Every year we look to celebrities for fashion inspiration and new styles. Looking back over this year we can say that 2008 did not disappoint. Although some celebrities veered a little too far left of what is fashionably acceptable many others hit the bulls-eye. Even if you didn’t commit to any of the following trends, you can’t deny that they made statements in 2008. We have broken them down in order from 1 – 10 and let you know who owned that specific celebrity style.

Fashion Trend # 1: The Two-finger ring. This is one of the coolest jewelry trends we’ve seen in awhile. It has been spotted on famous celebrities such as Rihanna and Lauren Conrad from ”The Hills”.

Fashion Trend # 2: Baggy ”Boy” Jeans. This was a hit-and-miss look. It really depended on the body type of the person sporting the look. We think the new Baggy Boy Jeans should have a distressed and loose look, but should also be cut to show off a woman’s curves. This celebrity style was rocked by Reese Witherspoon and Katie Holmes.

Fashion Trend # 3: Nail Designs. Many celebrities decided to wear crazy colors on their nails this year. Those celebrities include Beyonce, Eve and Rihanna.

Fashion Trend # 4: Sky-Scraper High Heels. Every year high-heels get higher and more dangerous looking. If you don’t believe us just take a look at Victoria Beckham and Madonna.

Fashion Trend # 5: Pointless Accessories. Anything and everything was up for grabs to be an accessory in 2008. Just take a look at Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Beyonce.

Fashion Trend # 6: Obama T-Shirts. For the first time we can remember political T’s were available and worn by the general public. Check them out on Halle Berry, Beyonce and P Diddy Combs.

Fashion Trend # 7: Nerdy Glasses. Geek-chic is a sure thing, when worn right. But be careful because dark, thick plastic frames aren’t a look everyone can pull off. If you want to see them worn right check out the celebrity style of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Common.

Fashion Trend # 8: Bangs. This look also doesn’t work for everyone, but when it does, watch out! Check out the bangs on Jessica Alba and Christina Aguilera…HOT!

Fashion Trend # 9: Leather Jackets. This look was taken straight from the 80′s, but worked great in 2008. Some celebrities rocking leather jackets were Vanessa Hudgens and Rihanna.

Fashion Trend # 10: Hippie Headband. Very few people can actually pull this look off. Personally, I’m not of fan of it on anybody. Some ladies sporting the hippie headband this year were Nicole Richie and Mischa Barton.

As you can tell there were many new celebrity styles this year, along with some re-tread styles. Every year we are amazed at what people bring back out of the closet and add to their wardrobe. No matter how much we may fight it, the looks always seem as glamorous and hot as they did before. We can’t wait to see what celebrity styles these people pull out next year. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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