Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carrie & Mike's Post-Wedding Engagement Session (Subtitled: We Make Our Own Rules!)

I think you'll remember Carrie and Mike from their absolutely gorgeous wedding at the Indiana State Museum. It was the one with the incredible long veil that was blowing lightly in the breeze ... ah, that was a nice wedding. And I miss summer.

Anyway, I really loved all my wedding clients, but Carrie and Mike were one of those couples that I just SUPER hit it off with. We could never make an engagement session work before the wedding, so we got together later in the fall, and it was really, really nice to see them again.

Now, on the slightly downside, it was the day after my last wedding of the year and I'd had a VERY full weekend of driving and taking pictures and not sleeping, and so I remember almost all of the shoot, including where we went, that it was fun, that we walked past a maybe bomb (turned out it wasn't, someone just forgot their backpack), and most of the little details. I do not, unfortunately, remember their dogs' names. So until someone comments and reminds me, I'm going to call them Boy Dog and Girl Dog, because I believe those are their appropriate genders. And if it's not, I'm sure both Boy Dog and Girl Dog are most secure in their sense of self and I won't be giving either of them an identity crisis in the meantime.


Don't you just love all the blue and red here? (Also, possibly, I have been watching Smallville on DVD recently.) Girl Dog is in the red collar, Boy Dog is in the blue collar, and this jaunty little red door is on Mass Ave, right near the Starbucks where Carrie and I first met and knew it was true love 4-ever. I always think it's funny when people are so in synch that they blink at the same time in all their pictures, but I can't really show those, because no one really seems to be into the blinking pictures (can't imagine why not), but this one is equally fun because all the people and pets are in synch looking at someone passing by. I'm guessing, because everyone is still sitting, that said passerby wasn't carrying steak or something.


Aren't the bushes here just too gorgeous for words? It was prime fall real estate right there.


I have a bunch of pictures in front of this window, but my favorite was the one where they were both talking to the dogs, and maybe only dog owners can understand. But it's just one of those things that you spend so much of your life doing, talking to your dog, that is, and there are so few pictures of it.

And also, I know I say it all the time, but I really do love it when people bring their pets to shoots. It just adds an element of chaos, which is kind of fun for someone who really likes candid shots, and I think that sometimes it helps people forget that they're in front of a camera. Plus, you get to know an entirely different side of people, and it's a bonding experience for the animal lovers.

And, I can usually convince Billy to come and be my dog wrangler/dog attention getter, which is fun and novel too, because he doesn't usually accompany me on engagement and portrait shoots. He wasn't on this one, and I can't remember why ... my best guess is that maybe he was having a filet-with-lobster-hollandaise hangover.


We found this great little alley off Mass Ave (and I tell you, I shouldn't give away my secrets but if you want some fun pictures, go find yourself an alley in a city ... but only in a safe area with two guard dogs) and we totally worked it.

Also, for the record, this entire shoot took MAYBE an hour. I usually go closer to two and sometimes up to three, and I had planned for a longer one since there were dogs involved, but the dogs were awesome and Carrie and Mike were just like, "That's good!" so we called it a day. I figured I'd get a couple good shots but there were SO MANY good ones that I was truly amazed, and it's all because of how gorgeous and fun and gorgeous Carrie and Mike and the puppies are. Yay for Carrie and Mike and the pups!


Alright, now about this picture--I truly think that of all my "stand and smile at the camera" pictures, this is maybe my favorite of all time. Carrie looks beautiful as always, and Mike is looking down (I think at one of the dogs), and I love the effect. You know how I usually talk about funeral pictures, and how this picture of so-and-so would TOTALLY be at their funeral? No, not this one. This is one that I totally picture at their 50th anniversary party. I LOVE it.


This is a shot that took some effort, because as you can see, Girl Dog is sort of not having it and trying to escape (which I think is funny and sort of adds something to the picture). So I asked Carrie and Mike if they minded getting dirt on their butts and they graciously said that they did not, and sat down with the doggies. Boy Dog was happy to lounge and relax, and we got some really fun shots.

Now in case you're interested in any of the "photographical" aspects of my shooting, something I've been trying to challenge myself to do is to shoot wider sometimes and get more of a setting in a picture. One of the things I read early on as a photographer was that if something isn't adding to a photo, then it's taking away. But I was pleased with the composition here, of the alley and some of the feel of it, with the drain pipe, fence, cinder block, and most notably to me, the tiny little green plant popping up. I just think the whole thing has a vibe, and I like that vibe.

And of course, adding some hot babes to your pictures never hurts either.


I had forgotten about this until I saw the picture, but this is outside Yats, and the tables beside the building. I was just going to have them sit across from each other at the picnic table, but Boy Dog took matters into his own hands (paws?) and got right up on the table. We did a quick rearrange and I loved how this came out, and with everyone, human and canine, giving me such genuine big smiles.


Since I've been discussing landmarks in this whole post, I'll just keep on with it and say that this is that little wall by the Mass Ave Starbucks. One of my job duties as a photographer is to carry on a lot of one-sided conversations, but thankfully I have a lot of stories and there's one I always tell by this wall. I don't think it would necessarily translate to writing very well, but sometime when I'm in town, take me to that wall and I can almost guarantee you'll hear it.


And last but not least, a picture of just Mike and Carrie. We had loaded the dogs into the car at that point so they could take it easy (they had done a LOT of walking and were ready for a nap, as was I ... but then, I love naps and could almost always go for one), which was probably the main reason we hurried a little. Anyway, this was in one of the parks over on Pennsylvania with the fountains, and you can't really see it but I have them sitting on a tree root, and I always think that's so cool when there's big huge tree roots coming out of the ground. Probably because the magical trees in movies (like The Princess Bride!) always have those. But seriously, don't they just look incredible? I'm sayin'!

And that brings us to the end! Carrie and Mike, I really hope to see you again one of these days! Well, you probably will. I'll be the crazy old gray-haired lady sneaking that picture into your 50th anniversary party. I can see it now. But maybe before then too! :)


The Way EYE See It... said...

FABULOUS! You are so very talented. I love the one with the Yats table but the doors are very cool too.

You may be giving away your "Secret" places but you'll be able to find more and unique ones AND even if someone went to the same exact place they would never get the same pictures that you do.

I miss hearing your laugh.

I am a bad, bad friend who doesn't write people back because I want to write so much but then it gets away from me and *poof* a month has past or more. NO EXCUSES. :( Sorry for doing you like that.

Monica Z. said...

Beautiful dogs:)

Anonymous said...

First time I saw these pics and I thought engagement pics for 101 Dalmatians. (only they aren't dalmatians...) anyway but when they meet at the beginning and the Pongo wants to meet Perdita and have his owner meet the woman... so cute.

Mindy Cooper