Hey look, it's us!
Last week, Dan and I drove down to central Jersey for a sort of practice engagement shoot with my friend Amy, who coined it a ''fauxgagement shoot." We've talked casually about doing a photo shoot with her for some time now, as Amy wanted to practice her people photographing skills and I've desperately wanted photos of both Dan and me together that are not from high school and don't look silly.
Since the "official" engagement shoot with Kelly is coming up next week (I swear, September seemed much farther away when we scheduled this back in April), we thought we'd do this one with Amy first in order to get some practice feeling comfortable in front of a camera in and test out some outfit possibilities.
I also went and got my makeup done by a hilarious woman at the Shiseido counter in Nordstrom, accompanied by Dan's two younger sisters. We had a great time, I'm so glad they came along with me because we don't really hang out without Dan around and they were really helpful in advising on colors and such. Also just boosting my self-confidence all around. Normally I wear no makeup at all because even with quick 5 minute routines, I would rather choose 5 minutes more sleep, but it was fun to be a bit pampered here.
There wasn't any charge for the application of the makeup, though I got her card for potential doing the wedding makeup as well (she was slightly cagey about her rates so that makes me nervous, but she did do a good job, so we'll see). I ended up getting the foundation (Shiseido 'The Makeup' Dual Balancing Foundation SPF 17 in natural light ivory) and the eyeshadow set (Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Trio in Strata), which were not cheap, but the foundation felt so light on my skin when others I've tried before always feel a bit like a mask and I loved how she did my eyeshadow. She also threw in a couple samples of the pink lipstick.
Here's a straight-on shot of the makeup:
The blank expression is because I hate it when before/after photos have differences in them other than the clothes or makeup, like in What Not To Wear where the befores all have terribly posture and are pouty/"sad." For the makeup skills challenged like myself, it's so hard for me to tell the difference when there are so many confounding factors, agh!
Dan thought it was too much makeup, per usual, but the women in his family disagreed. I liked it, it would be too much for a regular day of mine but I liked it for the photos. On Kelly's recommendation I've also bought some blotting paper for the engagement shoot as it's still rather warm in our area. I also have this thing of sweating on my nose (inherited from my maternal grandmother, apparently) and I imagine it'll be quite helpful for dealing with that.
I've got a free makeup trial session scheduled for early that afternoon with Jennifer Kang, also known as 'Mrs. Snail' in the WeddingBee forums. Most other places I asked about charge something like $80 just for a trial! Anyway we'll see how it goes with her, she doesn't have an online portfolio but I did find one example of a wedding she did here which looks a little too showy and shiny for me but we'll see. I think I do very much want false lashes for the wedding, though, I've tried to apply them myself before but have always failed. The makeup style I've most liked so far is Lois Lam's but of course she up and left NJ last year and now lives in Cleveland.
Well, back to the fauxgagement shoot. We went to a small park near Amy's house first for the swings and then picked up the balloons from Party Fair and headed over to Monmouth Battlefield State Park for all the ones in this post. Here are my favorites of the 30 digital and 6 film shots that Amy sent over:
okay, just being silly.
Getting to those railroad tracks was a bit of an ordeal, as Amy last scouted out this area in the winter when all the plants were dead and not liable to give one poison ivy. I'm glad we climbed up though, what nice lines from the tracks.
This shot is my favorite of all, I think, mostly because it shows off my angled haircut and enough of my chin so I don't have the usual "my head is so round and my neck so short" concern. Please tell me you also basically judge whether photos are good or not by how much you like how you look in them?
These were fun! Though what is not shown is when Dan took a running leap and basically knocked me over on my own way up. Beware of leaps made by uncoordinated people, my friends.
For some reason I think this one looks like we're in Iowa. We considered using it for a save-the-date card but I think it might not be overtly happy/cheerful enough.
So, lessons learned:
- Amy says we're not as awkward in front of the camera as I've been telling her. She says we should just relax, make each other laugh, talk to each other about funny things.
- She also says, "Don't be shy about showing affection. It's cute, and it serves well for capturing little fleeting moments." (I'd told her that I didn't want to come off as sickly sweet pretentious with that gazing longingly into each others' eyes kind of photo, but she's probably right that we can be, you know, like, a couple)
- It was worth the hassle of convincing Dan to buy this western-style blue shirt from the Gap with his $25 for $50 Groupon. It was also worth repairing the back of one of the legs on this pair of jeans. I think he should wear a brighter t-shirt though.
- The flat cap he's wearing looks great, it's the best $3 he's ever spent on an accessory by far.
- Kelly is totally, totally right about wearing bright colors and big patterns and bold jewelry. I really like this dress, it's a 50s cotton daydress that I just finished shortening, but it'd be better in the photos if the color were more intense.
- I should also suck it up and wear higher heels. The shoes I'm wearing here are Dansko platform sandals which are super comfortable but look more chunky than I want in the pictures. Not that I own any stilettos, but I should break out the shoes that I don't ever wear to walk anywhere and bring flipflops with me.