This little angel melted my heart last night. She tried so hard to stay awake so when she finally dozed off we had the chance to do some pretty cute photos. Never thought I'd get a baby to hold this pose :D
I love when women aren't afraid to be glamorous when they're pregnant. This mommy to be looked stunning in our beach session last night. Full blog post coming soon!!
The thought of welcoming a newborn into your home and heart can be quite overwhelming, and it is easy to forget to treasure the moments in anticipation and waiting. Surrounded by blooms, greenery, and the admiration and love of her husband, expecting mother, Sarah glowed in her joy and contentedness.
Whether it's the rustic beauty of Costa Rica, the gorgeous beaches of St. Maarten, or the unmatched tropical backdrop of St. Lucia, brides are trading in the formal affair for an intimately casual experience.
While high-tailing it to your dream location can be exciting, the experience can be a bit foreign, especially if you've never been there before. What's the planning phase look like? What should I expect from my photographer? How will I know where to get pictures taken? Is it going to cost more for photos?
There tends to be a lot more questions than there are answers. But don't fret; there are things you can control, even from hundreds of miles away.
Our team sat down with a few margaritas and put together a list of things that might slip your mind while you're thinking of the sun, tropical breezes and picture-perfect landscapes.
We wanted to give you a sense of what you're about to experience - from start to finish. So, let's dive in!
Negotiating the Contract
Once you've decided on a wedding photographer, it's important to know that the contract will be slightly different when compared to weddings on home soil. Some photographers might expect per diems or to have certain expenses paid for.
Whether you're paying for their food, travel or nothing at all, make sure you capture everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Our team prides itself on pure transparency. Knowing exactly what you're getting and for how much can give you peace of mind.
Scouting Photography Locations
When planning your must-have photos, it's hard to book an evening and scout your favourite spots. Unless you're willing to shell out a few thousand for flights or have a private jet. If it's the latter, sign us up!
We always recommend putting together a dream shot list. Unless you're really off the beaten path, you can probably see what other brides have done at the same location you're going to. Start there for inspiration. Build out a dream list on Pinterest and don't be shy - pull in everything you love!
From there, we'll do the rest. We'll do our own research, talk to the wedding planner at the resort, and make sure we've got everything in line before we get there.
Once we touchdown, we'll spend the first day doing on-site scouting to finalize your shot list. We'll see what will work and what won't, get a sense for lighting, and determine if there are any other spots that could offer up memorable photos.
Not being able to see your location can be stressful. Our team does everything we can before the big day to make sure we're delivering your dream photographs.
Comfort, Intimacy and Amazing Photos
Whether you're getting married at the local chapel down the road or at a 5-star resort in Hawaii, there is one common ingredient to amazing photos: Comfort and trust.
It's important to select a photographer that you're comfortable with. It's like a relationship. You want to be able to trust them, lean on them for support and know that they are there for you. When it comes to a destination wedding, this is even more important.
For destination brides, we tend to spend more time going over the shot list, wedding plans and what they expect. Not knowing what the day will REALLY be like can be very stressful. Our team looks for every possible opportunity to alleviate those worries so you can enjoy your big day and be confident that your photos will capture your natural beauty and intimacy.
Have a Plan and a Plan for a Plan
As much as every bride wants their big day to go off without a hitch, there are usually a few hiccups along the way. This can be even more daunting when you can't ask your Aunt to run home to get your clutch.
We've learned over the years that, while a plan is great, you have to have a backup just in case. We'll go over the entire day step-by-step. Our team has seen it all so we can usually plan ahead for those "just in case" situations. We usually develop a few Plan Bs that will address everything from Mother Nature to overcrowded tourism.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind
- Pick the right time of year. Many of the popular locations have rainy months and peak tourism times.
- Build in some extra time for hair and make-up. Whether it's those tropical breezes, mid-day showers or sun-induced sweats, the location can have a big impact. It's nothing a little touch up can't fix, but be sure to set aside the time.
- Plan for wrinkles. Flying can wreak havoc on a dress or tux. Plan ahead and make sure the resort has steamers on hand!
- Sunsets are a bit different. Many tropical destinations have shorter days, which means the sun sets a lot earlier than back home. Your photographer can help you with building this into your plan!
- Second and third photo shoots. Are you staying at your destination for a few days? It could be a great idea to schedule some fun pre or post photo shoots with your family and friends.
Don't Be Shy
Do you have questions about your destination wedding and want some advice? Contact us directly! We're always happy to help.
Whether you're a first-time momma or you're adding to a growing family, welcoming a newborn into this world is something magical. At Draper Photography we ADORE these photo sessions. It's one of life's miracles and sharing in this life-changing experience with you and your family is something remarkable. It's an opportunity that always reminds us how delicate and beautiful life really is.
Your newborn photos will become the ever-lasting memories that friends, family and colleagues will want to see over and and over again. Our team strives to deliver photos that melt hearts, ignite smiles and hit a 10 on what we call the "awww scale" (it is scientific).
It's no secret, this requires a bit of planning and prep. But we know you're probably a little busy with a baby and all, so we've outlined everything you need to know so you can enjoy the moment to the fullest.
Booking Your Newborn Session
For these types of photo sessions, the ideal age is usually between 5-14 days. This is when babies are still tiny, flexible, spend most of the time sleeping, and are usually found curled up in those adorable poses. Try to book your session a few months in advance so it's one less thing you have to worry about.
When it comes to location, it's all about comfort. That's why they usually take place in your home. Let's be honest... you won't be in any mood to be packing up the car. Let us do most of the work for you!
What Should I Have on Hand?
Suffering from baby brain? This list will help. We want this to be simple. Have pacifiers, a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, formula and any other parental necessities you can think of on hand. Even though the session might last a few hours, life doesn't stop for the camera!
Comfort is Key
We want to make sure both you and your little one are comfortable. Most shoots involve a naked baby, so crank that thermostat up for the time we're there. Aside from making it feel balmy, we recommend playing some soft music to lull the baby to sleep (it's OK if you fall asleep too!).
Pose for the Camera
Now for the fun part! We've all seen those cute pics of babies in hats, curled up in their father's hands or wrapped up in their favourite blanket. The ideas are endless and creativity is always welcomed.
Do you want to incorporate some personal props or are their a few must-have poses? You can always start by exploring Pinterest for inspiration. Create a little dream shot list that can be shared with your photographer. We love getting these because it lets us plan ahead!
While the day and the shots are completely up to you, we are a bit partial to the ones that incorporate Mom and Dad's hands. There's something about a tiny baby being embraced by their parents that strikes a certain cord.
While you might be exhausted and feel like the world is spinning around you, try to take this time to slow down, relax and enjoy the process. These photos will likely be in everyone's wallets, on every family member's mantle, and be off the "Like-ability" charts on social media. Have fun with it because you'll want to relive this moment again.
This will be an experience like no other and one day you'll look back the photos saying; "look at how much they've grown". Our job is create photos that - years from now - send you right back to all the joys of welcoming that little munchkin into your lives.
We all dream of experiencing that fairytale love. Ashleigh and Ryan live it. Their passion has the power to make them believe that they could never love one another more.
In anticipation of welcoming another character to their fairytale storyline, this stunning couple partnered with Draper Photography to capture the exact moment when the thought of their family-to-be made the love for one another seem small in comparison. It was the moment when they realized their love had a new meaning.
Surrounded by the tranquil familiarity of their home and supported by her husband's infectious combination of excitement and admiration, Ashleigh's beauty was highlighted through the use of natural light, soft tones, and the shared excitement of the journey to come... all wrapped up in a delicate, flowing white gown fit for a princess.
Let the fairytale continue...
A maternity shoot is one of the most exciting photo sessions and personally one of my faves. While the baby will be getting all the attention in the months to come, this is all about the mother-to-be. It's a time to celebrate your beauty and capture one of the most unforgettable moments in your life.
While the question of "what to wear" is on every woman's mind before the camera starts flashing - when it comes to your maternity pics - your wardrobe has to be just right. These photos will live on forever - whether on your mantle, in your parent's wallet, on your husband's night stand or in a Facebook album for all to see. That type exposure will make any woman want to look their best.
Finding that perfect outfit is no easy task - let alone for an expecting mom. Before we dive into specifics, I always recommend being comfortable, being yourself and having fun. Here are a few things to think about when you're getting ready to step in front of the camera.
It's About YOU
The most important thing to remember is that this is ALL about you. Your bundle of joy will have years of stealing the spotlight, so pick the clothing that accentuates your body, shows off your gorgeous curves and baby bump proudly, and makes you feel sexy.
Insider tip: Wearing a bracelet, ring, necklace or other piece of jewellery is a great way to add a personal and elegant touch.
The Little Details Matter
Choosing the right colours, combinations and coordinating with others in the photo doesn't need to follow strict guidelines or fit neatly into the "box".
Some simple rules of thumb:
- Contrasts: Mix it up. Medium or dark pants pair well with a light top. Or, if you're opting for light colours, have the father-to-be go with darker hues.
- Brights and Neutrals: A great way to highlight your beauty and stand out is to go with a bright colour while the expecting father goes with a neutral tone. Make yourself shine!
- Patterns and Solids: Pairing bold patterns with calm solids is an easy and fun way to highlight you and your belly.
Insider tip: While colour schemes, patterns and tones are great... be yourself. If you love plaid with a bedazzled jacket and knee highs, rock it!
Need Some Inspiration?
If you're still stumped on what to wear, here are a few combos that I've come to love and lend themselves to gorgeous photos.
- A simple, solid tank top is a great way to show off your shape. This can go perfectly with a playful skirt.
- Opting for your man's dress shirt and boxers (or sans boxers) can make for an intimate set of personal photos for your eyes only.
- Try a short dress with a high, gathered waist and your favourite pair of pumps.
- Show off those legs with skinny jeans, a loose top, wedges and a statement necklace.
- Keep it classy with leggings, a fitted blouse and knee-high boots, all topped off with your go-to jewellery.
The love of your life has popped the question. Family and friends have been let in on the excitement. Your Pinterest board, which you've been secretly adding to for the last 2 years, can finally be made public. And the wedding planning is in full force. This day needs to be perfect - down to the very last detail. And in order for the incredible memories that you'll make to live on forever, photography is a big part of the equation.
Photography captures those priceless, intimate moments that will stay with you forever. With so much importance placed on this one "to-do" on your checklist, how do you know you're making the right decision when it comes to selecting the photographer who will be entrusted with documenting the biggest day of your life?
It Starts With a Connection
Selecting a photographer for your engagement or wedding isn't a simple transaction. It's a relationship. It's about comfort, trust and finding someone you can have fun with. You want to be certain that they'll bring the best out in you, be in the right place at the right time, and will treat you like the only client they'll ever have.
Don't just chat over the phone. Set up a time to meet for coffee or drinks. Think of it as a first date. Ask them questions about who they are as a person, not just a photographer. Learn about what inspires them. Getting to who they are as a person will let you quickly determine if there is the connection.
If there is. The hardest part is over. Comfort, trust and openness guarantees that you'll have less to worry about and more confidence in the day being perfect.
Now for the Details
Once you've narrowed down your selection based on comfort and connection, it's time to get into the details. Here are some important questions to ask so can make the best decision possible.
1. How far in advance do we need to book you and are you available? You want to make sure this photographer is a viable option.
2. Have you shot a wedding like ours before? Each wedding is unique. But if you're having an intimate celebration of 30 or a massive 600-person gala, you want to make sure this isn't her first time in that environment.
3. Will you be the photographer and will you bring an assistant? You want to make sure this is the person who will be there on your day, not their "number two". Also, a second pair of hands to help with lighting or additional shot angles can make a big difference in terms of the final product.
4. Do you scout the locations ahead of time? There's nothing worse than going into a photoshoot blind. But this requires time and effort on the photographer's part and not all are willing to include that service. Make sure they're planning to get a lay of the land ahead of time. That way they'll have the best spots mapped out and planned for.
5. How long will you be shooting for? Transparency is a big thing. Be sure to get this down in writing so you can plan your day accordingly. You don't want your photographer packing up and leaving before you cut the cake.
6. How many pictures will we receive in total? A great question that is usually included in the contract (yes, get a contract!). You want to know how many you can expect when it's all said and done.
7. Can you describe your photography style and approach? You don't want a photographer who defines themselves as "abstract" if you're looking for a traditional feel. While finding a photographer with a certain "style" is an okay approach, I recommend finding one who has a full range of skill and is willing to work around what you want, not simply what they can deliver.
8. Can we provide an inspiration shot list? You're photographer shouldn't dictate what you'll get in terms of shots. Crack out that Pinterest page and start building an inspiration list that they can follow.
9. How many retouched photos will we receive and what post-production options do we have? This is where a lot of time goes. I've spent 36 hours retouching a handful of photos. But these are the photos that will make it on the wall. Just be sure you'll be getting enough and the right post-production technique to be happy. Ask to see samples to get a visual.
10. How many times can we meet before the big day? You don't want to have one planning session five months before the wedding. Make sure whoever you choose is flexible and willing to touch base more often as the clock winds down. This will help build confidence, reduce stress and iron out any last minute kinks.
Selecting a wedding photographer is a big undertaking. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time. There's a lot of fish in the sea, but only one that's perfect for you.
If you want some additional advice on what to look for, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Twitter: @bekkidraper or Facebook: facebook.com/draperphoto. I'm always happy to help out!