Jamie and Taylor’s engagement shoot

I have the rest of Jamie and Taylor’s engagement pictures uploaded and ready to share with you all today–at least my favorites from the approximately 100 that I Photoshopped. (Click here for the first batch.)

The whopping two times I’ve done engagement shoots, I’ve been so nervous upon arrival at home after the shoot itself. No matter how tired, I rush to the computer to download the pictures and just confirm as quickly as possible that it was not a disaster.

With each good shot I find, I breathe a little easier . . . until I reach a state of excitement over the results that drives me to start working on them in Photoshop immediately.

And once I open Photoshop, as my husband and sister can attest, I become an obsessed maniac. I don’t stop to get a drink. I don’t stop to pee. I promise myself a cup of coffee as a reward after completing 10 pictures, but when I finish them, I keep going without the coffee.

I’ll get the coffee after 10 more pictures, I whisper to myself. And I continue promising and then denying myself rewards, stuck to my seat, eyes getting more and more glazed over, until someone wrenches the Mac from my hands.

Some people may confuse this for ‘efficiency’ or ‘focus.’ But deep down, I know its manic roots.

Anyway, after spending a serious amount of hours looking at these pictures, playing with different editing techniques in Photoshop, getting advice from my sister Heidi and from my husband, I’m so happy–given my level of skill–with how they turned out.

One day I hope to say that I’m completely happy, without adding the skill-level disclaimer.

Of course, I can see so many areas of improvement–especially with my Photoshop skills. But, at this point, the learning curve is fun.

And I’m talking about improvement of my skills–not of how these two looked! They looked fabulous every inch of the way.

I only wish I were so carefree and relaxed in front of the camera. I always admire those who are able to act naturally as the big glassy eye gives them the stare down. Last summer Erica tried to instruct me in the ways of a relaxed smile . . . but I can’t say the lesson stuck.

I think it would be loads of fun to do a blogging series with advice on how to pose–and not just how to angle your body towards the camera or what to wear, but also how the heck to make your expression non-monstrous. Not over-worked . . . but also not over-blank.

Heidi had one idea which I’ll be sharing with you soon–possibly even with pictures of myself to back it up. I just have to have a quick conversation with my soul to see if I’m ready to share some hideous looks.

Then again, if you’ve seen that shot of me performing a facial stretch in the Fake Smile post, it can’t get much worse . . . except for maybe alien space-doll Jenna. That one still gives me the shivers. Not because it’s especially horrific, but because I thought at the time there might be a chance that my expression was classy and elegant–and it was so much not that.

Anyway folks, enough about my posing woes. Have a great weekend, okay? That’s an order. See you all on Monday, and enjoy the rest of the pictures in this little slideshow!

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16 Responses to Jamie and Taylor’s engagement shoot

  1. Love all the pictures. Ive been working on becoming more comfortable in front of the camera, and not just behind it. It’s definitely a struggle! Oh, and one little PS tip – for my black and whites I like to either bump up the contrast or run an action like “boost” from PW after converting to B/w. It makes the photo much more interesting and crisp, in my opinion. Just a thought from someone who has spent way too much time messing around in PS! :-)

  2. Joanne says:

    You are officially commissioned, should I ever get engaged, to shoot my engagement photos. Deal?

    I love that photo with the two of them looking into each other’s eyes. I can feel the love.

  3. Sarah says:

    i love it. you have some serious talent, girl! i need some posing lessons. some of our engagement/wedding pics had so much potential but look dumb because i can be an awkward poser. :) umm, “awkward poser…” that sounds weird.

  4. YAY! You did amazing! I know what you are talking about, since I started my blog, local people have been asking me to do their family sessions, baby portraits, even small WEDDINGS. (those pics coming Monday) Anyhow, I totally am a nervous wreck and plead with the Lord the ENTIRE time. My quiet prayer from behind the camera:
    PLEASEdon’tletmescrewthisup, pleasedon’tletmescrewthisup…….
    I have photoshopcs5, given to me by a kind friend, and I cannot do a DARN thing with it. I can’t figure it out! Call me a dummy…..speaking of, I think I might need to buy Photoshop for Dummies actually! Anyhow, so all my pics get edited with this little dinky Windows program that came with my computer. Oh and Picknic, gotta love a free editing website for those extra special shots.
    Happy weekend! Tonya from 4 little Fergusons :)

    • Jenna says:

      Thanks Tonya! Wow, I can’t believe you were brave enough to do a wedding. I recently got asked to do a wedding for the first time, but after much internal angst (because part of me wanted to) I said no because I didn’t feel 100% confident that I wouldn’t screw it up! And you should totally get some kind of Photoshop book from the library, because it is a program worth learning. The stuff you can do with it is just amazing.

  5. oh oh oh!!! This are SO GREAT, Jenna!!! I’m so so glad I referred Jamie away from me and over to you! I know she and Taylor just adore and will treasure these pictures FOREVER!!! :D

  6. Kimby says:

    This was such a happy, feel-good post — love the LOVE that’s coming through your lens!

    I dislike “posing” for the camera, too — would much rather have candids taken, even if it means the random “mouth hanging open while I’m laughing uproariously” photo. :) Hope you have a great weekend, too, Jenna!

  7. Corinne says:

    Those are all absolutely gorgeous! You are so talented! :)

  8. Veronica says:

    Great job, Jenna, you did a great job! You have mad photography skillz, and mad Photoshop skillz too!

  9. Hmmmmmmn. Fascinating. I have been thinking muchly, longly, and hardly about this very posing picture topic of late because of your beeaaauuuutiful cousin Aurora, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in the flesh. Really. And then while working on her awesome blog post yesterday, do you know how long I spent scouring the internet and all my photos of the family for a picture of her? Soooooo long. To almost no avail. The girl is horribly terrified of the camera, and always runs away. And she is gorgeous! But terrified! And then, then take a look at a picture of her elder sister. There is not one single picture of Emily where she is doing anything less than rocking the camera. Emily is THE subject for this rocking the camera series. Maybe I should plan a visit with her so we could do the instructional. Hmmmmmmmmmmmn. -kate

    • Jenna says:

      Kate–WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO DO A GUEST POSTING SERIES ON MY BLOG??? Oh, how I would love that! You are fearless in front of the camera, and so is Emily. I would love to hear your tips and insights!
      I agree about Aurora. I have always admired her beauty (seriously) and I think she’s extremely photogenic to boot, so I’m not sure what she’s afraid of. In fact, I may have to do a post showing pics from our summer together at 11 and 10 years of age–even then, she looked so poised and I looked so awkward!

  10. Jenna, I just laughed so hard I woke the baby slursing (sleep.nursing.) on my lap. I will totally do a guest posting series on your blog, and be honored. I just have to figure out how to keep it from being ridiculous and highly mockeable. But yes, yes I would love to do it. I will plot and plan and you should let me know what your ideas are.

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