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MN Wedding Photography

Fun Ways to Use Your Engagement Photos

#1 – Mini Accordion Albums: These mini albums are a great way to not only showcase 12 of your favorite images, but it also a way to provide a little gift to a family member or have as décor on your tables at your wedding reception.

#2 – Engagement Guest Book: We all know about the old school list of attendees at your wedding. I’ve seen the guest book that my parents have as I looked at it as a child. But I couldn’t tell you that either of my parents has ever looked at it. Chad & I on the hand, decided to do things a little differently. We had Guestbook made with photos from our engagement session. Our guests were then able to write little notes, comments, advice and well wishes to us throughout the book. We like to look at the book not only to see the images, but also to see everything that was written to us on the most important days of our lives. Our clients love these books. Not only will this guest book cross an item off your “To Do” list, but you will have a treasured memory that you can cherish for the rest of your lives.

#3 – Acrylic Block or Curved Metal: If you are looking for a fun new product to have, these are it. Each of them is free standing and you don’t need anything else to display it. The acrylic blocks are 1.25 inches think of acrylic with the image showing through from the back. The curved metals can be printed on the convex or concave side and is cool way to bring in a metal product into your lives. These are also really easy to place on your fireplace mantel or bring in to work to sit on our desk and brag to all of your co-workers about your amazing engagement session.

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#4 – Custom Smart Phone App: Let’s be honest, these days everyone is online. This is a great way to not only have all of your images at fingertips to share online, you can also share them with your family. Your family & friends can install the app on their phone as well.

What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer

Style: The photographer’s style of photography is very important as it should match up with what you like yourself. If a photographer is “light and airy” and you like dramatic images, it would not be a good fit. Think of what your vibe is and look at the photographer’s portfolio on their website or social media to get an idea of what their style is. At Chad & Megan Photography, we want to create Dramatic and Cinematic images for our clients to enjoy for the rest of their lives.

What do they offer: It is very important to find out up front what the photographer offers. Your wedding day is the most important day of your lives and you want to make sure that you will have those memories for your life and beyond. Do they offer products that are heirloom quality and will stand the test of time? Take the time to touch and feel the products. Beyond products, do they offer two photographers? This is so important as it is impossible to capture both the bride and groom’s special moments at the same time with only one photographer.

Lester Park Duluth, MN Engagement

Personality: When you meet the photographer at a wedding show or while talking with them at your consultation, it is important to vibe with them. The photographer is the one vendor that you will be with for almost your full wedding day. Do they make you feel relaxed? Do you feel as if you would have a good time with them? It’s your wedding day, you want to make sure that the photographer you are spending the majority of your day with is someone that you click with. This will help keep the day moving along and keep you relaxed and smiling throughout.

They are there for you: It would be horrible to be stuck with a photographer that is just there to shoot the wedding and nothing more. You want a photographer that is there for you and wants to make sure that your day is everything that you wanted it to be. We love to make our couple happy and keep them laughing throughout the day. We work hard to actually get to know you as a couple so that we know what makes you relax, what will give us the reaction that we are looking for in the photograph and what you are looking for in your images.

5 Posing Tips to Help You Rock Your Wedding

Stillwater MN Engagement PHotography

#1 – Turtle, Turtle…: This sounds funny, but it’s actually a big help for those of us that have to worry about “cough, cough” our chin. Like a turtle, stick that neck out. The trick though, is to not strain or lift your chin up. Your chin should be pointed down but stretched out. Keep your entire face on the same plain. Bring your forehead out slightly if needed. The last part is bringing your tongue to the top of your mouth. This will help elongate your neck and reduce any appearance of a double chin. You may want to practice this in the mirror, but we will help you along the way.

#2 – Stay relaxed: This is so important. We work hard to gain your trust and confidence and therefore, you will be more relaxed. If you are relaxed, it will show in the images and they will be effortless. Being relaxed will also help bring out your natural smile. On your wedding day you will be in many photos. Smiling is something that you will be doing in many of those photos. If you stay relaxed, you’ll be able to pull through all of them knowing that you look amazing.

Outdoor MN Wedding Photography
Stillwater MN Engagement PHotography

#3 – Think happy thoughts: One of the most important things you can do during your wedding. It’s usually pretty easy though consider that you are marrying the person of your dreams. There are times we will ask you to be a little more serious (not a full “cheese” smile). But it’s your wedding day and we don’t want any frowns on your big day. Just thinking happy thoughts changes your eyes and the rest of your face and brings on the “smolder”.

#4 – Angles: Ladies, it’s all about the angle that you are to the camera. Keep that weight all on your back leg (the one farthest away from the camera). I do this by pointing my front toe. This will give your whole body a nice “S” shape. Angle your front hip at a 45-degree angle to the camera. This will show you in the best way and we will help direct you to the perfect angle. Guys, you have it easy, you can be at an angle or straight on to the camera. Being straight on will give you a more masculine feel. But angling will allow you to be closer to your sweetie.

Wedding at The Trellis in Stilwater

#5 – We usually get the question “what do I do with my hands?”. We’re here to help with that. Guys can put their fingers in the pockets, thumbs out. Or the opposite, thumb in and fingers out. Hands on holding your suit jacket like those GQ models. We’ll help you decide which one looks better for you. But with a couple, there are usually many places for your hands to go. You’ll be holding hands, arms around each other, touching each other, hugging. But of course, as this is your wedding day, you want to be in contact with the one that you love, and we are here to capture all of those memories.

Top 10 Engagement Images of 2020

Our Top 10 Engagement Images of 2020

Neil & Megan – This was a fun shoot! The Landmark Center in St. Paul was special to Neil and Megan. We knew that we had to create a piece of artwork for them that would capture the beauty of the arcitecture as well as the beautiful Couple.

Hayley & Ryan – We loved working with this couple.

Hayley’s hair color was perfect to work with the fall colors!

Jake & Caitlin – These two had the perfect outfits to really go with the feel and look of the fall colors. We love when couples choose their outfits to really fit in with the scene!

Dan & Nikki – These two really really chose some great locations. This was was off of 7 bridges road in Duluth, MN. It made for some amazing images such as this one!

Dan & Serena – We love when the locations our clients choose for their shoots are personal to them. This was taken at Dan & Serenas house that sits on a lake. We had the fog roll in just in time to create an amazing piece of art for them!

Ian & Dani – We love shooting at destinations such as on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, MN. We had a great time creating this piece of art for Ian & Dani!

Nick & Becca – We love to encorporate architecture into our artwork when we are creating something special for our clients. Becca and Nick look amazing in their images.

Justin & Michaela – These two love birds were fun to capture. They were so natural when giving each other hugs or kisses. You could really see the love!

Derek & Rachel – Minnesota has so many different scenic locations to create pieces of artwork for our clients. Some of our favorite images such as this one are in fron of waterfalls.

Spencer & Rachelle – A sense of humor is a great thing to have in a relationship. Spencer & Rachelle were one of the funniest couples we have had to please to take pictures of. They were so animated during their photoshoot. It made for a fun day.

Avoid These Common Wedding Mistakes

Avoid These Common Wedding Mistakes

#1 Sending out Save-the-Dates too soon: This is an exciting time and we are all in a hurry to let everyone know when our special day will be. However, it is very important that you do not send out the Save-the-Dates until the guest list is finalized. Save-the-Dates are sent out anywhere from 6-10 months prior to your wedding date. But you want to make sure that you are only sending them to guests that you’re are positive will be invited so that there aren’t any hurt feelings along the way. And we all know that we have to send your Save-the-Dates out before your cousin Becky who is trying to plan her wedding on the same day as you…

#2 – Ordering your wedding dress too late: If the dress you are purchasing will need any type of customization or be ordered, it should be done by at least six-months out. In many cases, the dress is being custom made for you and possibly being shipped from overseas. Be sure to add in additional time for alterations and fittings. If you are able to find an off-the-rack dress, you will still more than likely need to include time for fittings and alterations. Similar considerations will also be needed for bridesmaid dresses, but usually do not require as long of a runway. We’ve all watched those crazy people on a certain tv show that come into the dress shop 2 weeks before their wedding. Give yourself the time and save yourself the headache and possible heartache.

Outdoor Dramatic Wedding
Wedding at The Trellis in Stilwater

#3 – Too many guests: Many of us have dreamed of grand weddings with everyone we’ve ever known in attendance. However, all venues will have a maximum number of guests that will be allowed, and you typically will have to get in your final numbers to the caterer weeks before the wedding. It could be a nightmare if your venue holds 300, you invite 400 and 350 RSVP. A good rule-of-thumb is to expect 80% of the people that you invite will come. But it is always good to leave a little bit of a buffer just in case. When Chad and I were married, we invited 300 people, 225 RSVP’d but 250 showed up to the wedding. We were so lucky that we had still purchased 250 meals and that our venue could have held 400.

#4 – Micromanaging your vendors: You’ve done your research and you’ve hired professionals to help you on your special day. It is important to let them do the job you hired them to do. We know that you’ve stressed and agonized over all of the details for the past months or year and you want to make sure that everything is perfect. However, on your wedding day, take off your planner hat and be in the moment. Chad and I know from personal experience that the day is over in a minute. If you can, take a step back throughout the day and just remember everything about it. You will be so glad that you did. There is usually something wrong that happens, the catered started taking away our cake to be cut for the guest before we had even cut the cake ourselves (family to the rescue on that one). But the moral of the story, we look back on that and laugh to this day. The goal is to get married and the people you have hired will help you with that goal.

Lester Park Duluth, MN Engagement

#5 – Questions, Questions, Questions: It is so important to ask questions of your vendors so that you will be able to make an informed decision on who will be with you on your special day. It is always a good rule-of -thumb to make sure that you are being respectful of the vendors, but don’t be afraid to ask them questions so that you understand what you are purchasing. If your florist has “white flowers” on your order and provides you with daisies because the calla lilies you wanted were out of season, you would have wished you had asked about any substitutions at that time. Most vendors want you to ask questions and understand what they are offering. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that will give you the understanding that you need.

#6 – Hiring a friend or relative instead of a professional: Your aunt Karen just got a fancy new camera, or your best friend may make great playlists, but that doesn’t mean that either of them knows what it takes to photograph a wedding or be a DJ. Even if your budget is small, it is always best to hire a professional. We recommend figuring out what is most important to you as a couple and spending your money there. The couples we work with value photography above most other things in their wedding. They want to have the photographs to remember the most important day of their lives forever. Your photographer is the one vendor that is with you for the entire day and it is so important to find one that fits your style and personality. Let your friends and family enjoy the day and leave the work to the professionals.

Rachael & Derek Engagement

Rachel & Derek| Amnicon State Park |  2020

When Rachael asked if they could bring their dogs, of course we said yes. We all love dogs and these two did an amazing job. Rachael + Derek could not have picked a better location. This was our first time to Amnicon Falls State Park in Wisconsin, but it will not be our last. We loved hanging out with the two of you, your dogs, and mom and sister (Megan). It makes it so enjoyable when you can share your special moments with the people that you love. Great location and even better company. #Amnicon falls #waterfall #wisconsin #engagement

Danielle & Spencer Engagement Shoot

Lester Park Duluth, MN Engagement
7 bridges road duluth mn
Duluth Engagement Photography
Danielle + Spencer You know that you’re in a good location when your dad shows up to enjoy in the view not knowing that’s where you were going for your engagement session. (haha) We loved getting to know you two more. We enjoy seeing a couple get more comfortable in front of the camera right before our eyes. You chose an awesome location and a great day. We couldn’t have asked for a better couple that was so willing to get a little adventurous and trust us. #Duluth #engagement #lesterpark #sevenbridges

Grace & Andy Engagement | Stillwater, MN

Grace & Andy | Stillwater, MN | May 2020 What a fun shoot. We have come to get to know Grace and Andy a bit throughout this process. We love shooting engagements and weddings because we enjoy seeing people in love. However, some people you can “see” the love more than others and Grace + Andy are one of those couples. The inside jokes (“Schmoopy” and their first date) and the constant laughter between them is contagious. Even Grace mentioned that “We’ve been the ‘Little Moments’ since day 1. We can’t wait to shoot their wedding in October 2021. #stillwater #engagement #minnesota #river
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