Sunday, February 17, 2013

Amy Wilberg Photography

Do you remember my rant about not waiting to take a good photo?  No?  OK, here's your homework, read this.  Don't worry, I'll wait.

Done yet?  No, OK.

Now?  Really?  Seriously?!?  Um, OK.

Finished?  Oh good, I was starting to get worried.  We can continue on.  I got in touch with Amy from Amy Wilberg Photography and worked a trade: I give her massage time and in exchange she gives me a portrait shoot and a few selected edited shots.  I really wanted to get some photos in the snow with Molly the wonder dog.  Molly's favorite season is winter and she is happiest when she's rolling around and playing in the snow.

Amy and I set up the date and the time and I sat back wondering what to wear.  Which then led to me looking at my wardrobe (AKA where fashion goes to die) which led to me calling my sister in law and begging her to go shopping with me, which led to this post.  The jeans, boots, and tops in the photos are all a result of that shopping trip, and on the bright side I don't have to go shopping again for at least another year, S. is breathing a sigh of relief as she reads this.

We met up at Rendezvous Park last Saturday and luck was on our side, it was snowing.  That may sound crazy, and it kind of is, but some of my favorite photographs are of falling snow.  I was a little late (sorry Amy!) but it was for a good reason, I had to stop and borrow this fabulous plaid umbrella and I'm so happy with the way it pops in the photographs.
The first spot we stopped to take photos.  You wouldn't believe it but it took about 15 minutes just to get Molly to stop acting like a meth head long enough to get this shot.
This is on one of the fishing landings on the Logan River.  Small miracle, Molly was actually behaving, sort of.  The coat is from JC Penny (bought about a million years ago), the scarf is from Italy, the peacock pin was my grandma H's and the umbrella was a freebie from Stewart Title, one of my family's underwriters at the title company.  Jeans are LA Idol from the clearance rack at Bohme.  Boots are by Bamboo from Head Over Heels. 

One teeny, tiny tip, if you are bringing a family pet along: BRING TREATS OR TOYS!  Whichever gets their best behavior, have it handy.  I was kicking myself for not bringing treats for Molly.  She was so excited to be in the snow that she didn't want to sit still, she wanted to play, and nearly dragged me into the river.  Handling Molly got a bit much so I shed the coat, scarf and umbrella so that I could control her a little better for some shots on the bridge.

Here she is pretending to obey my "sit" and "stay" instructions.  If you've spent any time around MWD and me,  you'll know the "sit" "stay" "UH-UH-UH Naughty Girl" routine, *sigh* I don't know who has who trained but I have a sneaking suspicion the human isn't the smartest member of our household.
Amy took this great photo on the bridge.  We noticed afterwards that I'd lost one of my earrings and we went back and found it, but I didn't think about it being missing from the photo.


Looks great, right?  If I hadn't pointed out the missing earring, I don't think most people would have noticed, here's the thread about it on Facebook.

My poor typing is irrelevent, earelephant, erereverant...it is beside the point.  Do you know what Amy did?  THE GIRL MADE ME AN EARRING!  She made me a friggin earring and put it in the photo and it looks like it has been there all the time.


Navy beaded top by Bohme Boutique, cream cardigan by Ginger G, both bought on sale at Bohme in the Cache Valley Mall.  Earrings are by Jessica Simpson for Dillards and bracelets are Dillards brand also clearance, buh-bye Dillards.  Seriously guys, our mall is turning into a wasteland.
So now I have the luxury of deciding whether or not I want to feel pirate-y in my photo depending on my mood for the day.  Which is a lot of pressure, I already have a lot of decisions to make on a daily basis, but throw in a choice about whether to be Sheila NaGeira or just plain Suzzzz, and you'll have me writing out a pro/con list as long as your arm.  (*Hint* Pirate almost always wins).

I took MWD back to the car so that I could get some shots alone.  Don't ask me why I'm crouching, it makes no sense, but hey it makes a cute photo and we all know we suspend belief when looking at photos.  (Don't get me started on couples who are walking down railroad tracks, holding hands, and looking over their shoulders at the photog.  Seriously has anyone ever done that when they weren't being photograph?  See, I win.)


Sweater is Downeast Basics from the Downeast store in the mall.  I made the earrings and necklace years ago at Beadles Original BeadsBracelets are by BCBG Generation bought on clearance at Dillards (In store they actually had way more sayings and colors available than are showing on the website).  Those bracelets came in all different colors and phrases, I wanted to buy the whole rack of them but I restrained myself and only got two.
 Me trying to fix my wet and messy hair.
OK small tip here.  BEFORE you get your photo taken, please consider watching as many episodes of America's Next Top Model as you can.  Fast forward through the fights and drama and get to the photo shoots and then the photo critiques.  It isn't all booty tooching and smizing (as entertaining as that is to watch), there is a lot of great information about composing an image versus having a snapshot taken, finding your light, and how to best work your body and your face.

Molly dragging me...it's her thing.
My previous advice aside, the single most helpful thing you can bring to your photo shoot is a good attitude.  We're all self conscious of our bodies, get over it.  Be happy, tell jokes, find things to genuinely smile about and the photos will reflect that.  Go with a plan (yes it helps to practice in front of a full length mirror to know what will and won't work) but be flexible and willing to take direction from the photographer.  Don't make the photographer pose you and do every little thing for you.  Move around your space, try lots of different things.  Not every shot will be a winner, but all you need is one really great photo, who cares about the others?

Molly thinking "This is the best day ever".
It took us about 45 minutes of total shooting time to get all these shots in.  Amy was fast, professional, helpful, and very patient.  She was a complete joy to work with and made me feel at ease in front of the camera.  Not to mention FAST!  She got these 9 proofs back to me in one week.  I don't know if you've worked with professional photographers before, but that is just insanely fast.  I know photogs who have a 3 to 4 month turn around for individual portraits and 6 to 8 month turn on weddings and large events.

She has several price packages available on her website at www.amywilbergphotography.com go check it out.  In addition, she sometimes runs mini session specials at screaming rates.  Don't wait to have a nice photo done of yourself or your kids or your family.  There are too many excuses and not enough time.  I don't look at these photos and think "If only I'd waited until I lost another 10 pounds" or "If only I'd had a nip here and a tuck there" or "If only I'd had a professional do my hair and makeup"...no I look at these photos and smile because Amy caught Me and Molly having fun and being our happy selves.  Let Amy help document your life, call her today for an appointment.

4 comments:

Pache said...

Your rant about unrealistic but accepted poses made me think of this. I think you'd like it:

http://middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-hobo-apocalypse.html

The Suzzzz said...

Wow if the name of the blog hadn't spelled it out in plain english, I would have guessed her age, religion, and sex about 2 paragraphs into that.

People choose settings and poses that aren't realistic but look good on film, I think it is silly but it doesn't me I'd turn someone down if they asked me to shoot it. Some of the most striking photos I've ever seen would seen completely outrageous if you encountered the scene in real life...but on film it just works.

As for beards and hair...wear it however you like fellas, but make sure it is groomed. You can have long hair and facial hair and still look presentable. I for one love a good beard, as long as it is clean and at least occaisionally trimmed.

Abby (Diligent Joy) said...

These are great. You look great and I'm glad that your photographer didn't over edit you. Most people are looking more like cartoons than actual humans in professional photos these days.

Molly is adorable, too. I keep putting off family photos because I want both of our dogs in them but don't have the energy to go through a photo session with two dogs and a three year old. Ha ha. It just wouldn't be a "family photo" without them though.

The Suzzzz said...

Thanks Abby, I agree with you that over editing is a huge turnoff. I want to be able to recognize myself in a photo. I don't blame you for not wanting to groom, transport, and control 2 dogs and a 3 year old for a photo shoot...that's daunting for any mom.