Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Guest Post: Taylor Golden on Creating Heirlooms with Wedding Photos

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Taylor-Golden-Photography

Photo: Taylor Golden Photography

Once again, we’re thrilled to feature award-winning Houston wedding photographer Taylor Golden on the blog, this time with a very personal story about her favorite family photo—and a question for you that may lead to an heirloom photo of your very own. Want to let Taylor know your answer? Tell her in person, at the I Do! Wedding Soiree, Tuesday, Feb. 28 at The Corinthian. Tickets for our incredible signature bridal show and VIP cocktail party WILL sell out—get yours now…and read on!

How do you impress upon a couple the importance of pictures? As a photographer it may seem like a self-serving statement to say that your photography is the only thing you have after the wedding, but it IS true. With the photos that document your story, and your history, you are in fact creating your first family heirloom as a married couple — one that will be passed down for generations to follow.

Case in point: my grandparents.

Mimi was 18, born and raised in Germany, visiting a private lounge in her local town when she met my grandpa. He was in the military and was the first American to enter the French zone of Germany in 1951. Papa said that Mimi sat down on the stool next to him and as she turned to look at him he nearly fell off his stool! Later on in life, he would say, “As soon as I saw her walk in the door, I knew was going to marry her.”

The catch? Mimi was actually engaged to someone else. Also, neither of them could speak the other’s language. But, still, they were smitten with one another. When her parents told her she was never to see him again, due to him being an American, she made up her mind that she in fact would.

Four weeks later they got Mimi’s father a bit intoxicated so he would sign his permission for her to get married as 18 was under the age to do so without parental consent. Shortly after, they were wed.

Papa says that on their wedding day someone who could speak a little English told him, “At the wedding, when the mayor looks at you, just say, ‘Yah!’” He says he has been saying ‘yah’ for the last 66 years ever since!

This photo is the only photo they have to celebrate their day since they didn’t have a traditional wedding. How it came to be taken, according to Mimi, is that they were walking along the street and Papa looked into a photographer’s shop window — she assumed because he admired the photographer’s work (remember, he couldn’t speak German and she couldn’t speak English!). They went inside so that Papa could possibly buy a landscape photo. The photographer assumed they wanted pictures of the two of them, so he began a photo shoot, and I’m so glad he did.

I’m proud to say this photo is hanging in my home and every home of my family’s. First, it was a beautifully produced photograph. Even to this day, the technique and style are sound. Second, they are a gorgeous couple! And third, this is my family’s history. I have pictures of all my grandparents in my house, because it is my family’s legacy and the pictures are a family heirloom passed down from my parents.

THIS is why photography is so important on your wedding day, because this is what your children will look at, hang in their home and pass down to their children to hang in their homes. It is your family story.

What do you want your story to say?

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Photos: Taylor Golden Photography

Guest Post: L’Atelier De Artonit’s Sergio Escalona on Natural Wedding Day Makeup

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

We are so thrilled to have expert makeup artist Sergio Escalona of Houston’s L’Atelier De Artonit on the blog today, with his tips for wedding day (and evening-out) makeup that looks effortlessly natural. Check out his tutorial below…and then check out L’Atelier De Artonit to schedule your consultation for flawless, professional wedding day makeup for you and your bridesmaids!

Many brides-to-be are concerned about their makeup looking too overdone on their wedding day. Most brides prefer a “natural” look, but one that conceals problem areas. Here are some tips on how to get an effortlessly natural bridal look that looks as dramatic and beautiful on camera as it does in person:

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  • Make sure to get plenty of rest, adequate diet and keep yourself hydrated before your wedding day. This will help your skin to look at its best.
  • Shape your eyebrows a few days before the wedding to avoid inflammation and redness.
  • Sleep with a mask of your choice (depending on your targeted needs), and moisturize your face and under eyes right before starting your makeup application.

1. Eyes first! This will save you some time, as excess eyeshadow will fall under the eye while applying. If you have face makeup on before, you will have to clean up and reapply.

2. Choose three eyeshadow shades: A shade close to your skin tone, a medium-deep shade for contrast (not dark), and a medium shade. Make sure they do not have a metallic or pearly finish. Use semi-matte eyeshadows for a more subtle look. If you want to achieve a romantic look, use a shimmery eyeshadow.

3. Use a shadow base on the lid and proceed to apply the base color all over the eyelid. Apply the medium-deep shade on the lower lid and the medium at the crease to diffuse both colors.

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4. Apply waterproof eyeliner on the upper eye waterline close to the lash line.

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5. To open up your eyes and give them a flirtatious look, apply false eyelashes. Avoid extremely long or tapered ones. Look for faux lashes that are a hint longer than yours, and made with human hair. Make sure the lash band is invisible. Tap a little glue to your lash line and to the lash band as well. Wait a few seconds and proceed to apply. Work on one eye at a time. Dark glue will work better than a white or clear, so that when it dries it blends in with your liner.

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6. Apply eyeliner on top of the lash once it has dried and gently smudge.

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7. Time to clean up. Use a wipe and clean under eyes. Make sure to clean 45% of the outer corner to enlarge and lift the eyes.

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8. Apply a light concealer in the inner corner of the eyes and one close to your skin tone under eyes. Start dabbing and blend both colors for coverage. This gives you an overall well-rested look.

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9. Proceed to apply the foundation. Traditional makeup works best for daytime and outdoor weddings while airbrush is more likely to go under the radar at nighttime. Avoid excessive contouring if you want to look natural. Subtle strobing is a nice touch for the natural look. You can also use a bronzer to achieve a natural sculpting if you desire.

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10. Apply powder with a soft, fluffy brush to avoid caking. The use of the sponge is always helpful at the time to take off some shine around your forehead, nose and chin.

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Once you’re done, apply the lip color of your choice, add one final swipe of powder to “set” your makeup…and get ready for your close up!

Photos: Courtesy of L’Atelier De ArtOnIt

Guest Post: Taylor Golden on Getting In Sync with Your Wedding Photographer

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

This week, super-talented Houston wedding photographer Taylor Golden returns to the blog, with expert tips on what to expect from your photographer on your wedding day, and how to make the most of your photographer relationship, at your wedding…and beyond!

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Photos: Taylor Golden Photography

The Wedding Day

For the wedding day, most couples need 8-12 hours of coverage. Of course, every event is different, so be sure to work with your photographer and planner on your timeline. I typically suggest to my couples that they plan to have photography coverage start at about three hours before the ceremony to document the bride and groom getting ready. If the couple is doing a “first look,” then coverage typically starts five hours before the ceremony.

I like to break the day into five sections

  • Bride Prep (1-1.5 hours)
  • Groom Prep (1-1.5 hours)
  • Ceremony (1-1.5 hours, includes family formals)
  • Creatives (bridal party and bride/groom alone- 1.5 hours)
  • Reception (3 hours)

Once the reception starts, you’ll typically need coverage for about 3 hours to document all of the important moments, including the cutting of the cake, dances, bouquet toss, etc. If you’re planning a dramatic exit, you’ll want to hire your photographer to stay through the very end of the wedding, as that image will be a great way to conclude your wedding album.

Beyond the Big Day

After the glitz and glam are over, life does not end…I promise! You’ll be busy picking out pictures for your wedding album and decorating your home, but beyond that, most of you will start a family.

Many photographers offer continuing programs; I call mine “Client for Life,” and I offer couples the opportunity to purchase a one-time package that covers all their sessions, to document their growing family.

If you had a good experience with your photographer, this should be a natural extension as you will already be comfortable working together and know exactly what to expect. This is one of my favorite parts of my job—I get to document the happiest times in people’s lives and become a part of their family as they grow!

Thinking about everything involved in the months leading up to and years after a wedding can be daunting. The key is to hire a professional you trust and whose work you love, and to consider what is most important to you for your pictures. From there you should be able to consult with your photographer on what you want and then enjoy the beautiful journey of life you are on!

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Photos: Taylor Golden Photography

Multi-international-award-winning photographer Taylor Golden counts politicians, professional athletes and celebrities among her clientele. Newly returned to Houston after a long Midwest hiatus, Golden is HOT on the wedding scene. Find out more about Taylor Golden Photography & check out her gorgeous pix right here.

Guest Post: Taylor Golden on Photo Sessions Before and Beyond the Big Day

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

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Photo: Taylor Golden Photography

Planning a wedding is a process that typically starts anywhere from three to 18 months before the big day. There’s a lot that goes into the main event itself, but there are plenty of other wedding-related elements that you should consider when thinking about your wedding photography. After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion—don’t you owe it to yourselves to capture all of the magic and beauty surrounding it?

The Engagement Session

Your “wedding” photography typically starts with your engagement session. I advise my couples to complete their engagement session at least six months before the wedding, to give them time to use and enjoy the images to the fullest—for instance, as part of their save-the-date announcements.

The engagement session also is a great time to get to know your photographer better, and get used to their style of shooting so that the wedding day flows more smoothly, and you comfortable throughout the day.

You’ll typically print one or two large portraits from your wedding. Using engagement photos to balance out these wedding photos ensures that the photographic artwork you display in your home captures you and your spouse in a range of locations, poses and outfits.

And speaking of that range…when it comes your engagement shoot, I say the more diversity the better! Something I like to do for my couples is shoot their session in another city. It’s particularly great when we can incorporate a city that is meaningful to them personally, such as where they got engaged, where they love to vacation, etc.

The Bridal Session

The bridal session gives you a chance to get beautiful bridal portraits, regardless of how hectic, chaotic…or stormy…your wedding day may be. It is, in essence, a fall back to ensure that you get everything you want in photos of you, and possibly your groom, on your wedding day. There are two ways to do this session.

1. Before the wedding with the bride alone. This is typically more traditional and the purpose is to get a beautiful portrait of the bride to display at the reception. You’ll want to do this about three months before the wedding.

2. After the wedding, with both the bride and groom. This is my favorite option because it allows us to get creative and do something really unique. This can be done the day after the wedding or a year after the wedding—there is really no time restraint. However I recommend doing it no later than three months after, as life tends to get in the way. This session may also be done in another city to create diversity in your images. Say you always wanted pictures of you and your husband, horseback on a beach…this is your chance, and will result in beautiful imagery for your home, and allow you to wear the dress of your dreams for your wedding, after your wedding, when you don’t have to worry about getting it a little…roughed up.

Happy wedding wishes, Houston couples!

Multi-international-award-winning photographer Taylor Golden counts politicians, professional athletes and celebrities among her clientele. Newly returned to Houston after a long Midwest hiatus, Golden is HOT on the wedding scene. Find out more about Taylor Golden Photography & check out her gorgeous pix right here.

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Photo: Taylor Golden Photography

Guest Post: Pro Photographer Taylor Golden on 7 Must-Have Wedding Day Photos

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Guest Post: Pro Photographer Taylor Golden on 7 Must-Have Wedding Day Photos

Photo: Taylor Golden Photography

Your wedding day will come and go…FAST. And your wedding photos and wedding video are the only ways you’ll be able to look back and reminisce. Plus, planning a wedding is basically a full-time job, not to mention that it’s more than likely this will be your first time putting a wedding together, so it can be difficult to predetermine what moments or images are going to be important to you.

Aside from the standard “first” shots—your first kiss, first dance, etc.—this is a day for gathering family members and dear friends. Having so many loved ones in one place, at one time, all beautifully done up and turned out, happens…almost never. So make sure you take full advantage of the occasion by capturing the most important people in your life in photographs to cherish.

Here are my 7 must-have wedding photos of the wedding couple, family and friends, to help you prepare for your big day. Oh—and one more thing: When selecting a wedding photographer, make sure she or he has ample experience in photographing each of the elements below. You can do this by asking to see at least a couple of weddings the photographer has shot, to make sure their talent and capabilities are consistent. And now, it’s time to smile…

1. Family Formals

This may seem pretty basic, but these classic family wedding portraits are also incredibly important. Remember, your wedding is likely to be an activity-filled day, and you may not be actually be around your family members all that much. These family photos may be the only pictures you have with your nearest and dearest, so you’ll want to make sure you take a family photo with anyone that is important to you.

It’s also important to select a photographer that is comfortable and experienced in a variety of different lighting scenarios. Family formals typically happen immediately following the ceremony, and if that ceremony happens to be in a church, the lighting may be extremely dim and poor quality—for photos, that is.

When selecting a photographer, be sure to look at that photographer’s examples of family wedding formals to see if you like the posing, lighting and composition the photographer offers. It also helps to create a list of the different family groupings you want to document. Your planner or maid of honor can assist during this part of the day by calling out people’s names for each picture, grouping them, and crossing them off your list once the photo has been shot, to ensure you don’t miss anyone!

2. Individual Spouse Portraits

Surprisingly enough, these individual portraits are often overlooked by many couples and photographers. There are a few variations of each portrait you’ll want to consider. For each portrait, you should have a close-up, a mid-waist, a full shot and an artistic shot. Diversity is key, so you’ll also want to include a mix of expressions, such as looking at the camera vs. looking away, and maybe some shots with movement, such as twirling the dress, or straightening the bowtie. It’s up to you!

3. Family Candids

These unposed, joyful shots are some of my favorites. As I mentioned previously, pictures with your family on the day of the wedding are sometimes hard to come by. For this reason alone, I always suggest that my clients have their immediate family with them while they are primping and getting ready for the big day. This is a great time to capture candid family moments that show more personality, and are often more emotional than family formals. I’ve also seen some fun parents join the bridal party for pictures on location—again another great opportunity to capture some unique and candid images with your family.

4. Wedding Party

There are many variations for this category. They may include:

  • The entire wedding party together
  • Groomsmen together
  • Bridesmaids together
  • Bride one-on-one with each bridesmaid
  • Groom one-on-one with each groomsmen

To optimize these photos, I encourage my wedding parties to have fun and be themselves. Showcasing the group’s energy and personalities are what will make your wedding party photos unique.

5. Couple Together Close Up

Of course you will want some full-length photos of you and your spouse, but don’t forget about the close ups! Think of the 5×7 frames you’ll want to fill. Have your photographer focus on your gorgeous face, hair, makeup, jewelry…and the mega-watt smile you’ll be sporting on the happiest day of your life!

6. Bride and Groom Artwork

I like to give my couples artwork rather than photos for their home. What I mean by this is a dramatic image that incorporates nature, architecture and stylization. The couple themselves may only fill 1/8th of the image; my goal here is that when people walk into your home they say, “Wow what an amazing piece of art! Oh, wait, this is your wedding??” Many couples don’t care to have their faces plastered, larger than life, all over their walls. By creating a piece of artwork, I provide my couple with the story of their day without their appearing vain or self absorbed.

7. Bride and Groom Candid

This is all about your personalities. If you are anxious and stiff on your wedding day, it will show in your pictures. I tell my couples to escape into each other. Be yourself with your new husband or wife; laugh, kiss, do what comes naturally to you! It also helps to have two photographers on hand to do this, so that the primary shooter can focus on getting the must-have and more difficult posed images, while the second shooter can “stalk” the couple for special candid moments!

Multi-international-award-winning photographer Taylor Golden counts politicians, professional athletes and celebrities among her clientele. Newly returned to Houston after a long Midwest hiatus, Golden is HOT on the wedding scene. Find out more about Taylor Golden Photography & check out her gorgeous pix right here!

Guest Post: Pro Photographer Taylor Golden on 7 Must-Have Wedding Day Photos

Photo: Taylor Golden Photography