Friday, August 20, 2010

E-SESSION: JM + ABBY

Methinks this e-session should gets props for the overall concept (ain't this the coolest?!) & for the couple's sheer guts , grit, & gumption in doing such a shoot. Sure, it's not the over-the-edge kind of thing but it blows one's mind how - in the face of an ever-growing challenge to personalize weddings - they were able to find a place where they could be themselves & have fun at the same time despite the nuances that goes with a photo shoot.

We think it can't get any better than this. :-)

JM & Abby talks to us about their engagement shoot:
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What are the preparations you did for this shoot?

JM: Hahaha! We tried (tried lang) going on a diet. 'Di ata nahalata sa pictures yung effort ko. =)

ABBY: I asked my friends, Clarisse and Yvette, to be our Engagement Stylist and Photoshoot Director. Clarisse was our stylist while Yvette directed the shoot together with our photographer, Mel Cortez. I got the idea of having an engagement stylist and photo shoot director from reading the Vatel Manila blog. Every day kong binubuksan yun site ng Vatel Manila pagdating sa office (oopsss, hope my boss doesn't get to read this!). There I read na meron palang engagement stylist. I told JM "Gusto ko ng ganun, exciting and memorable yun!". Since JM and I were looking into a pocket-friendly shoot, we thought of giving our friends the chance to showcase their talents by "hiring" them for free. =) Super research talaga kaming tatlo. Super write pa kami ng likes and dislikes during the shoot, how to make ourselves comfortable with each other, smile or not to smile and we made a list of things to bring. Parang nagpapalano talaga kami ng shooting ng artista.
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JM: I was tasked to talk to my friend who owns the talyer, coordinate with the photographer, logistics and scheduling. Only now did I realize na ang dami ko pala ginawa, hahaha!

ABBY: JM was too involved with the preparation and even sa wedding plans. Two days before our prenup, it was my birthday and he surprised me with the PILIPINAS shirts from Collezione. Why am I surpised? Because we wanted to buy that shirt for our photoshoot but after going from one branch to another walang size na mag-fit sa kanya (Super rare kasi yung size niya... super rare talaga). Di ko alam he ordered for his size na pala ng sadya weeks ago pa kaya nagulat ako na pareho yung shirt namin.
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Your favorite elements?

JM: The hood of the car with no engine. Friends who saw the picture of us under the hood were asking if it was done through photoshop or was it achieved through editing. Definitely NO! It was a real car with no engine ready to be fixed. Days before the shoot, Abby and I were hoping that there'd be a car with no engine so we can have a shot under the hood. Tadan, meron nga! It was indeed a shot for us to own!

ABBY: Our Chihuahua dog, Yoda. Take a look at all his shots and you will be amazed. Magaling pa siya mag-emote kesa sa amin. Yoda speaks through his eyes since he does not bark. Hindi po siya pipi but for some reason di siya tumatahol. Heard him bark thrice only but that was a long time ago. He’s our baby and being with him during the shoot was really exciting. Yoda, joining the shoot, created a story through his eyes. Sir Mel was able to capture Yoda’s “emote” moments. I super love it!
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How did your photographer make you feel comfortable?

JM and ABBY: Sir Mel Cortez was one of the most enjoyable persons we’ve ever met. He was always asking us [re] what do we see in a scenario, how do we visualize it? Once we had that, he would see it as an opportunity for a new concept and because and we quote ”first time lang may gumawa nito”, so everything was a new scene and not [just in] any ordinary beach, forest, airport, etc. shoot. And what we liked about him was he was anxious to do the same thing that we did. After the shoot under the hood, he positioned himself under the hood also for his own pictorial. How often do you see a photographer getting photographed during his own shoot? That’s wicked and we liked it!
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Why was this location chosen?

JM: The location was actually the last location [we] thought of. The original shoot was in Punta Fuego. We had a fun time there but it was missing some ingredients so another photo shoot was established. Now we were checking the net for shoot sites within Metro Manila and saw a couple like Villamor Airbase, Fort Bonifacio, Makati, but cars came to mind and [there's] no better place [for that] than an auto shop! I tried pulling some strings and it was set. In our opinion, it was the best location for a photo-shoot ever!

ABBY: We finally decided to have it an auto shop because, number 1, we both love cars. We always talk about engines, car models, our dream car, mags, tires, etc. 2nd, it’s JM's dream to have his own auto shop. (Someday we’ll have one too. I’ll support JM on this. Hehehe!) Also, we discussed about having our photo shoot in a location that isn’t common and haven’t been abused photographically. Yung location fit talaga sa story namin, kaming-kami talaga. Our friends, after seeing samples of the photos said “Ang ganda kasi storya niyo talaga”.
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Favorite memory of this day?

JM: Under the hood. My favorite! Unique and astig! Getting under the engine bay of the car was a challenge. I thought I wouldn’t fit, Hahaha! Abby was cheering for me the entire time while I did my best to fit myself under the hood. Luckily and happily, I did! Poor Abby, she has to slide herself in last and there was little space left for her since I occupied most of it. It didn’t end in just one position down there. We did it side by side vertically and shoulder over shoulder horizontally. Whew - EXTRA CHALLENGE!

ABBY: I second the motion! Hehehe!
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Highlight of the shoot:

JM: It was when we were trying to fit ourselves in to the Mini Cooper. As you know size matters and the Mini was a car that speaks for itself. Getting in the car for Abby was a synch. She got in the driver seat while I was in the passenger side. As you see in the picture it looks up close and personal but how was I able to fit in? Well, for a small car, the Mini has exceptionally wide doors that compensates for its miniscule body. I retracted the passenger seat and sat in it but [not without doing] a little contortioning. So what was the highlight? Getting two big people into a matchbox-[sized car]! Now how’s that for a highlight!

ABBY: LOL! While reading JM's answer to this question, hahahaha!
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Tips to other couples on how to prepare for an e-session:

JM: For the guys, involve yourself in the planning process and share your thoughts. Your fiancé will appreciate it if you speak up. It is extremely important that you help your fiancé in planning, executing, coordinating with whoever and most of all, both of you should own this session. It’s not just her day but it’s both yours. It won’t hurt to smile during your photo shoot and enjoy the moment. It only comes once in your life but the experience and the memories will last forever. Oh, one more thing, say “I love you” to her before the shoot starts and during the shoot, smile and say “You look beautiful today”.

ABBY: Research, research, research and do an ocular of the photo shoot location. Write down all the things that you need to bring, the likes and dislikes, sample photos and think about your overall theme or concept. Present the idea to your photographer and do a pre-shoot meeting if possible. Also, it would be great to have an engagement stylist and a photo shoot director (as the saying goes “two heads are better than one”). Allocate a budget for the shoot such as [for the] clothing, makeup, food, emergency money etc. Bring a First Aid kit together with your makeup kit. You’ll never know what will happen during the shoot. Drink plenty of water for a healthier skin and take a good sleep. Pangit sa picture pag puyat plus you need your energy for the photo shoot.


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Location Guide: Fix Stop, Araneta Avenue, Quezon City
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Decisive Moments
Suite 902 Burgundy Place, Katipunan Ave.,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
The Philippines
Office: (+632)929.9624; (+632)474.5417

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We're featuring engagement session shoots as a prelude to the wedding photos to show our readers how couples prepare for their big day. We also feature the photographers involved as they share with us their thoughts on the shoot. If you want your own e-session to be featured on this blog, get in touch with us! :-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E-SESSION: { DENNIS & CHRISTINE }


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The first time we worked with Joey Boquiren was in 2005 or 2006 (we're not so sure anymore), but we've always been fascinated by this quiet, unassuming photographer with long hair in dreadlocks. We have since been a loyal follower of his blog. Had the chance to work with him again last summer (April 2010) and got to finally chat with him! Totally nice guy. I am sure couples would love to work with him!

The other night, I was surfing wedding blogs when I came across this really, really cool engagement session. I totally love the use of LP jackets and that old television set? Wicked! I was so immersed in the overall feel of the photos when upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the shoot of my August 7-couple, Dennis & Christine, ha ha! *smacks myself on the head*

In this post, we chatted with Christine, the bride, about this happy, happy shoot. :-)
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Tell us about the concept of this shoot:
Let me just say I feel so weird being interviewed about the e-session. This was one of the most unplanned, random things we decided to do. We honestly didn't prepare anything for this shoot; it was Joey who brought all the props. Dennis and I came to the shoot without any concept; we just trusted our photographer.---

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Tell us about the props you used for the shoot.
We had old recording discs, a vintage TV, a small leather bag, a couch, and a used tire that was lying on the ground. All, except the tire, came from the back of Joey's car. He said he just borrowed them from his friends since wala nga kaming ka-concept-concept.
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What are the preparations you did for this shoot?
It was mostly me explaining to Dennis what would be happening since he doesn't have an idea what to expect and I didn't want him to get nervous. Then we did the usual - I had a trial makeup and we picked out clothes (we only had one set, our wardrobe was limited since all of our clothes were back in the States).
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Highlight of the shoot:
I think it would have to be when we were shooting in the dry/grassy/rocky field. It seemed like one big playground with unlimited possible shots/poses/props.
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Your favorite elements?
I love the vintage TV and the red couch. Smacked right in the middle of an empty field, they had a certain je ne sais qois. Alam mo yun, it's not something you see every day.---



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Why was a this location chosen? Who discovered it?
Every time Joey would ask me where we wanted to shoot, I would always say, "Sir Joey, kahit sa damuhan lang tayo mag-picture-picture, okay na kami!" because I really couldn't think of a place to shoot. So off to Coastal Mall we went. Sa damuhan nga! Literally!
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Tell us about your photographer. How did he make you feel comfortable?
Joey Boquiren is one creative person, not to mention [that] he really puts a great deal of effort in his shoots. We didn't even plan on having an e-session, but I was so taken with his work - no frills, no wow landscapes as backgrounds, no dramatic poses; his shots are just so heartfelt and light. That's what pushed me to do an e-session with him. I was so sure that even though we don't have a real "theme" in mind, our pictures would turn out to be nice. And they did!

We were almost instantly comfortable with Joey. After the first ten shots or so, we realized that he wasn't the type who would make us do uncomfortable poses. Parang naglalaro lang kami the whole time.

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Favorite memory of this day?
It was Dennis telling me that he liked our photographer and our e-session (when we were on the way home after the shoot). It meant a lot to me, kasi he's a very shy person and I had to beg him to do an e-session. Haha! It was an affirmation that I made the right decision in booking Joey for an e-session. :-)
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Tips to other couples on how to prepare for an e-session:

You don't need to shoot in a really nice location to have awesome engagement pictures. One thing I learned from working with Joey is that you just need the right props and a slightly unconventional concept. Brainstorm with your photographer on what you want to do and what you will be wearing. If he or she has suggestions, be open-minded about it.

See more photos here.

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Location Guide:

Uniwide Coastal Mall Grounds
Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City
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Photography by

Joey Boquiren
Mobile: (+63)927.315.7715 | (+63)932.218.1158
Email: botchok_817@yahoo.com

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We're featuring engagement session shoots as a prelude to the wedding photos to show our readers how couples prepare for their big day. We also feature the photographers involved as they share with us their thoughts on the shoot. If you want your own e-session to be featured on this blog, get in touch with us! :-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

SDE: ARNOLD + SHYNN

Our first time to be captured by Smartshot. Loved the music choice, and portions of the editing were really good. :-)

arnold and shynn / Same day Edit from smartshotstudio on Vimeo.



Smartshot Studio
Contact Person: Lito or Me-ann Genilo
Address: 181 A. Bonifacio Ave., Tanong, Marikina City
Contact Numbers: 933.1823; 926.7571; 948.3571; 928.7375
E-mail: inquiry@smartshotstudio.com

Sunday, August 08, 2010

E-SESSION: { NIñO & GRACE }

This engagement session has finally come to pass & the results are totally amazing & heartwarming! We personally find the entire concept very endearing - a true reflection of the couple's personalities.

I remember reading from their Facebook updates that typhoons have delayed their e-session once already, but looking at these set of photos they sure were ready (very ready, in fact) when that opportunity finally came! Proof that whatever comes their way, they will always make sure that they follow their hearts' desires.

Niño & Grace will wed on December 30, 2010. :-)

Grace, the bride, talks to us about their engagement session:


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Tell us about the concept of this shoot:

I remember showing Sir Daniel (Lei Sarmiento of Daniel Lei Studios) some engagement photos that we liked from different wedding blog sites and because the photos are from different couples with different cultural backgrounds and from different localities, we were not able to find one unified theme. He then asked us the song we like to use in our same-day edit, I just said that we wanted to use a slow song.

He suggested the song, “Finally” by Fergie. We were more than glad to use that song since I was playing it over and over in my MP3 for the past couple of weeks. That song evokes so much meaning and it perfectly expresses the feelings that Niño and I have for each other. After being together for four years, finally we are getting married. The concept of our pre-nup is basically centered on that song.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I had a dream.

Cinderella-thing, crazy as it seems…”

It was DLS' idea to use pictures from our childhood, props like paper boats and paper planes depicting our childhood memories.

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What are the preparations you did for this shoot?
Actually, this was our second attempt at doing the pre-nup shoot. First attempt was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Niño was particularly sad when we had to cancel the first attempt, but good things come to those who wait for God blessed us with very beautiful weather that day [on our second attempt].

We actually enjoyed making the props for this shoot. Niño and I have to compete as to who made the better “flying” paper planes. Aside from props-making, we just prayed and prayed for God to give us good weather. We thank Him for this very wonderful opportunity. :-)

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How did your photographer make you feel comfortable?
We've met Sir Daniel twice already before the pre-nup shoot that’s why we were already at ease with him even before the shoot. We have never met Joannie before the shoot though we were exchanging online messages already; she’s such a sweet person! It was when she posted a picture of her cat on Facebook that I knew that she’s gonna be easy to get along with. Animal lovers are good persons by nature. :-)

During the shoot, we were quite shy at first; we were not used to being the center of attention. Then Sir Daniel said, “Closer, ikakasal na kayo eh!” or something to that effect; after that, we realized that we just needed to be ourselves and just to have fun. One more good thing about DLS is that they will never force you to do something that you’re not comfortable with.

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Why was this location chosen?

Since the weather had been really erratic, we have also considered shooting the pre-nup in Subic. It can get really dangerous in Bakas, Norzagaray Bulacan when it rains. This was one of the big decisions we had to make. Actually, my mind was already set on shooting the pre-nup in Subic, but I know that Niño really likes Bakas, Norzagaray. That’s the risk that we took and we’re glad that we took that risk. Bakas is such a beautiful place.

It was Sir Daniel who suggested to us the place. A few weeks before the pre-nup, we visited the place and immediately fell in love with it. It was then that we realized that we both used to go to Bakas when we were young with our respective families during vacation breaks.

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Highlight of the shoot:
[When] Sir Daniel requested us to walk hand in hand alongside the stream, it was the most natural thing for us. As we were walking, Niño surprised me with a kiss on my forehead. It was the sweetest thing! He does it often, but this was the first time that he did it in front of a camera. I always felt that this was his personal gesture of expressing how he cares for me. And now, he is showing it to the world.
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Your favorite elements?

Definitely the paper boats and the childhood pictures. :-) The paper boats remind me so much of Robin Williams’ film, “What Dreams May Come”; it’s my all-time favorite movie about finding your soulmate in different lifetimes.

For the childhood pictures, it is true that no matter how long you have been with a person, you still discover many things about each other each day. As we were collating our childhood pics, we reminisced our past together, discovering little childhood secrets along the way.

Niño’s childhood pics are kept by his Mom. She was the one who handed me the pictures. I remembered what Niño told me a few years back that those pictures will just be given by his Mom to the woman he is going to marry.

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Favorite memory of this day?
There was nothing more rewarding than filling up your stomach with a sumptuous treat after one long day of shoot. :-)

Before going home, we went to this quaint bahay kubo serving delicious Filipino dishes. This gave us more bonding time with DLS. We had new-found respect for Sir Daniel and Joannie. Shooting almost everyday and editing videos until the wee hours of the morning is no easy task. They are really passionate with their craft: we’re very lucky that we found them.

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Tips to other couples on how to prepare for an e-session:
We’re not experts in the field, but I think that these tips shall come in handy. :-)

1. PLAN AHEAD
Sit down together and jut down the things that you want or you need for your shoot. Have a timetable and try to follow it faithfully. If you have the time, have an ocular inspection of your location so you’ll know the things that you need to bring, the things that you may or may not do, or just to get the feel of the location.

2. HAVE FAITH ON YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Give your photographers your 100% trust. You may suggest shots that you would like to have but leave the rest of the creative aspect to your photographers. Photographers are artists and each of them has their own styles and techniques. Give them their artistic freedom.

3. BRING A PRE-NUP KIT

Stuff your kit with basic supplies like scissors, pens, paper, etc. You might need these items to alter your props or totally make new ones on the day itself if inspiration suddenly comes.

4. GO WITH THE FLOW
No matter how thorough you plan, something unexpected will surely come. Just enjoy each minute of the day. After all, these things don’t happen everyday. :-)


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Location Guide: Bakas, Norzagaray, Bulacan
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Daniel Lei Studio
Landline: 334-9037
Globe: 0906-2722320 (Primary)
Smart: 0920-5016209
Email: thestorycircle@gmail.com
YM: wsi_lei

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We're featuring engagement session shoots as a prelude to the wedding photos to show our readers how couples prepare for their big day. We also feature the photographers involved as they share with us their thoughts on the shoot. If you want your own e-session to be featured on this blog, get in touch with us! :-)
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