Sunday, August 08, 2010


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:

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.


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. :-)


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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. :-)

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.

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.


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.

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. :-)

Location Guide: Bakas, Norzagaray, Bulacan

Daniel Lei Studio
Landline: 334-9037
Globe: 0906-2722320 (Primary)
Smart: 0920-5016209
YM: wsi_lei

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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