- Monday, June 28, 2010
Q&A with Jennifer Wenz-Wojtusiak, founder and owner of Lightful Photography

What are some tips on how to look your best in pictures?
The key to looking your best in pictures is try to relax and have fun. It easier said than done most of the time, we can be so programmed to look at the camera and grin even if the action is forced, and many times, the camera picks up on that. I try to start all my sessions by talking to the couple so they become more comfortable with me, and I start taking some test shots. I tell them to relax and chat amongst themselves, and quite frequently, these are my opening shots. They are much involved with each other, their movements and expressions are so natural, it makes for compelling photos. I just make sure that they are comfortable, and that results in natural photos.

What are some of your favorite locations for casual sessions on Long Island and NYC?
Long Island has some wonderful beaches and parks, but I also love shooting in quaint towns and villages. Don't underestimate your home also! Bringing in your daily life adds much character and depth to your photos. NYC is such a wonderful location for photo shoots, you really can't go wrong with anything, whether it's in a taxi cab or walking along 5th Avenue.

 What should the couple wear to look their best?
I always recommend to dress comfortably but make sure you are representing your "style". If you're a jeans and t-shirt kind of person, wearing a tight dress will be uncomfortable and it will show in the pictures. I usually don't recommend trying to match each other, but I would try to be aware of any clashing colors.

What's the best time of day to take pics outside?
The best time is usually the Golden Hour, the time at Dusk and at Dawn, where the light is soft and won't produce harsh contrasts.

Do you have any tips for looking best, or locations, during cold weather shots?
If I have a outside shoot during cold weather, I try to ensure we have a location where we will not be outside for an excessive amount of time and can take breaks indoors. Dressing appropriately, and drinking warm fluids such a tea or hot chocolate can help with the elements.

 Any cute Trash the dress ideas?
Many trash the dress shoots are taken at the beach or walking around town. I think the best ideas get back to you and who you are as a person. Maybe heading to the diner or pizza shop in your dress is more your style. I've also seen some amazing trash the dress shoots at unique locations such as junk yards and gas stations. Just remember, you've come a long way, so now you can let your hair down and really have your personality shine through!

Should a couple bring props to their photo session? (dog, hats, etc)
If it represents you and your relationship, or has a special meaning to you, props can be amazing in adding personalization to your photos.

How can a couple use their pics from an engagement photo session?
Engagement sessions are great for simply having photos of you and fiance when you are at your most natural. It also gets you comfortable being in front of the camera and your photographer. I've seen many use their engagement shoots for their save the dates, to montages at the wedding or their card box.

Are there any advantages to using a Professional photographer vs an amateur? How can one tell the difference?
A professional photographer is someone who makes a living taking pictures, they may have a special field, such a wedding or stock photography, and generally have formal training. Usually, amateur refers to someone who genuinely loves photography as a hobby and do it without pay or make irregular income from it. Many amateur photographers take the leap into the professional field. I don't think there is an advantage to using either, I think it's important to have a connection with the photographer and their style that you choose. The only way to know the difference is to ask if they have had training or any certifications.

****To celebrate its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, Lightful Photography is generously offering 25% off their prices exclusively for Cloud Nove Events e-zine subscribers who place orders before July 31, 2010. If you're interested, contact Lightful here. ****

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