"Where do I put my hands"

Let's face it, having your photo taken isn't the most natural thing in the world. Most of us feel uncomfortable and ask this hilarious question repeatedly "what do I do with my hands?" Amy Schumer explains it brillantly in her parody about engagement photography. 

As I write an email to a couple I'm about to take engagement photos later today, I realized everyone might be able to benefit from my tips of advice that I send out to help them feel relaxed and have fun. 

These are the things I try and remember when I'm in front of the camera and they are sure fire tricks to keep in your back pocket when suddenly you freeze and your brain decides you don't know anything and you know for certain you've never been in photos ever before...or maybe that's just me :) 

1. Silly is the best

Don't forget, these are YOUR photos. Most people have a silly side with the people they love, so bring that out! This is the perfect time to make funny faces at the camera, at each other, at strangers. Sometimes I think the stiff, scary photographers make clients feel they have to be very serious, when in this show it's the exact opposite. Let's be the silliest. 

Piggy back rides, kisses with red lipstick, twirls, secret hand shakes, watching your dude dance, having a singing contest, putting ice cream on her cheek, the list could go on forever.

But what matters is that these are YOUR silly things. Don't worry about me being there, I'm just along for your journey. 

2. Get cozy, dammnit! 

Okay so maybe you're doing engagement photos or couples photos and that may sound incredibly intimidating or scary. But in reality and more realistically these are memories for you and the people you care about most. Let your guard down and pretend this is just a normal day. In case you are feeling stuck , these are some of my favorites:

Give sweet kisses on the forehead, hands, shoulder, or lips | Hand holding | Hugs | Spontaneous twirling | Maybe try a dip kiss in the middle of the street | Bear hugging your partner | Nuzzling into your partners neck

3. Be Ridiculous

This is seriously the golden ticket. If you are brave enough, crazy enough...this will work! I can't give you any prep here so here are just my tips: 

  • Think about specific things that just make you crack each other up and then whisper about them while I snap away (probably in a tree somewhere) Don't try and talk about chores, laundry, friends drama because those boring things will not make you think happy thoughts and that will come through on the camera! We don't want that. No chore talk. 

 

  • Say inappropriate things while I'm photographing 50 feet away...it's hilarious and I absolutely cannot hear you AND it creates great reactions for the camera

4. PICK YOUR DREAM DATE

Are you the 'Princess Diary' or the 'Pretty Lady' romantic type? Do you have dreams of going in a hot air balloon or floating down a river in a canoe or riding horses along the beach? Well funny you should mention that because there is no better time to make those dream dates a reality than your engagement photos! I mean it's probably one of the best excuses in the world. It's like a pre-honeymoon. Let's do it! Some ideas to get your idea train going: 

Horseback riding, kayaking, hot air balloon, renting an old car and driving through the country, going to a concert, going to a festival, hiking, camping, flying a plane, rent a luxurious Airbnb castle for the weekend, wine tasting, boat rides, etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading these four best tips for engagement photography! Next time you get in front of the camera with your person don't forget to shake it out, make silly faces, and have an amazing time. 

The Carty Family

An afternoon with the Carty's includes exploring among the hills, swans, and artwork and making lots of silly faces at Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. Ellen, Niall, Sarah are a band of adventurers who fearlessly run in the sunshine and giggle when the bell that they try to ring doesn't make a sound. Eileen and Gerry are some of the coolest parents keeping up and participating in the fun. 

2015 Best of SECOND SHOOTING

a collection of images photographed for Juliana Laury Photography

A wedding day is made up of so many moving parts. From the vendors, to the kids, to the bridal party, and don't forget about the whole reason of the party—the bride and groom.  Bringing two families together is a really magical thing and the day is timed perfectly, with everyone's fingers crossed that it won't get too derailed, as it so inevitably does. Even with timelines planned "just-so" and all the bridesmaids' dresses matching, my most favorite parts are the beauties that aren't planned. The in-betweens, the afterthoughts, the glimpses of love when grandma shows her granddaughter a family heirloom or when the ring bearer grabs the groom's pinky...it's those little ones that make the biggest impression. And that's why I love what I do. I get to read people and start to know them very quickly to understand when that twinkle in their eye means they feel beautiful or when their favorite dance song comes on and their face erupts. It's through what I do that I can help make a bridesmaid feel beautiful or sit back and be quiet and simply 'click' the shutter when she starts to bust a move on the dance floor.

It's knowing that deep down in all of us we inherently want to love and be loved that makes me want to document and honor the people who come in front of my camera. 

The Belmontes

The McCloskeys

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Gingerbread Party

Washington DC Family Photography

There's nothing quite like seeing a child's eye widen when they see a table filled with candy bags. So much joy and excitement rises and you can tell they will be bouncing off the walls in a matter of hours. It brings us back to being a kid during the holiday season.

The Davis's open their home to family and friends for their annual gingerbread party full with homemade gingerbread houses ready to be decorated and christmas music playing throughout.  This is what the holiday season is about—gathering with loved ones, creating something fun together as a family, and of course lots of sweets.

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Summertime Kids

Philadelphia Family Photography

Baby Lulu

Philadelphia Family Photography

I met Kate and Mark as well as their daughter Scarlett at Liz and Mike's wedding last summer. When Liz emailed me about booking a photo session for a gift for Kate's new baby I was beyond excited! Not only did we capture this sweet baby Luella (who was given the nickname Lulu by her big sister) but we were also able to preserve sweet moments in these early stages of their family.