photoshoot don’ts

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I have to admit, these snapshots by Jordan Burch Photography completely and totally exceeded my expectations. While I had high hopes, I never thought something quite this special and this spectacular would be the end result. Joost and I couldn’t be happier with our photog choice and will certainly cherish each and every picture, til death do us part.

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But of course, behind every picture is a story… and… maybe a little… drama.

While Joost had his final training period in the great state of TX, I went home to Florida for wedding prep and QT with the fam. Of course being newly engaged, I had 1,000 (now that I think of it, more like 4,000) to-dos on my list and didn’t immediately plan for an engagement shoot (shame on me), until I met with my (then potential) photog. When she mentioned an engagement shoot, the timeline lightbulb finally went off, as I realized, once Joost was done with his training in TX, we most likely weren’t going to be together again in the US, until the wedding. After some scurrying about and race-against-the-clock type planning, we all seemed to find our way to the great city of Austin, TX.

Incase you have any upcoming shoots, I thought I’d share a few pointers (or if you don’t, hope you have a couple chuckles).

1. No facials 5 days prior to shoot – at first thought, a facial seemed to be a good idea (relaxing and rejuvenating, right). Well, unless you have flawless skin, the truth of the matter is, they aren’t. Great cleansing effort for your face? Yes. Great for pictures? No (unless you’re going for a red-spotted dalmatian look). Thankful for a little thing called makeup.

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2. Know you’re meeting point when being escorted by a high-ranking military officer on base – I wish this pointer was a completely made-up, bad joke. Oh, but it isn’t. Jordan and I were supposed to meet one of Joost’s superiors at a nearby Subway, so we could be escorted on base. Of course, the correct Subway wasn’t loaded on the GPS – how does this even happen? So, after visiting every single Subway in a 10 mile radius, we had the bright idea to drive to a Subway, in the next town, a good 25 minutes away. Excited to see someone in a military uniform, we approached his car and asked, “Hi! Are you in the Royal Netherlands Air Force?” The look on his face said it all and we quickly peeled out of the parking lot… Come to find out, the mystery Subway was 1 mile from the apartment we were staying in… and we were only an embarrassing 45 minutes late.

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…But, being late did result in some pretty awesome natural sunlight.

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3. Don’t climb big, heavy machinery (like Apaches) in short dresses – or everyone and their mother will see hot pink leopard things they shouldn’t.

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4. Don’t plan everything – because unplanned moments, might turn out to be some of your favorite ones.

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5. Don’t assume your man has something to wear – why yes, another mindless mistake. While I thought, “Joost bring everything you packed for TX” would allow for sufficient choices… Oh my, I couldn’t have been more wrong (seriously though, he packed swim trunks, yellow shorts and random tees – bless his heart). So, the night before our shoot, we arrived at the mall at 8:40p, and when I say I was running through the men’s department throwing shirts at Joost to try on… That’s exactly what I was doing. But hey, an 8:58p checkout resulted in a  J & W win!

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6. Some things should be planned – like bike riding destinations (especially when trying to stay “pretty” for pictures). We thought it would be a fun and very Dutch idea to rent bikes and bring a little of Joost’s culture into our shoot. Not sure when we decided to make the Capitol our final destination or how long it took us to get there, but all I know is, we did a lot of pedaling.

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…But when you do decide on your final biking destination, you capture sweet moments like this…

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7. Don’t have your photog fly out of an airport 75 minutes away from where you’re staying… at 9a… on a weekday – because even though you leave at 6a, you’ll hit big city traffic, go 3 mph for 45 minutes and make your flight low on breath and with minutes to spare.

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Come to think of it, my don’ts would still be my do’s… Minus the whole being late when dealing with the military… Not a good look. At all.

Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

boys and their planes

Born and raised in a small town outside of Pensacola, Florida, I grew up watching (and loving) the Blue Angels. Some of my favorite childhood memories include boat rides with family and friends to Destin, Panama City and Pensacola Beach to watch their spectacular shows. I was always (and still am) amazed at their precise, flawless and suspenseful maneuvers, that leave you thinking, “did they really just do that… in a F-18 jet?” Knowing my love for the Blues, Joost knew exactly where we’d be this past Saturday as soon as I got wind of a Dutch air show… And he knew exactly who had dibs on the Blues cap.

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Not knowing what to expect, I was definitely in for a treat – seventeen countries were in attendance with their best pilots, aircrafts and tricks up their sleeves (some which made me ‘ooh’ and ‘awe’, while others I could watch with only one eye open due to the ‘dare devil’ stunts). Aircrafts ranged from a Finnish F-18 to the Dutch Apache helicopter (apparently this is the only Apache demo team in the world). Shows were nonstop from 9-5p, but that wasn’t the only entertainment. The grounds were packed with open aircrafts, obstacle courses, military-style face painting, simulators and much, much more (of course I loved the apparel stands – the best seller of the day had to be the flight suits for kids (so precious), as every little one seemed to be running around in them). There were also a lot of ‘demo stands’, which gave a closer look at the Air Force’s day-to-day operations, training (the wilderness, water and snow survival trainings – oh wow), equipment and weapons used. At the different stands, there were representatives from the Royal Netherlands Air Force to answer questions and provide personal insight on the subject – which I found to be super nice and a great way to make a connection.

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To not leave any team out, below you’ll find all who were in attendance for the air show, along with the 150,000 spectators (special shout out to the RNLAF, Italian Air Force and French Air Force as your shows were my favorites! Oh, and can’t forget the Italian announcer, whom the crowd and myself loved) –

Hawker Hunter, DHHF

C-47, BBMF

Saab Viggen, Swedish AF

Bolkow 105, German Army

C-1301, Royal Danish AF

MI-24, Czech AF

Red Arrows, Royal Air Force

SU-22, Polish AF

Pilatus PC-7, Austrian AF

Curtiss P-40, Fighter Collection

MIG-15, Fundacja Polskie Orly

F-16, AH-64 Demo and Launch Air Power Demo, RNLAF

F-18 Hornet, Finnish AF

Frecce Tricolori, Italian AF

Saab Gripen JAS-39, Czech AF

Patrouille Suisse, Swiss AF

Ramex Delta, Frech AF

Spitfire Formation, BBMF/RNLAF

F-16, Turkish AF

Patrouille de France, French AF

Jet Formation, RNLAF

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Happy 100th birthday, RNLAF and until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney