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

sprinkles from the sky

My experience with rain is nonexistent, hence my background – grew up in Florida aka the Sunshine State, went to school in Virginia (not a lot of rain, but there was one snowstorm that scarred me for life), spent a summer in NYC and lastly, lived in Texas, where rain is considered a myth. So, when it did rain, it was a great excuse for a night-in – complete with a movie marathon, never-ending popcorn and PJs.

Living in the Netherlands is quite the opposite – always expect sprinkles from the sky and never leave the house without your trusty umbrella.

Miraculously, during my short seven weeks here, I’ve grown to have a slight appreciation for rainy days and nights (nights especially), as long as I’m prepared. There’s somewhat of a mysterious beauty to the glistening cobblestone streets and reflecting lights.

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I was a bit bummed when I noticed, the uninvited, precipitation was going to be a part of date night (after straightening my hair of course). But to my surprise, the city center was packed, busy as ever and the mood unscathed. Guess I’ll have to continue working on my love/hate relationship with the drizzle, because it’s true, a little rain never hurt anyone.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

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Hallo, Holland

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Happy Two Week Anniversary to me (you’ll find I tend to celebrate any and all occasions)!

Two weeks ago, I made the journey across the pond and began calling Breda my home. It’s been an exciting time getting acquainted with my new way of life and surroundings. I’ve enjoyed transitioning from driving to walking (weight loss!), car horns to bicycle bells, paved roads to cobblestoned streets and standalone buildings to a never-ending slew of shops, cafes, bakeries, and apartments – all connected along the city center streets. Of course my favorite transition, hands down, is going from Skype dates to nightly dinner and exercise dates (along with the countless hours of couch cuddling).

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The weather has been consistent – cold and snowy, but with beloved breaks of sunshine. Prior to this “photoshoot”, it actually snowed on three separate occasions (each time for about ten minutes) and in an instant, stopped, and was quickly melted away by the sun (thankfully, as this Florida girl does not do ice – except for in my sweet tea). The winter weather has been welcomed, as wearing cold weather fashions (current favs are cozy, oversized sweaters, cashmere-lined leather gloves, thick and wooly socks, super long scarves, beautifully colored coats… apologies for getting carried away) has been long overdue – Florida and Texas should be enough to explain why that is.

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Even with the freezing temps, I’ve managed to take my Florida roots outside and explore every day. My current obsession is the Grote Kerk (Big Church), which was built in 1410. Absolutely love the medieval and amazingly detailed appearance. While the outside is beyond words, the inside is even more magnificent – which I look forward to sharing in a later post.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney