Archive for the ‘(a) Engagement Pictures’ Category

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The intent of this post is to prove the point : that sometimes you photograph for a while just to get the subjects prepped for that one epic moment.

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On another note I don’t think people come to me to get engagement pictures for that one wedding announcement picture.
That might be kind of silly… I think they’re hoping for a set of pictures that share all the aspects of their relationship. A mini-scrapbook of their love story.

BTW you can see 150+ images in this gallery

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In my mind their shoot is kind of like a third wheel Date with Jarvie – An expensive one

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The beginning part of the shoot is often just to find the rythm and be comfortable. I believe it’s an art to making people comfortable or even happy in front of the camera… to ignore them when they talk about being nervous or whatever defense mechanism they have… and just start having fun.


Doing things like putting them in a tiny little alley way… mainly because you just are intrigued to see how it turns out. (And you think it’ll break down their pre-conceptions of what they’ll be doing)

OR… placing them next to a porta-potty … to make them laugh (or something like that)

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But providing plenty of moments to be tender

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And then of course what I’m good at… the joyful stuff


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Then seeing how they react when they’re all by themselves for some individual portraits… gives me a perspective of where they’re willing to go or where they’re naturally drawn to

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And then you’re at the END of the day and you bring out the fun lighting and things get a little more dramatic.

But by that time you’re all seasoned pros and they can handle a little more standing still and set up for lights and they’re comfortable and you know what their strong suits are… OR… they come up with something totally different and awesome




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(Originally written and posted by Scott Jarvie via Google+)

Yesterday one of the stops here in Tokyo was a popular park near Shinjuku station where thousands of people were gathered to see the cherry blossoms and have pic-nics.

About the couple
Jennifer and Tipp work for Google and are doing a sort of exchange in Tokyo for the year but will be back by the end of the year for their wedding in the Bay Area.

About the picture
I was doing a lot of my typical close up shots when Jennifer challenged me to try getting a shot that had tons of a tree. Well that proved difficult for a few reasons… the major one was that almost every tree was swarmed by dozens of visitors and doing a wide angle meant much more chance of getting someone else in it. I even thought it’d be impossible at first… but I kept searching for something. I took a bunch of other pictures with an attempt to get something but I didn’t enjoy the style of the picture and this one happened because the clients didn’t walk to the place I was thinking to try next. Well it was a great thing because when I saw where they were standing I knew in an instant the type of shot that would work… and it was nothing like I thought when I was originally given the challenge and perhaps nothing like they had envisioned. But it certainly tells the story of the cherry blossoms and puts them right in the thick of things.

I think the moral of the story is that it’s alright to let your clients give ideas and take them and roll with the challenge. Hopefully they are challenges and not specific requests because that can be pretty limiting to creativity. Don’t give up too easy… I might have thought the challenge pretty impossible given the circumstances but the only thing I really needed was to be more creative. Good thing I was able to stumble upon the solution.

More photo-shoots around the world
Yes I’m excited to do a few more out of the country photo-shoots this year and I’m hoping lots more come my way. I don’t charge for wedding travel so this is a real possibility.
Now engagements is a different story.
Because the location and the time of the year was so enticing I was willing to schedule in this trip to do the engagements at no extra cost but that of covering my expenses. Part of that was because it was later notice and I didn’t have anything scheduled between two Saturday weddings anyway. It was a lot of traveling to get here and it was a long photo-shoot that would make the most in shape person pretty tired but it was very very fulfilling and fun.

(Guest writer Keri Neal) Images by Scott Jarvie


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I don’t charge by the hour with my photoshoots.
They can go as long or as short as they want… which is nice because everyone takes a different length of time to get into the shoot and everyone fades at different times than others.

Ashley played it smart and said that since her fiance is no fan of pictures that she would use her good will on the wedding day in a couple months in Texas.

So we only shot for 30 minutes in pretty much one location of the library and we were done.

But hey we got a bit done didn’t we?

Full gallery here

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Posted by ScottJarvie at November 11, 2011

Category: (a) Engagement Pictures, (c) Mainly Pics

Tags: , , , , ,


This is a rundown of the highlights of the shoot

The hope of this post is that you get an idea for the flow of a photoshoot like this engagement shoot…

This was last night in SLC

All three locations we all of us not been too… in fact they were just recommended to the bride by friends and the old truck was on an ad listing.

Sunset is so dang early 5:20pm and we started a bit late so we didn’t have all that much time.


They wanted an old car to match their 50s theme… they had the idea of the broken down look.

We didn’t move the car to a place because the owner wasn’t even home when we started… so I had to make due with the neighborhood where it sat… and it wasn’t that easy, I assure you.






I’ve actually shot near here before but never in these spots. This is near my photo store pictureline.

Spot 2.1 So we started with this cool old brick building

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Spot 2.2

There were tracks nearbye and they were talking about the possibility of tracks

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This was a wall nearbye



This was a diner that doesn’t look like a diner outside but go inside and it’s wonderfully decorated.






I’ve been doing this for a few years now and sometimes i’ve been more consistent than others…. but I’ve now done over 600 posts. Pretty Cool.


I had this couple come up with a spot.

They choose the house that he grew up in and that they’d be moving into after they got married. The property is pretty deverse and it’s up on the mountain side in Provo Utah.

I love taking on challenges of places that have meaning to clients but aren’t the proto-typical… but in the end this place was pretty awesome. A little more rustic and the color pallett was pretty distinct and fun.

Because it’s on the west side of the mountain we were able to shoot in shady light for a long time until the shade finally hit.


We work together as a team. I try to foster their personality and creativity and they allow me to do the same.

This way it becomes more like a day of hanging out and having fun and being creative… and Never painful pictures.

We go until the shots are gotten and we are happy.



We use what is at our disposal and they trust that with whatever we choose I will be there to make sure they get the best pictures possible.


I try new things that I don’t normally do… like the shot below. Because the lighting was just right and the idea seemed appropriate for them.



I put my bright style of colors and contrast into my work

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These are both pictures for THEM and for the many people that they will be sending announcement to. So we need to see who they are and the interaction between them.

I get Close ups

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Or Scenic Pictures

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And I get humorous pictures that are very them

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I encourage creativity. I don’t stifle it by acting as if only the photographer knows anying.

You Like sunflowers… well your image might not work, but let’s roll with it and do something a bit different with the same theme.

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Love has many sides to it… among them are tenderness and joy


And as you can see they can be done in the same places


I also get solo shots

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And As you’ve seen… Even a good mixture of B&W choices



We did find lots of places to get out of the rain… but we got plenty of wet.

To see the full gallery go here


Right to side of the road on our way up to Park City


Our very first shots of the day… back when we were kinda dry.

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Bridevale falls… one of the only times I’ve done pics there.


Thought I’d try something interesting up in park city.

And below – More rain.

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And you always need one for the grandma to see their faces


Posted by ScottJarvie at August 23, 2011

Category: (a) Engagement Pictures, (A) In the Eyes of the Client

See more of the images in the gallery.


This morning my fiancé and I took my engagement pictures with Scott.

I have to say that I’m usually the class clown but getting out there today and having someone take pictures of you while kissing your girl was a little nerve racking. I just didn’t have any idea what I was supposed to do or how to act. I was stiff and awkward at first, but working with Scott made things super easy and we ended up getting the pictures that we wanted because he was a funny and very relaxed photographer.

He knew what to do and would get us in good positions without making us look like mannequins. He really worked off our personalities and we ended up getting awesome pictures. During the process I finally relaxed and acted like myself and we got pictures that expressed the true me rather than the same old engagement pictures everyone else does.

At the end of the day I ended up having a lot of fun and it was an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
I loved working with Scott. He has his own style which gives you phenomenal pictures. He could take to an average looking location and have it look as if you are in Brazil in some exotic rainforest.

Thanks Scott!!!

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View the full gallery online

For those who take pictures in Utah County you’ll recognize these two locations.

But even with the popularity of these places it’s about photographing the personality of the couple so it’s them that should shine through in the locations and not the places.

And hopefully I brought a new approach to a common location.

If you’ve seen my engagement pictures before you also know that I don’t take these pictures simply so they have 1 picture for their announcement. I want them to have lots of pictures expressing their many moods, I rarely think of the announcement when I’m out there taking pictures. I do however make sure they look at the camera for a good portion of the pictures so that they can use one or two for the pictures in the announcements so that grandma can see the fiance’s face.

View the full gallery online.


Posted by ScottJarvie at May 26, 2011

Category: (a) Engagement Pictures, Uncategorized

OK, I don’t know how to write this better, I’m trying, and this might be a little off but you’re just gonna have to work with me on this as I try to formulate my ideas.

Those that know me will get it, those that don’t might think “he’s a little full of it”.
I suppose by posting this I’m saying I’m willing to take that risk of perception in hopes what I write helps someone.

The post is not perfect and prone to misunderstandings… but right now I just don’t care. (Maybe I’ll erase the post later)


I realize their is a magical mixture in our personal interactions. (like when teaching people. )
I recognize that I often fail to achieve those lofty heights.

For now (specially in teaching) I usually say to myself: “I’d rather improve someone’s life rather than just be liked”.
When optimal, I’d rather do both.



I posted a write up about their pictures at the SLC Airport

But now for just a post of their pictures at Memory Grove

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While sometimes I pick on themed shoots for a few reasons… the truth is I wan to do more.


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Mannequins for my idea… no

I’m not gonna ask my clients to dress up like alice in wonderland, a disney princess, the newest most popular movie character.
I also won’t insist they need to go with a desert, beach, stadium or race track just for the heck of it and make it very themed based on those locations.

It just doesn’t work for what I’m doing… if their friends look at the picture and ask why are you on a beach towell at utah lake having a pic-nic. You hate Utah Lake, you two have never been on a pic-nic and that’s not even your beach towell nor does it have anything to do with you or your wedding.

I don’t want a mannequin for some idea i have… “you go stand here and put your hands just like so”
I want to use the location and light and their personalities to create something that works just for them.

I create art around them… I don’t just put them into the art I create.

I know there are plenty of photographers that do this other way… and I think it’s cool and they come up with great stuff… it’s just not me.


So when I do more themed it’s because the client was also creative… and we collaborated.

What usually happens is they have an idea that they think shows off their personalities and their relationship… and I… adapt it to make it look photographically much more appealing.

That’s the way I pose… you do what you would normally do and I’ll tell you when it sucks and adapt it to make it much more photogenic.

I communicate a ton with my clients and give them what I consider lots of instructions… and yet they always tell me they feel like I didn’t pose them. That I’m not a poser.

So with themes they say:

  • Our first date was …
  • We love to…
  • Our favorite location is…
  • Our favorite music… our favorite store…
  • Our favorite activity together is…

I say: Let’s run with that… I have some good ideas that will work for that. Such as…

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My photography is about personality.

I want my clients and their friends and family to say “Oh my heavens that’s so ‘Bobby and Susie’ ”

  • Does it reflect them?
  • Does it reflect their wedding?
  • Does it reflect incidents in their dating history?
  • Does it reflect things they like? (at least)

I do want to do more themed shoots

  • They get lots more attention
  • They are more creative and artistic (in general)
  • I like the challenge.
  • Even the challenge of making the repeated theme fresh and new in my own way.
  • They are better for business. (the attention they get)
  • They are more desired by wedding magazines and blogs

Why I have sometimes been hard on themed shoots.

Well it’s not because I’m against themed shoots or think they’re bad for photography.

It’s because I worry that people don’t do a good job of distinguishing creative direction for photographic skills.

I think a picture can be a great picture while being a poorly taken picture.

The key is to appreciate each are for what they’re worth!

Areas of impact to consider

Locations, creative ideas and selecting photogenic subjects are all GOOD things (needful things)… but then there’s that other pesky little thing… taking good/skilled pictures (light, emotion, composition, processing, the moment)

People can be praised in the picture for many items

  • The Location
  • The Idea
  • The Subject
  • The Photographic Skill

I guess what I desire is that people can look at a picture and see where each of those skills came in.


Part of this came from thinking about typical Orange County or NYC weddings where they’re spending crazy amounts on the weddings. There is so many pretty elements on the wedding day that I worry potential clients are seeing all the pictures of the pretty things and confusing it for pretty/skilled photography. (Yes they can certainly be skilled photographers as well as pretty items/locations/subjects of course.)

I myself have been fortunate to have taken pictures of a lot of typically pretty people. I have also taken pictures of couples at nice places (a lot of LDS temples) and a few more exotic locations.
I don’t do the fancy very expensive receptions (not like OC or NYC) … in fact often I do cultural hall weddings.

I have tuned my skills dealing with mid day light and crazy colors of a church basketball court for many a reception. (I am thankful for that tough teaching)

Making up for deficiencies

You deserve it all

A client deserves all those things we can offer, good ideas, good locations and good photographic skills.

I think the Photographic Skills can make up for possible deficiencies in the other areas.

  • They can make a boring or “ugly” place look great.
  • They can bring out the most beauty in the subject
  • And they can portray the idea/theme in the best possible way.


Here’s the deal on these pictures.

They had a long distance relationship.

He would fly up from California almost every weekend. He had graduated BYU and had a job in California and she was still going to BYU living in Provo.

So they said Airport and we rolled with it.

We then threw in some other pictures… Like these Memory Grove pictures.



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I was asked why do I spend a few moments to do individual portraits during an engagement pictures session.

There are a couple of reasons.

People do slideshows. So in the section where they’re showing each kid growing up they can use these ones towards the end. It’s nice for them.

They can put themselves on facebook. They do the couple shots of course but lots of people like individual shots on FB or for that matter for head-shots for work and wherever.

Third reason is it loosens them up and makes them less dependent on the other person.

Helps me see what they’re capable of, how the interact by themselves and how when I put them back together I can work with and highlight in each individual during the couple pictures.

We’ll see if they’re tough, cute, spunky, shy, what their smiles are like, over the top, or reserved) Some of that stuff we figure out when they’re together but it helps when seperated as well.

They also tend to interact really well here… they’ll make the other person smile and like i mentioned earlier it looses them up. They’ll complain about feeling awkward but we’re all laughing.

In the end we realize who cares we’re all friends and you can be a goof or a ham who cares.


First off let me tell you story of how I made this lighting happen while without an assistant, I’m pretty proud of myself.

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OK so I’m traveling alone but I’m still wanting to use my lightbox with my flash (sb-900)

One of my goals this year is to shoot with my lightsource higher up. I had it on a lightstand but didn’t have a hinge system to have it pointing down. So the groom helped on these pictures above by tilting the lightstand down at his fiancee

But then I obviously needed to take pictures of them both together. And I needed the sky… which mean I needed to be laying on the ground.

So I layed on the ground and with one hand took pictures and the other hand held the base of the lightstand that was fully extended to about 10 ft

Twas a site to behold let me tell you.

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You take what you’re given when in these circumstances. I woulda adjusted the light to match desired positioning of the couple but instead because of the circustance we had to adjust them to work with the light we had… or appreciate the light we got and roll with it.

If you always work hard with tunnel focus to get what you plan out in your mind you become powerful to achieve. However you loose the joy in discovering those Eureka moments.

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OK then we went into the tourist area of Old Town

It was night… I tried the small LED panel… but it wasn’t cutting it so I went back to flash.

Reason I wanted to try not doing flash was because I’d have to take the big lightstand and softbox and I didn’t know if it’d be in the way while walking through this area.

But it was a cold night (for san diego) and there weren’t that many people around.

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Pretty much if you’re doing pictures at night you’re looking for a lightsource in the back. Old wooden lamp and post with cactus… I’ll take that.


Thoughts on this one above? I find it’s always fun to turn off the light and just do silhouette, I know it’s not often what a grandma wants to see in an announcement picture. But then again I give them a a ton of worthy pictures and they’re only gonna bick 1-5 of them so there’s more to these shoots to me than just an announcement picture.