Tuesday, August 3, 2010

enough already with the HEART-SHAPED PROPS

Just a little rant...

When in god's name will the trend of using stupid props in wedding pictures die?! I feel like your wedding or engagement pictures should be a reflection of who you are as a couple, and not a reflection of the photographer's collection of pinwheels/vintage tea cups/old globes/etc.

While i am happy that more creative brides, grooms and photographers are stepping out into the bright lights of the blogosphere, I swear to baby jeebus I'm going to scream if i see any more couples pretending to enjoy a tiny cake or handful of heart shaped pebbles.



I have to say I couldn't agree more.

It used to be that too many photo shoots were being passed off as weddings. But my problem lately is that a lot of weddings are starting to like photo shoots.

(Cats, however, that voluntarily pose with amps and guitars... Awesomesauce!)


  1. Heeeeeeeeeeey Manny!

    Agreed. I refuse to believe that every marrying couple ever is that fucking twee. My teeth hurt.

  2. I don't know what you're talking about. Personally, I carry around pinwheels in my pocket every day, just in case I happen to see a camera. Because otherwise, the only prop for the photographer to work with would be me and my pocket lint, and where's the fake fun in that?

  3. can we please just be done with all the fucking fake mustaches already?

  4. yeah totally.

    i don't like the over the top arranged engagement shoots at all.
    99% are NOT reflecting the couple.
    Or maybe only in that point that they are this kind of people that arrange a photographer and are then willing to do every silly pose, with or without pebbles.

    a lot of this pictures scare me off so much that i wouldn't do an engagement shoot (one day)
    only if I would have this really good idea and photographer.

    its better have no engagement photos at all then embarrassing arranged ones.

    ps: i randomly found this collection of BAD examples:

  5. I don't even get engagement photos in general.

    My general rule is that has evolved in the wedding industry since my sisters' weddings in the nineties is pure money-making waste. No wonder photographers are so freaking expensive these days!

  6. Sing it, sister. If I see another balloon, I'm going to stick a fork in my eye. Barf.

  7. Twee is the word.

    And not to say there are never good examples of props, but so many are silly. And pleasepleasepleasegod could we not have any more pictures with furniture dragged out into the middle of an open field?

  8. I agree with pretty much everyone here. ESPECIALLY the balloons. My fiance and I are just having our engagement shoot in the used bookstore where he bought the book he hollowed out to mount my ring for when he proposed. And oh yeah, we both love reading...NATCH!

  9. I think there's a right way and a wrong way when it comes to engagement photos and the use of props. The wrong way would be use props/locations that have nothing to do with you as a couple. The photos turn out looking super staged....barf.

    My fiance and I wanted to get engagement pics done because we're always the ones behind the camera (he's a photog), so we don't have any nice pics of the two of us. So we "hired" a college friend with a nice camera and headed to an apple orchard in my fiance's hometown.

    Our only props were my fiance's wooden pipe (used to belong to his grandfather) and quilt that my grandma made for me. It was an extremely fun day for us, smooching and being silly while our friend snapped pics. We're both really happy we did it and it's nice to have pictures of us looking really in-love. :)

  10. Celia - I second the fake mustaches thing. If I see one more fake mustachioed couple, I am going to barf.

  11. oh come on.

    NONE of you have stumbled upon vintage velour loveseats in the middle of a field before?

    i'm kind of unsure of the whole "engagement photo" thing anyway. i have about 2thou+ photos of myself from the wedding. i don't know that i could stand any more. (WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM?)

  12. Word. Total agreement.

    Although I am not against non-twee engagement shoots. We just walked around the city with a photog. I actually prefer them to our wedding photos since they look like we were just walking along and a friend snapped a cute photo. Except, you know, with blow dried hair and a bit of makeup on, which doesn't always happen on the regular days.

  13. I third, fourth and fifth the fake moustache thing. I just don't get it. And the balloons just seem childish to me and weird when the guy is holding one.

    We took our e-pics at my in-laws beach house which we plan to keep in the family for many many years. No props.

    At our wedding the only "prop" we used in our pictures was a pink umbrella but considering it was actually raining I think that's okay :)

  14. Elizabeth--yes on the furniture in the middle of an open field. Seriously, when I see "real" weddings with the dresser, couch, or whatever, all I think is "who the hell dragged that piece of furniture out there?" It's like a bad joke--do you make your friends do it, as payback for the time you helped move them into that 5th floor walk-up apartment? Hey, can you be my best man, and by the way, can you lug this armoire exactly 100 paces forward? I also hate the one of a kind items featured in many shoots--why show people something they can't have themselves? It's not art. It's a party. As usual, ESB hits the nail right on the head.

  15. all of that said, i'm a sucker for a good reagan mask.

  16. Ahhh... so right, ESB. Maybe things will come full circle and wedding pictures will go back to this:


    I bet the new trend is sitting ten minutes for old school Civil War style photos... or cheesy leg lifted poses.


    Not gonna lie... I hope I'm right.

  17. feel free to judge: when we got married i asked ben, "should we bring things for the photographs? your guitar? our bikes?" i think it was cause i was nervous about being IN FRONT of the camera and was worried that we wouldn't be able to relax enough to get good pictures. anyways of course he said "f*ck no" (he is right sometimes) thank god.

    also, emmy lou is feeling a leeeetle left out at this point. just fyi.

  18. all of the sameness is frustrating. it all feels so manufactured. even the "rustic" ones feel glossy.

    the most nauseating part- the couples who started these trends were so brave to share their uniqueness, and now it's just a wedding blog cliche. alas- that's how trends start.

  19. I've been lurking around bridal blogs looking for a photographer to shoot my son's senior portraits. (Talk about some nauseating pics, senior portraits take the cake.) The prop thing is just stupid. When these couples looks back at their portraits in a few years they're going to feel like giant cliches. No more fake mustaches, balloons, or posing in front of graffiti walls please. That said my son will be posing with a giant balloon in his portrait. But only because he has autism and the balloon will help him relax.

  20. oh thank heavens. We're doing engagement photos but bc we got them for free! And I'll do just about anything when it's free.

    But I just don't get pulling desks and hutches out into the forest and having tea while you draw on chalkboards. Yes, as a photoshoot they're pretty BUT as engagement photos? Aren't those suppose to be reflective of the two as a couple?

    glad you hear I'm not the only one ready to run around popping balloons of unsuspecting duos. (um, that said, we will use flags as props in ours...but that's ok when one is from the US and one is from Scotland. right?!)

  21. i sort of think though that i'm even worse than the cliched mustache photos... because i know they're a cliche. the first time i saw the mustache props, i though oh how cute! that would be fun... but then i saw it a thousand more times and it makes me want to scream so perhaps these folks who use the props aren't as crazy as me reading a million blogs and have only seen it once. they looked at a few, borrowed some cute ideas, and thats that.

  22. I was just so relieved to read this post - I was starting to think it might just be me. And the Anonymous comment on the moustache props - I am completely feeling your anguish! But even something that can be lovely and personal to one couple becomes grating and twee when replicated across every corner of the interwebs. I'll admit I did bring a (plush) penguin to our practice photo session, but only because they're something very personally important. Thankfully I've yet to see a run of penguin-themed weddings (fingers crossed!).

  23. ah yes. even though I do get asked and they are a fun, creative outlet with NO CLIENT BAGGAGE, photo shoots have gone off the deep end. It's a very saturated content at this point. I think the problem with the readership is that brides take them too literally/seriously and then want to turn their own wedding into some vehicle to make them famous for two days on a blog or in a mag. Photo shoots are simply a way for playful editorial content in which the designer gets to showcase their style as well as advertise their skills. They don't need to be taken all the way to the wedding day....

    And yes, the prop thing is over. I am literally banning my clients from using them at their smilebooth this month. Just get in there and smile. No mustache needed.

  24. Even though hearts are everywhere, I deal with them because the symbolism isn't going to be lost in 10 years. But other completely arbitrary props, yes.

  25. *guilty* I totally love the props. And things that will look dated in 10 years. But then again that might be because I HATE having my picture taken and will celebrate anything (forced, fake or otherwise) that keeps me from having to look at the camera and smile.

  26. i have no problem with looking dated.

    but not being able to pick your own photos out of a sea of sameness kind of sucks.

  27. Yeah, but what's the alternative?? Photo yourself doing things you REALLY do? Here's us in our wedding clothes taking a dump and fighting over who's gonna do the dishes..??!

    Ah, the whole wedding thing is a staged and fake performance of self anyhoo...might as well accept it.

    I probably had the simplest of weddings imaginable, but still I can't suggest that in my normal life I dance with flowers on my head and feed people cake.

    I wish I had had balloons and mustaches...then I could have disguised my inlaws.

  28. Oh, I still love mustaches. Sorry, Celia. We have a long standing obsession with facial hair of all sorts in our house.

    And I don't mind the whole dating yourself issue. I'm pretty sure everyone's wedding photos will be dated even without any props, and that's fine. Props in photobooths can be good, because some people are a little awkward trying to figure out what to do with themselves for four poses and props help.

    I just don't like the excessive staging/self conscious aspect of it. Hence, my weirdness over furniture in the woods. It's just so photoshoot-y. You will look just as married without an antique armoire behind you.

    Oh, and no matter how annoyed we all are by these things, you know that 90% of the people at the wedding will have never seen it before and they will either think you are crazy or amazing. So there's that.

  29. Some of the trends make me a little sad, like drinking out of mason jars, but that's because I do drink out of mason jars on a regular basis and I'm not certain it's the same when you're going for a 'look'. If you use mason jars, have mason jars. If you're from a used car sales family, have bunting. If you don't or are not, do something that expresses you and your family and relationship, not a theme you think is trendy. /Rant.

  30. you will never know how relieved I was to read this. I thought I was the only one. (I am a bit stubborn and opinionated, so it wasn't too far fetched of a possibility).

    I have stopped looking at 98% of enagement shoots on blogs because they just look fake now-a-days. the real people love-ness that I liked about them seems to have been propped or stylized out.

    that said, still a sucker for a moustache on a stick.

    course, that may be because of the bearded fiance....

  31. Our engagement photos were free when we booked our photographer for our wedding, and it gave us a nice opportunity to get to know her a little bit and get comfortable in front of a professional camera.

    We used props, including a balloon, and rode around on my uncle's tandem bike, and you know what? It was fun.

    Our photos aren't going to get lost in a sea of other engagement photos because we're only sharing them with our family and friends. As my wise mother pointed out, what may seem repetitive and annoying to those of us who immerse ourselves in the wedding blog world is probably still new to 99% of the people who will be at your wedding.

  32. I have a cute, vintage-lounge-outside-for-photo story though. I was showing my mum my photogs blog and there was one of those pics. I said jokingly to her "I must have my own red velvet loveseat for a pic". Low and behold, she bought a $10 couch from a second-hand store and reupholstered it in red faux-velvet. The first I knew of it was when she emailed me the before and after pics. So yep, I'll be having one of those pics and it will rock ;)