Why you should consider a boudoir session {Boudoir} — Feeling sexy, boosting confidence and surprising your significant other — Wendy Zook Photography, Rochester New York

Ladies, this one’s for you.

Let’s face it — we spend a lot of time putting on makeup, picking out our outfits and trying to look good for sometimes perfect strangers. Sometimes for our husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends or significant others. Do we ever just try to feel pretty for ourselves?

I used to have the WORST self esteem. But as I get older and look at my flaws as a little roadmap of scars, memories, life-changing moments and growing up, I appreciate my body, for better or for worse.

 

Several of my brides have chosen to surprise their LoveBug with an album of boudoir images on the morning of their wedding. It’s an exciting thing to plan and create and every single one of my ladies has been SO happy she did this!

I keep the session as calm and fun (no, really!) as possible and usually within a couple of minutes, we are both laughing and talking like it’s just a stroll in the park. These sessions usually take 90 minutes to an hour and we use about 3-4 different outfits. And it’s not all lace and leather — I’ve seen a T-shirt and a football jersey be just as sexy if not more sexy than any little lingerie. And I’ve seen no props at all and I’ve seen books, a cup of coffee and some pretty pearls all turn a tranquil scene into something really special.

 

I’ll never forget the first time I told my hubby that I was photographing one of these sessions. I think he thought I was crazy and maybe a little creepy. Although he’s never seen any of these images I’ve photographed (and they’ll NEVER be posted on my blog or social media), he has said that it’s not a bad idea. Boudoir wasn’t a well-known option when we get married more than five years ago, but if I had known about it, you better believe he’d have a special surprise from me on that wedding day!

 

 

Boudoir sessions can take place at your home, a hotel or a mix of indoor and outdoor sites! I love to incorporate natural light so lots of windows is key!

 

I’ve done several trainings now (and real-life practice!) on flattering poses for all body types, so you just be you and I’ll worry about the rest! A woman with curves needs to do this just as much as someone who is stick-thin! We are all so beautiful! (And your hubby-to-be clearly thinks you’re gorgeous just the way you are!).

 

 

Oh, and by the way — you don’t have to do this by yourself! You and your significant other can do this together! What a fun Christmas present and what a way to bring back the romance!

 

For these sessions, my clients typically pick their favorite 15-25 images (a mix of close-ups of eyes, hands, etc plus full-body poses, etc) and together we create a 10×10 album that we wrap up and get ready for delivery! The whole process can be done within a couple of weeks. Let me know if you’re interested!

 

 

 

 

Heather and John {Engagement} — Silly Adventures in Wilkes-Barre, PA

I love a lot of things that came into play while exploring the nearby city of Wilkes-Barre PA last week with Heather and John — obvious affection, lots of laughter and an adorable puppy.

I have had a blast with this young, fun couple since we first talked about their Sept. 2015 wedding a couple of months ago. John asked great questions during a phone interview and apparently was impressed by me! He told Heather, “We don’t have to look any further, I found our photographer.” How awesome is that?! And then when I met with Heather at a nearby coffee place, we happened to pick a night with a slew of fire trucks on display, free ice cream and long lines weaving around costumed walking coffee cups. We laughed a lot and just really hit it off.

So this past weekend, we captured some love and laughter at three locations — a riverside park along the Susquehanna, the campus of Wilkes University and then at nearby Kirby Park and it’s dyke path.

Heather and John had a lot of ideas for outfits and props and posing but were equally flexible and open-minded with my suggestions.

Heather’s ring is gorgeous, yet it was almost overshadowed by their new puppy named .. wait for it… Captain Bacon! (And he even has his own hashtag!)

I hope you can feel the fun in these photos! I can’t wait to see them surrounded by their loved ones in just a few months for their wedding. I have no doubt I’ll be smiling the entire time!

Heather and John

Engagement Session 7-3-15; Online Gallery delived 7-8-15

Location: River Common Park, WIlkes University, Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre PA

Wedding: 9-19-15

Chris & Shannon {Wedding} — A Long Beach Island Love Story

If rain on your wedding day truly is good luck then Chris and Shannon are most certainly blessed in their marriage.

Even with 35-mph wind gusts, sideways torrential downpours, collapsing tent walls and a few more unexpected curve balls, these two lovebirds kept calm and didn’t let Mother Nature or anything else dampen their dream beach wedding.

Despite being two of the most laidback people I’ve ever encountered on what should be a stressful day, the details laid out beforehand had most definitely been planned out with such care and consideration. Blues and reds and yellows popped in and out of beautiful wooden signs from Rustic Drift, a gorgeous ring, and sea-themed table runners, centerpieces, even the bottle openers! Guests signed an anchor and munched on Swedish Fish.

And you should have seen the way Chris looked at his bride, even after seeing her all dressed up and ready to go. He just beamed. And even more touching were their loved ones. There was undeniable support and love in a white tent on a corner of Beach Haven that night. Groomsmen smiling with pride, bridesmaids fighting back joyful tears, moms who nodded as if they knew they raised a good one and dads who stood back and took it all in. New babies passed around and kiddos twirled on the dance floor. And gosh was there some dancing! The dance floor was never empty!

Couples years into their marriage could take lessons from Chris and Shannon. Roll with the punches, remember the reason for it all and always, always laugh.

Chris & Shannon

6-27-15

101 Centre St/LBI NJ

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} — Part Two

Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite images of the details of our boho-themed bridal shower styled shoot — the food, candles, table set-up and all of the fun decorations and favors.

Today, it’s all about the models! This part of the shoot is where I am most in my comfort zone and at my happiest behind my camera. As fun as a creative detail shot like ring close-ups or flowers can be, capturing a story — friendship or family or a love story — is what brings me greatest joy!

We had eight female models who portrayed our bridal shower attendees at various stations along our shoot and then one of the ladies and her boyfriend who were not only SO cute but also SO in love! They braved a super-quick rain shower right before sunset photos and were patient as three photographers directed them towards their own styles. Me? I love a good romantic, fun shot. If there’s a serious face, my camera might get sad, haha!

So, we created a calm, fun, laid-back atmosphere and we tried not to make any photograph too boring, slow-paced or uninteresting. Conversations, questions and always planning your next move while working out your current one make the entire process a little easier for everyone involved.

Enjoy the photos and please check out the amazing vendors who shared their talents, time, space and love with me this week! And a very big thank-you to our fantastic models!

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie’s Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor} Erica {makeup}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca — thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} – Part One — The Details

Sometimes, when all of the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, and a group of amazing creatives gather together and rainclouds hold off, magic happens. When models are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside and everything around you inspires you, special moments are captured.

Such was the case with a styled boho-themed bridal shower shoot that took place earlier this week. Led by Candice of Patchwork Planning and Renee of Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals and Styling, our images now inspire others!

We were surrounded by the most beautiful color palette — pinks and greens with a touch of whimsy —  and the most beautiful textures — woven vibrant rugs and decorative dreamcatchers, lace dresses and floral crowns. Fabulous food with even more delicious displays and the blingiest chandeliers ever!

Tomorrow, I’ll highlight some of my favorite moments between our models — a group of eight lovely ladies (and one handsome guy!) near a fabric teepee, enjoying a delightful dinner set-up, wrapped up in a sunset in a field and more. Today’s blog, however, is showing off all of the tiny little details that helped create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

I’m going to let the images tell the story, but please take a moment to acquaint yourself with the terrific vendors I’ve listed below!

All photos taken with my Nikon D700, switching up between my 24mm/50mm (with and without macro filters) and 85mm.

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie’s Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca — thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Ben & Megan {Engagement} — An outdoor engagement session in Central Pennsylvania with Wendy Zook Photography

A lot of things have to happen in order to create a flawless, magical engagement session.

And boy did the stars align on Saturday!

Equipment. Check! It was my first opportunity to use only my three favorite prime lenses and no zooms and I was SO pleased with the results. Sharper, in-focus images with beautiful bokeh.

Location. Yup! We used Ben’s family farm (Picture field of wildflowers and tall grass perched on top of a mountain overlooking rolling hills of green as far as the eye can see), and two waterways nearby that had particular importance to Ben and Megan’s relationship (like near the place where he proposed!). OH, and my apologies to the owner of the field on the drive to the reservoir. See, we were driving by and almost all three of us yelled to stop at the same time. You know you have magic then!

Weather. Partly sunny skies leading into a golden sunset. No one had to squint and there was no harsh light to deal with! The temperature was rather comfortable, too!

A cooperative groom. Um, yep! Ben actually suggested the first spot as we walked towards the aforementioned field on a mountain. His idea of a large apple tree was the perfect place to start! He was such a good sport, though — jumping in a creek with cowboy boots still on and driving his brand new (like hours old!) truck down dirt roads!

A beautiful bride-to-be. Whoa. Megan is stunning, but she’s radiant inside and outside. Her eyes are so gorgeous, she greeted me with a giant hug and she thanked me at least a thousand times. I loved her outfit choices and she looked like a model!

Authentic love. This is the most important part. Couples can be stressed from a busy day or from planning, can be self-conscious or feel unphotogenic. But you know what? None of that matters if you keep them comfortable and just let their love shine through above everything else. There are some beautiful catchlights in their eyes and mouth-dropping vistas in so many photos, but my favorite ones are where love is in the foreground. The way she looks at him… the goosebumps from listening to him tell the story of how they met… the kindness to each other.

Ben and Megan are getting married in November and I can’t wait to get more time with them and capture more of their love story.

Portage, PA — May 9, 2015

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