TALK TUESDAY: Our Pocket Maternity Shoott

A little side note about this post:  had to update it a bit from when I initially wrote it.  But my opinion stays the same.  Man, talk about catching up huh?

One of the things that I wanted to have is a maternity shoot.  My sisters had it when they first had their babies in the Philippines, so that was something I’ve always had an eye out for.  What I didn’t account for is the price difference between the Philippines and the US.  For one, at Php5,000 (US$95) I can already get a decent shoot in a studio for a good two hours with an in-house makeup artist.  Here, I would need a budget of at least US$500 for the artist’s fee, studio time and some digital copies with print releases.  I will have to do my own hair and makeup if I want to save up a bit.

That was a cost I wasn’t prepared for, but that photoshoot was something I had looked forward to since we found out we’re expecting.  I couldn’t just let go of the idea, as vain as it sounds.  My relief came when I found out about Shoott.

Shoott gives you access to experienced photographers in the Metro NYC area to shoot for 30 minutes free at a preset location.  You only pay for the photos you like, ranging from $15 a photo to a full gallery of 40+ photos at just $220.  They don’t just do maternity shoots; they also shoot families, children, and lifestyle.  You can also pick out the photos that you want for your curate feed and with a minimal fee, you can request for a bit more editing to your photos.

We scheduled our Shoott at Hamilton Park in Jersey City a week before our baby shower.  (For a list of other venues and locations, click here.)  I wanted to have the same outfit that we were going to wear to our shower and with fall right around the corner, reds and khakis were our go to.  Our photographer Kym met up with us at the gazebo and started to work right away.

The good thing about having Kym is that she’s shot so many times at Hamilton Park already.  She knows where to go, the pockets of that little oasis that would frame a good shot, so even if it was a pretty packed weekend, we were able to find those little sections of the park all to ourselves.  We even got to shoot on the street.

Definitely, 30 minutes just flew by.  Kym was very personable and warm; the Husband who’s naturally reserved came out of his shell.  I don’t really know how he does that!  He’s so reserved when I’m trying to take a selfie with him, but bring a professional photographer with you and his inner model comes out.  Hahaha.

Anyway, here’s a little snippet of that day.  We received the photos 3 days after shoot day, with a little editing here and there.  I would also like to give a quick shoutout to one of my favorite makeup YouTubers Robert Welsh (YouTube, Facebook).  His tips helped me get myself ready for this shoot.

I do wish I got the extra editing so that those back bulges would be far smoother, but hey, what kind of a pregnant woman would I be if it’s all smooth sailing?

Worried about COVID-19 exposure during your shoot?  Shoott has you covered.  They have the following policies in place:

    • They will only do outdoor shoots, where you can interact with family members you’ve already been quarantining with.
    • They will only send you healthy photographers, who have been following safer-at-home guidelines.
    • That 6 feet apart thing?  Hardcore implemented.
    • And they will mask up.  As will you of course.  Well, before and after the shoot.
    • If your locality changes laws that will make you cancel, they will waive all cancellation charges.

To learn more about their COVID-19 response, click here.

Oh, and if you use this link, you will get 10% off your entire purchase.  To be completely transparent, each completed session through this link gives me a little incentive (at no additional cost to you), but no pressure!  Just didn’t want to let you pass up an opportunity for a little savings.

So… am I looking forward to another Shoott?  Of course.  Hopefully, the weather becomes more bearable and we can take our Little One out.  It pains me that we can’t travel yet, but I could sure use some photos of him outdoors.

Have you tried Shoott?  How was your experience?  Let me know in the comments!

Portraiture

Recently, I enrolled myself in photography classes, but I have to admit, I have not practiced what I have learned as much as I should have.  I often ask myself which kind of photography would I love to be immersed in.  Early on, I developed a liking for landscapes, but not only are they fickle, they require a lot of travel.

Oh how I wish I can live in my suitcase.  That is one luxury I will always dream of having.

Apart from landscapes, I am absolutely in love with portraiture.  I wish I can see more faces — or rather be brave enough to approach strangers — and make them last longer.

Here are some celebrity portraits that I just adore.  Can you name them all?

Audrey Hepburn
Ben Stiller
Dave Franco
David Bowie
Kevin Costner
Liv Tyler
Lucy Liu
Marion Cotillard
Meryl Streep
Michael Caine
Paul Newman
Robert DeNiro by Martin Schoeller
Stanley Tucci
Tom Hiddleston
Zach Galifianakis

Surviving Day 1

So yesterday was my second Day 1 in Basic Photography.  It was basically a longer version of my actual first day, only with about 21 more people.  It was nice to see everyone, even if I didn’t really come to know everyone.  I guess what I’m saying is, it’s good to be in a roomful of people who share the same enthusiasms as you.

Anyway, I got to listen to Ador go through his lesson again, and it was very very interesting still.  He was right — the jokes are on repeat too!  But yeah, I still laughed at them as if it’s the first time I’m hearing them.

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The class was held in this bunker type space.  I completely fell in love with it the moment I stepped in.  I cannot wait to go back next week!  Hopefully, by then, I would know how to commute and navigate through the area.  I’m thinking of coming in earlier than usual, so I can take photos of the Manila Cathedral.  Even though I’m not Catholic, I cannot deny the kilig I get when I see those old structures standing with such magnificence.  It’s aching to be photographed.

I’m quite ecstatic right now because these classes really remind me of what I really love.  It’s not a bad distraction actually from the drama I’ve subjected myself this year.

So after my first Monday class, I went out for lunch and took a couple of practice shots.  No edits, just a watermark.  What do you think?

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These photos were taken at Cibo, Greenbelt 5 last Wednesday, June 12.

Did I get you guys hungry? :p

Catching up to you

So the week has been tumultuous to say the least and I desperately tried my best to compensate for the stress brought about the usual high productivity demand from work.  Eh.  Lately, I’ve been having a hard time dealing with people.  My fuse has been short, I’ve been quite impatient, snapping at everyone and it’s not even my time of the month yet.

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I have my photography classes to look forward to!  Instead of the evening sessions at AIM, my instructors Ador and Rey both suggested I take the full blown course every Saturday at Intramuros.  My enthusiasm deserves much more hours than a crash course.  Actually that’s just me, but yeah I’m pretty good at deduction.  Haha.

If you’re still not following me on Instagram, please do!  Hahahaha.  That’s a shameless plug right there!  I do my best to be as interesting as possible, and soon enough, when I start shooting more pieces, I’ll have them up there too.  No filter of course.

On a less self-indulgent note, given how emotionally taxing the year has been, I’ve been keeping myself sane and well by running and reading.  It’s not really your usual combination, but with the Adidas King Of The Road just around the corner, I’ve decided to put more effort into it.

AKA training harder and eating righter.  If there’s such a word.

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Looking at my running shoes, I also have to start acknowledging the fact that I need new ones.  Hahaha.  Currently, I am drooling over these babies.

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And by babies, I mean all of them.  I have always been a Nike girl (though I do love my Adidas trainers) and the Flyknit Lunar1+ has got me itching and salivating and craving.

Rain started to pour quite evenly here in the Philippines, and I remember running in the rain during a Milo marathon.  It wasn’t my best time but it was the best run I’ve had.

Can’t wait to run in the rain again.

Anyway, I’m off to shower and prepare for my class.  I’m hoping I get to blow their socks off and make them see that I am the best student they will ever EVER EVERRRRRRR have.

Yeah that sounds like a manageable expectation for me.  Hahaha.

Be a traveler

Given the number of misfortunes I seem to be in constant contact with this year, I’ve long decided to start communing with nature and just pick myself up.  It has been a while since I last did that, so I’m quite scared and excited at the same time.

My first photography class will start on Monday!  Yay!  I signed up for Photoworld Manila’s Basic Photography Classes in AIM Makati.  I’m quite psyched.  I’ve been planning for so long to take these classes.  Now that I am armed with this baby, I don’t see why I should even delay these!

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I don’t know why I waited so long to make this purchase when I know for a fact I always have wanted this.

I now regret all the money spent on clothes and shoes that look the same.

What I’m mostly excited about is traveling.  I’ve already made some arrangements — solo and with a group — and I hope by the time I’m about to leave, I’m ready to take blog-worthy photos.

In the meantime, I have Instagram as my creative outlet.  My photoblog is running on empty.  I hope you’ll all be around still when I start snapping away again.

To end this post, I leave you with a takeaway from Laws of A Modern Woman (I like to pretend I abide by them):

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Don’t forget to mend your heart.