I'm so excited to introduce style blogger, Melissa San Vicente to the Blog Party Blog! Melissa had the amazing idea of doing a blog post in a questions and answers format. She wanted to focus on her experience of blogging with her fiancé, partner in crime and music producer, Luis. I can certainly relate since my husband also often acts as my creative director and photographer. Today, Melissa and Luis share answers to the most commonly asked questions from their readers and little behind-the-scenes peek at one of her style shoots, photographed by Leah Bentley. Aren't they the cutest? - xo, Jamie
q + a by melissa san vicente and luis landestoy
Q: How do you guys manage your time for taking pictures while not allowing it to take over your time "together?"
A: (Melissa) Luis has a tendency to get “Hangry” while we’re out shooting, so our first stop is always to eat. We like to shoot in different locations so this gives us a chance to try new places to eat and scout different backdrops for our next shoot. We only dedicate one day of the weekend to take pictures and I block time for myself for only a few hours throughout the week so that I have time to spend with Luis after work.
Q: I'm new at blogging, what are some quick tips or tools you can give me to achieve great photos on my own?
A: (Both) The three L’s of getting a great photo: Lighting. Lens. Laughter.
Lighting: We like to shoot during “Golden Hour” and when we first started out, we relied heavily on the Pocket Light Meter app and The Great Photo app. The light meter allows you to point your phone at the subject and it gives you the Time, Aperture, and ISO settings for your DSLR camera. It’s a great way to practice in Manual mode and has helped us learn so much!
Lens: I can definitely say that my pictures got better as soon as we started to invest in better lenses. I am still using my Canon T3i that I got years ago and I put all of our photography investments towards prime (cannot be zoomed – means you have to get closer) and zoom (you can stay in one place and focus in or “zoom” in on your subject) lenses. We’ve rented some really great lenses from places like BorrowLenses.com or LensRentals.com. Our go to lens is a Canon 50mm 1.4, Canon 35mm 1.4, and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 Telephoto Zoom Lensý We’ve been able to achieve so many amazing shots with these guys!
Laughter: Loosen up and laugh! When I first got in front of a camera I was so stiff. My poses weren’t natural and I had a hard time smiling (I would go into full-on America’s Next Top Model seriousness) and this gives your audience (and your photographer) a hard time to connect with you. Loosen up, throw your head back and give it everything!
Q: How did Luis get into taking your pictures? What did he do along the way to help him get better at photography?
A: (Luis) I started taking Melissa’s pictures because I wanted to support her blog career! We’re a team. I produce music and Melissa has always supported the late nights and loud music. I knew helping her this way would also give me a reason to learn photography – it’s a great skill to have! I used to shoot all of her pictures in Automatic until I started to get familiar with the light meter and understanding what settings worked in certain lighting. I researched a lot online by looking at different photo examples and it’s all about trial and error, really!
Q: Did blogging change your relationship at all?
A: (Melissa) I think it made us closer. We get to work together creatively and both have different perspectives of achieving great photos. It’s really nice to get great feedback on a photo and be able to turn to Luis and smile. I think our work together makes us more dynamic as a couple, too. It’s nice to be able to take Luis along to exclusive blogger events as my photographer but also have my partner in crime by my side!
photos by Leah Bentley