The Reluctant Stylista

It goes without saying that a relationship should be based on a very good foundation for a couple to even think about getting married.  In this case, it’s very literal.  Architect couple April and Manny shot their engagement photos in different locations that included even a construction site!

I was delighted with this concept because it was a unique choice for a backdrop.  It suited the couple perfectly.  I also enjoyed styling for them as well because they were fantastic to work with!  Normally, couples are shy when it comes to photoshoots–well I should think so, seeing as engagement shoots usually fall under those once-in-a-lifetime sort of deal.  It’s up to the production team–make-up artist, photographer, and yes even the stylist–to make the couple feel at ease.  I warn people beforehand that shoots are tough work because it entails hours of dressing up and changing in and out of the clothes, make-up and then posing, which is a workout in itself (you’ll even exhaust your cache of poses before the first hour is up)!  April was even worrying about some details prior to the shoot about all of these, and I was reassuring her and telling her to get a lot of rest for the long day, etc.

Boy, when I finally met the couple in person, I was really impressed!  I kept asking them teasingly if they were sure this was their first photoshoot.  They were relaxed, natural and quite cool and composed.  I don’t know if they felt self-conscious at all, but it certainly didn’t feel like it!  Don’t you just love it when your models can really project?  And they came prepared.  We had little time to work on their wardrobe moodboard, and April and I were exchanging emails and photos of clothes just a few days before their shoot.  As I was going to style their available wardrobe, I wanted to make sure they got everything that was needed.  Despite that, I’m very OC so I still ended up lugging a huge suitcase with options.  Thankfully I didn’t scare April with them–if she managed to greet me despite my choice of attire (I was wearing platforms and patterned tights to an outdoor shoot that included rooftops and a construction site), luggage wouldn’t faze her.

Photography: Joel H. Garcia
Make-up: Rae Venturanza
Styling: Alex Lapa

This spectacular set of photos also shows us a sort of progression.  We started out in the office, with blueprints and drafts, paint samples and such.  Then we moved on to a construction site.  Then at last–with a breathtaking view of high-rise buildings and the cityscape of The Fort area.

April Cabigao

April is quite the casual gal, but she’s really so pretty and knows how to glam up, no problem!  A lot of girls are pretty with studio make-up, certainly, but what I really liked about April is that even though she transformed from casual to urban sophisticate, it was still her.  I don’t know how else to explain it, but she does carry herself well.  I just didn’t get the vibe that she was uncomfortable with all of it (which would have been more expected and normal).  She was a natural!

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

I had fun dressing up Manny because I was surprised when I saw him in person and he was very slim. I usually resort to all the slimming tactics I know when dressing up people but in his case, it would be overkill!  He ended up wearing my own leather jacket for this photo–don’t worry, it’s a big size for the ladies, I like a lot of oversized stuff.

Later, I also dressed him in a formal, black on black ensemble which was a first for me!  I’ve always wanted to try it!  Though at first I was wondering it would be okay, given Manny’s *ehem* svelte frame, as so much black might make him look even slimmer.  But it worked!  Manny looked very distinguished, and not very far from our peg.

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

 

April Cabigao and Manny Pulido engagement shoot

Love reconstructed through photos

Love reconstructed

Love reconstructed

Love reconstructed through photos

Love reconstructed through photos

Love reconstructed through photos

Love reconstructed through photos

Thank you so much for being such a joy to work with, April and Manny.  Rae and I had a great time!

Behind the scenes:

April and Manny's engagement shoot: behind the scenes

Fixing the belt on April

April and Manny's engagement shoot: behind the scenes

Rae fixing April’s hair

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