Preparing for your Engagement Session

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You want to look cute. You want to look happy. And most of all, you want to look in love. So how does that happen when you are not professional models and you have no past experience to draw on for this?

That's exactly why you hired a professional photographer, am-i-right?? :) 

First and foremost, it is my job to create beautiful images. I believe wholeheartedly that it is my job to make sure that you have not only a good time, but that you end up with great photos which allow you witness your love over and over again. If the session doesn’t create that, it’s my fault and not yours.

That being said, there are always a few things you can do to help ensure a great experience:

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Select great outfits.

Wear outfits that you love. You know that shirt that cant seem to stay in the closet because you are constantly wearing it? Wear that one. If you never dress up, don’t feel like you have to dress all fancy for this. It's so, so important that you feel comfortable. If you are glamorous, go for it girl. If you are a punk rock gal, bring it. If you love the 50′s look, Mad Men yourself up and let’s roll with it. And likewise, if you feel uncomfortable or awkward in your outfits, it's probably gonna show in your pictures.

Things to AVOID: 

  • Logos/graphics/text on clothing. This is mostly geared towards the fellas, and there really aren’t many exceptions to this one. An engagement session is no place for Ed Hardy, not even if you’re Jon Gosselin.
  • Ill-fitting clothes. Make sure your clothes aren’t too baggy or too tight. If your clothes are too baggy, you’ll look bigger than you really are and kinda messy/sloppy. Usually it’s men who have a tendency to wear clothes that are too baggy. For tighter tops (or sleeveless tops/dresses), always bring a cardigan or cute jacket for layering. Try to avoid sleeveless clothing whenever possible. If your favorite top/dress is sleeveless, bring a cardigan. Keep in mind what your body shape is and dress for it. Guys — please, please, please don’t wear clothes that are too big for you. Your dress shirts should not be baggy!
  • Being too matchy-matchy. This might go without saying, but you both don’t need to show up in matching green polos and jeans. Here’s a good link about complementary colors in fashion. Also consider the general style you’re both going for. Guys – this means that if she’s wearing a chic cocktail dress and heels, you should reconsider your cargo shorts and flip flops.
  • White shirts/pants/dresses and black shirts/pants/dresses.
  • Running shoes. Unless we’re literally shooting part of your session at the track, keep the casual shoes non-athletic. Chucks are a great option if you’re looking for a ‘photogenic’ sneaker.
  • Ladies – avoid overdoing your eye makeup. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Makeup can go from classy to cheap with just a few too many swipes of liquid eyeliner!

Things to EMBRACE: 

  • Jeans. For whatever reason, jeans tend to photograph really really well. I personally prefer the look of jeans in photos over khaki chinos, but that is really more of a personal preference. They both look great.
  • Cute dresses. Another great thing for you girls to keep in mind is dresses! If you’re comfortable in dresses and have a few that you love (or want an excuse to go out and shop!), brightly colored dresses are a great option.
  • Solid colors. Solid colors can really help separate you from the background, especially if we’ve discussed shooting in any especially “green”, outdoorsey locations. Feel free to go neutral (cream, rose, grey, khakis) or bright (bold and colorful!). Whichever you choose, be true to your personality and style!
  • Accessories. Feel free to bring a variety of jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, belts or hats. Accessories add great texture and dimension to your pictures. We don’t have to use them, especially if you’re the kind of person who usually keeps it pretty simple with accessories, but it doesn’t hurt to bring them along just in case!

Ladies! Look fabulous! 

If you are not having professional bridal portraits taken prior to the wedding day, your engagement session day is a great time to have your hair and make-up trials done. Of course this also helps you feel pampered and beautiful. If your “wedding look” might be over-doing it, then perhaps opt for having your hair styled at a salon the way you normally wear it, with a professional touch. That way you can have the “I just left the salon and I FEEL AMAZING” look happening during your engagement session. (Don’t forget your nails!)

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Location, Location, Location

Usually after I read through your Getting to Know You survey I'll have a few location ideas in mind, but I am ALWAYS open to hearing your ideas! I love it when my clients choose a location that is meaningful to them because it can add so much to your pictures! Especially after time when you are looking back through the pictures... you'll have double the memories to reminisce over!

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Turn it up a notch! 

I always give my couples fair warning that I expect all sorts of cuddling, giggling, laughing and pure JOY on their faces. This session is supposed to be FUN and all about celebrating the fact that you have decided to spend the rest of your lives together! The more you smile and interact with one another, the better your pictures will be! I promise. 

Pinterest can be a great tool

I encourage brides to use Pinterest as a tool for inspiration (rather than imitation). Choosing the type of photos, poses, and overall style you like helps me when preparing for your engagement and wedding day pictures. If you tend to be attracted to beachy photos, we probably aren’t going to want to do your photos inside a cool building, know what I mean? So if you have the chance, explore Pinterest, pin a little and feel free to share your board with me! 

Make a night out of it!

Engagement sessions wrap up right after sunset (or just in time for breakfast if it's morning), which means it's usually the perfect time for a date. It'd be a shame to get all dolled up and reserve your whole night for the session and then not realize you will totally have time for a date afterwards! So here's your heads up! :)