Wedding planning can be overwhelming and time consuming but planning your engagement session doesn't have to be! Let's talk about how to choose your location, what to wear or not to wear and how to make the engagement session extra special!
Choosing Your Location: Remember the location you choose is going to have a huge impact on the time of day the shoot will be scheduled, the vibe of the session and the overall atheistic of how you will be photographed. Don't panic, as a professional photographer I am here to guide you on the pros and cons of various locations and help your creative ideas come to life!
Special for you: When thinking about your session it might be helpful to first determine if there are any locations special to you, reflect who you are as a couple or significant in your relationship. Some couples love the idea of their engagement session being at the location of where they met, first date or one of their favorite shared experiences together- a local park, cute bistro, drive-in movie theatre, local entertainment and bar hotspot, coffee shop, the college at which they met or a special part of town significant to their relationship. Other couples want the engagement session to be a reflection of their shared interests.
The sky is the limit! Think outside the box when considering locations. The outdoor adventure couples might choose the woods where they hike or the state park at which they canoe. The couple that enjoys spending weekends together at the beach relaxing might opt for their favorite beach location to get their toes in the sand. A musical couple might want to consider their favorite outdoor jam spot or their favorite open mic location. Maybe the local horse farm, llama farm or that place that does goat yoga!
What to wear: Once your location is determined now it's time to select your attire- which matters. When styling an engagement session there are several factors to consider such as the weather, specifically the temperature, your unique style and also general tone of the session. Keep in mind locations don't have to determine the style of a session, sometimes the juxtaposition of formal or cocktail attire at a rustic location makes for beautiful photographs. For example a ball gown at a barn, or a flowing cocktail dress in the woods make for striking artistic captures. Moreover, your attire should compliment your location.
Dress up! My professional advice to couples is dress on the dressier and more stylish side. Often engagement photos are the first time a couple is professional photographed together. These photos might be used for Save the Dates, announcements, your wedding website or sign-in book. They will be a documentation of this very special time in your life and you want to look your best.
Make it special. Wear that killer cocktail dress that makes him drool and turns heads. Feel like a goddess in that long flowing skirt and flowers in your hair. This is the perfect excuse to look extra sharp, extra stylish and put together while showcasing the best of your relationship. Besides after an hour or two of kissing, cuddling and being together you will probably want to enjoy a date night or special dinner so why not look like a million bucks doing it!
Here are some insider secretes as to what photographs the best:
- Professional Hair and Makeup
- Ladies the best advice I can give- invest in professional makeup and hair styling. A professional will know how to apply contour and makeup specifically for photoshoots, they will make your lashes look amazing AND you will leave feeling like a goddess ready for the camera!
- Pick outfits that coordinate together
- Consider a color coordinating palate and style
- Select clothing that compliments each others look and creates a couples style
- And yes, black does have a slimming affect in a photograph
- Stay away from shiny distracting materials, lots of patterns, logos or designs
- Often they may look good in person but in a photograph will look distorted
- Dress in layers
- Men bring a sports coat, suit jacket and wear an undershirt. Jackets help create a very flattering V figure on men and undershirts help with both wrinkles and sweat.
- Ladies bring a cover up. That extra layer can be used to immediately change a look. Also, it can be used to help accentuate features, the female form while masking areas which may lead to insecurity.
- Wear form fitted clothing, stay away from baggy clothing which will appear sloppy in a photograph
- Consider accessories to add to your style
- Choose clothing you are comfortable in and stylish
- Ladies bring a pair of flats or sandals if you are wearing heels. You may be walking to various locations and we want you to be comfortable
- Consider necklines when selecting your outfits
- Collars on men look great in photographs
- Ladies be careful of your undergarments, make sure they aren't showing
Make Your Session Unique: My job as a photographer is to capture the natural essence of your relationship and the unique attributes of your love. Every engagement session is photographed differently because every couples is unique. Some couples are flirty and fun whereas some are sultry and sexy. I will help set the scene and give direction while stepping back to allow your natural chemistry to shine. If you want to add a special element to your session here are some things to consider.
Props and meaningful items- Pintrest and Instagram are great places to find inspiration for your session. Remember to use these as resources for creative inspiration not imitation, there are over a thousand variables that go into producing a photograph so your session is going to be unique. Couples may want to bring a sign with their wedding date, a favorite board game they like to play, their favorite book, fresh flowers in a bouquet or flower crown, an item of significance to your relationship- remember that stuffed animal he won at the fair for you collecting dust?
Activities, interests and hobbies- Consider what you like to do together, your hobbies and interests then incorporate an activity into your session. Maybe it's dancing in the street, sharing an ice cream cone or a slice of pizza or maybe your man loves to sing to you with his guitar. Snuggle under a blanket in the woods while sharing a cup of hot chocolate. Steal a kiss in a canoe on the river. Fly a kite at a local park.
Professional staging- Here is where we can take your engagement session to the next level of style and provide a couture experience by working with a local décor company and creating a magical space! Anything can be created, romantic candlelight table with a downtown backdrop, bohemian teepee with colorful pillows and bright flowers or a special picnic with gourmet cheeses and your favorite wine. With added style your engagement session will be elevated to the next level and will truly be a memorable experience.
Fur babies- Admit it, your fur babies are part of your family and a big part of your relationship. Why not incorporate them in your engagement session. And yes, I fully support the doggie bow tie or tutu. Please bring another person with you to help with your animals and watch them when we go off to take photos of just the two of you.