Congratulations, You're engaged!
We all know that planning a wedding can be a bit much at times... Your engagement photos should be one of the fun parts!
It's the perfect opportunity for you and your forever-boo to hang out, get to know your photographer, plus, engagement photos are PERFECT for Save-the-Dates!)
Even though they are meant to be a great time, getting ready for your engagement session can still be a bit daunting if you don't know where to start. This is an ever-changing document, full of advice, that'll help ensure everyone has a blast!
Choosing a location
If you've seen my work, you already know that I love a good adventure! I'm all for a steamy beach session or hiking through the redwoods... But, your engagement session is all about you two, and the location should be too. You don't even have to "go big"... Your favorite coffee shop, a walk downtown, or even cozy day at home, is all we need! If you're still not sure, ask me, we can come up with a plan together!
Be aware that some locations do require permits/entry fees/parking fees. It's best to research this ahead of the time if you're heading somewhere that this might occur. If you are wanting to use someone's personal property, remember to ask for permission prior to venturing onto their land.
What to wear
It's one of the first questions my couples ask me after we set a date. While I have no problem answering it, I feel like I send them a novel of info every time, which can probably become a bit overwhelming. So, here are some tips and things to keep in mind when preparing for your session.
Plan on bringing 2-3 outfit options for both of you. For guys, you can just bring two different shirts, if they're not down for whole wardrobe changes.
Let's Talk Colors
I promise this one isn't as hard as it seems! Pick a piece of clothing that you love and build around it. There is a TON of inspiration on Pinterest! When searching there, I suggest using keywords like, "Fall mountain engagement photo outfits" rather than just "engagement photo outfits". Adding in the time of year and location can help weed out inspo outfits that most likely wouldn't work for your session anyways. Keeping the location and season in which you're taking your photos in mind can also help you decide on what colors to wear.
-Lighter and brighter colors tend to look best when worn in sunny months or for coastal sessions. Darker colors work for cooler weather and mountain or forrest locations. Earthy tones and neutrals are timeless and will almost always work well with whatever location you choose.
-Some of my favorites to photograph are, dark green, maroon, terra cotta, and navy. The days of matchy-match outfits are long gone. Instead, find colors/prints that compliment each other. As you pick out your outfits, think to coordinate, not match. Example: If you’re wearing a maroon dress, have him wear navy blue and khakis.
Patterns, Textures & Fit
- It's best to limit the amount of patterns to one or two and accent with solid colors. Smaller patterns tend to be more flattering, but don't let that stop you from busting out a piece of clothing that you are in love with!
-Texture is beautiful and adds interest to your outfit. Knitted sweaters and linen shirts are good. Corduroy pants, jean or leather jackets are also always welcome
-Make sure your clothing fits well. If you're hoping to hide your not-so-favorite areas with looser clothing, don't go so baggy that you can't see any shape at all, this usually ends up causing you to look larger than you actually are. If you do have areas you tend to be conscious about, let your photographer know, we have a few tricks up our sleeves for helping with that.
Don't forget the accessories...
Hats, scarves, jewelry- all of it! A hat or scarf can totally change the look of any outfit. Statement earrings are one of my favorite ways to add some glam to your ensemble, and a nice watch can take a guy's look to the next level. Bring anything that you love to wear or think would look great in your photos.
Speaking of jewelry...
Have your engagement ring cleaned a few days before your session. Most jewelry stores will do this for free and it only takes a few minutes. You'll want that thing nice and shiny for photos!
As far as I'm concerned, THIS is the MOST important part! My goal is for you to look and feel your best during your session. Clothing that you feel uncomfortable in or are constantly having to adjust is probably best left out of your engagement photos.
You're probably not going to be super comfortable wearing a sweater and long pants on a day that it's 102 degrees out, or a short dress on a windy beach in January. Like I said before, being comfortable is really important, if you're super sweaty or freezing your booty off, it's most likely going to be evident in your photos, and you're probably not going to be having a great time! This doesn't mean that you can't break these "rules", I've had plenty of woman rock a short dress on a beach, in January... Just know what YOU are comfortable with!
Think about how your clothes will perform at your location... A short flowy dress on a windy cliff might cause you to show a little more cheek than you anticipated. Longer dresses tend to snag while walking through fields full of plants that produce stickers or foxtails or get soaked during a beach session. If we are doing a bit of hiking or climbing, consider whether you can do those activities in the clothing you've chosen to wear.
Don't be afraid to make a statement with your shoe picks! Do keep in mind that high-heels aren't great for hiking in the mountains or frolicking on a sandy beach. If you are determined to wear fancy footwear, bring another comfortable pair for trekking to locations and then switch them out.
For guys- Loafers or boots work well for most locations.
Pro Tip: If you're at the beach or chillin' at home, forgo shoes all together!
HAIR DID, NAILS DID, EVERYTHING DID....
Maybe I'm the only one that sings that song when I think of a salon visit...
If you're wanting your hair freshly colored or cut for photos, plan your appointment for two weeks before your session. This gives enough time to fix any mishaps and/or allow some growth just in case your guy's barber went a little too short.
There will, no doubt, be some focus on that ring finger... So give those hands some extra love prior to your session too. It won't hurt to have your significant other lather on some lotion the day of either!
Phew! I told you it was A LOT! Almost done, I promise!
What Do we
IT'S A DATE!
I tell all of my clients this, before every session: Imagine that you guys are going on a date and I'm just the 3rd wheel, that happens to have a camera... and possibly champagne! :)
You won't just be standing around smiling at the camera. I want to capture what makes you two YOU. If this means swimming in a lake, playing scrabble in the woods while drinking kombucha, or serenading your lover with a guitar in your backyard....
LET'S DO IT!
No idea is too silly or simple. Like I said at the beginning, we can make magic happen anywhere!
Yes, you can show me inspiration photos!
Some photographers don't like this, and while it is important to trust the skills of the photographer you hired, inspiration photos can give me a clear idea of what "vibe" you're looking for. If there is a photo concept that you absolutely love, we'll to find a way to make it your own!