How to prepare for your engagement photos

Tis’ the season of engagement sessions! We did a very similar blog post in the spring, but thought we’d give it a little update with our new blog.

We LOVE doing engagement sessions with our brides & grooms. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other better, get them comfortable in front of the camera before the big day AND for you to have some great images that you can use for your wedding in any way you want!

We want you to come prepared and feeling your best so you are ready to have some fun! Here are a few helpful tips on getting prepared for your engagement session:
1. Ladies!! Have fabulous hair & make up.

Having your hair and make up done by a professional gives a really polished look to the photos. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, as I have too in the past about this, but when you’re investing in photos that you’re going to enjoy for the rest of your life, a professional is going to help you look your best.  Most brides that have gone the extra mile to have this done have been so glad that they did. They generally carry themselves a little differently and feel more comfortable overall. This can be a great chance to do your hair and make up trial run just before the session! If you go this route, you’ll have the chance to see how the hair or make up translates to the photos and be able to make adjustments for the big day. Or, if your “wedding look” may be over-doing it, just make an appointment with your hair stylist for a wash and style. If you decide to not use a professional, no problem, you just want to make sure you find a good balance between doing your make up a little bit more than normal, but also not overdoing it 🙂 Lipstick is a good thing!
BONUS: This is a great opportunity to get a manicure for showing off that ring! You can even just pay for a polish change. They are usually only $10 and make your nails look fun and fresh.
Pamper yourself!

2. Select Great outfits.
We normally have time for 2 outfit changes, so often brides like to dress up for the first bit and then change into something that is more  more casual for the next set of shots, or vice versa. Keep in mind the season you are in. You don’t want to be wearing a summer dress in the early spring and be uncomfortable the whole time…but you also don’t want to have to wear a jacket for the entire session!

ACCESSORIZE
Bright, fun accessories add a lot to the overall look. Finish off your look by making sure you have some great shoes, belts, jewellery or scarves. Accessories make an outfit look more complete. Stay true to who you are. If you are a girl that is obsessed with cute flats, you don’t have to wear 5 inch stilettos.

 

COLORS
Choose colors that complement each other. You want to avoid being to matchy-match (that’s the technical term), but you want to find colors that go well together. You also don’t want to contrast each other too much (ie. one in white and one in black).
You want to choose colors that make you look alive! Try to avoid colors that make you look too pale or washed out. Bright, solid colors can really help you separate from the background, especially if we’re shooting in green, foresty locations.

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Here is an example of pins you can find on Pinterest to help with coordinating!

NEW SHIRT FOR THE GUYS
Guys- this is a great opportunity to buy a new, tight fitting shirt. In photos, clothes often look much baggier than they are. It is important to get something more fitting than you would normally get. Maybe even keep the receipt and leave the tags on 😉 Also, be sure to avoid clothes with obvious logos.

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MORE TIPS
– Wearing layers can often give more of a complete look
–  Wearing clothes that are known to show bra straps should be avoided
–  Making sure clothes are washed, pressed or ironed gives an overall crisp look to the photos. A few wrinkles can be noticeable in photos.
–  Tighter, yet flattering clothes show better on camera. Clothes tend to look more baggy on camera than they actually are.
Also remember that if you never dress up, don’t feel like you have to dress all fancy for this. You want to feel comfortable. If you want to go glamorous, go for it girl!

3. Location! Location! Location!
When figuring out a location with your photographer, let them know what type of location style you would like. For example, would you like them done on the beach? forest? rustic, interesting buildings? fields? a variety of a few things?

Rocky Point – Beach and grass areas

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Eagle Mountain – Open forested areas have great light

Disneyland – have a little fun

4. Pinterest can be a great tool.
We 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 us when preparing for engagement shoots and wedding day photos. If you tend to be attracted to beachy photos, we probably aren’t going to want to do your photos inside a cool building. Furthermore, it is important to think of the ways you’d like to use your engagement photos. Maybe you want photos to display at your wedding? Maybe you want to use them to incorporate as table numbers or save the dates? Knowing this ahead of time can help us all be better prepared.

5. Practice!
Some people are naturally great at smiling in front of the camera, others it doesn’t come as natural. If this is you, take some time in front of the mirror practicing those smiles. Learn what looks best on you 🙂 The other thing that is fun to practice is kissing. You can take a video or some photos of you two kissing and see what it looks like. Matt & I practiced this in Mexico, so not attractive! We need some work!

6. What to bring?
It is good thing to bring a few things to leave in the car in case you need something extra, but overall you want to pack very light for the actual shoot as Matt will be shooting as you’re walking from place to place. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying around a jacket, purse, props etc. There are a few things you may want to have available in the car just in case: extra shoes for walking, drinks and snacks, extra clothes, possibly something to sit on if you’re worried about getting your outfit dirty, jacket etc. We recommend that you eat before the shoot. You want your tummy to be satisfied and to feel energized for the shoot.


7. Make a night out of it!
Now that you are all dolled up with your make up and hair done, what a great opportunity to go on a hot date! **NOTE TO GROOMS – if you want bonus points, make reservations for dinner afterwards.

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8. Don’t Stress

This a fun time! Even if you don’t feel prepared, it doesn’t matter. We absolutely love getting to know our wedding couples during these sessions and always have an amazing time!

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What’s your best tip for couples doing their engagement session? Leave a comment 🙂

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