Your engagement photo session should be a fun event for you both as a couple. But first you have some planning & preparation to get out of the way.
Plan and style your engagement shoot around who you are as a couple.
Your engagement photo session will be between 90 minutes – 2 hours (unless we’re planned otherwise). We can goto multiple locations and you can change outfits as much as you want in that time.
Plan, Prepare, & Relax!
Pick a location that is special and unique to you.
No location is off limits or too far!
Some ideas for locations:
- where you first met
- your first date
- a favorite place to shop
- a favorite restaurant, or coffee spot
Someplace else important for you two as a couple:
- a special place where you go to get away
- your favorite vacation destination
- your staycation spot
- an iconic landmark that you both like
One of my favortie settings to incorporate into a shoot are candid photos of a couple hanging out enjoying each other’s company. This is usually at a favortie coffee spot before the shoot, or a favorite restaurant or bar after the main part of the shoot is done.
If we’re shooting outside in the south, or anywhere in the Pacific NW, we should have a rain plan.
Alternatively, we don’t have to go anywhere. If you want to shoot at your home, we can totally do that too!
Time of Day
The golden hour is my favorite time to shoot portraits. The light is beautiful, a warm golden color, and nice and soft.
Now, that being said, if the golden hour times don’t work for your schedules then we can make anything work. Some of my favorite portraits were done in harsh mid-day sun (in Florida).
Casual or formal?
Dress stylish but comfortable and flattering.
Whichever you both identify with, go for it! But, first and formost, be comfortable!
My #1 advice is comfort over everything else. If you feel like a million bucks, it’ll show in the photos.
This is a special day, go buy an outfit! Pinterest is a great place to get ideas. But if style isn’t your strong suit (no paisley & plaid doesn’t go together), maybe hire a stylist.
Side note: if you do get a new outfit make sure to “test drive” it. This is the perfect excuse for a fancy date night!
I’d recommend going with solid colors, and stay away from plaids, florals, or heavy patterns.This is for two reasons:
1) Most of the time cameras handle this fine but sometimes there can be a moiré pattern that is really distracting and theres no easy way to fix it.
2) You’re going to cherish these photos for decades, a trendy pattern now will look dated pretty quickly.
Don’t go all “matchy-matchy”, just make sure that the outfits and colors compliment each other. Also, make sure that the clothing works with the locations you’ve selected. Eg: if we’re shooting in a grassy field you should probaly avoid greens & yellows in your outfits.
If you want to do an outfit change make sure we’ve planned time for that.
While we’re on the subject of alternate outfits: you should bring a backup. Stuff happens, lets be prepared for the undexpected.
Guys: skip the jewelry, watch, & rings unless you have a strong personal identification to the pieces. We want to highlight the engagement ring(s) and other flashy stuff can draw attention away from that. Don’t forget the shoes! Wether its Gazelles, sandals, or polished wingtips, they totally complete the outfit.
Ladies: similar guidelines here. If you want any jewelry besides your ring I’d recommend keeping it ultra simple. Basic earrings, and simple necklace, or a statement piece is fine, and of course your engagement ring.
If you bought your outfits a while before the shoot make sure to try them on!
The day before the shoot you should prep your outfits. Lay them out, iron or steam them. Make sure they’re looking how you want them to look.
Bring some meaningful items and incorporate them the shoot.
A favorite of mine is when a couple to write notes to each other and read them to each other during the photo session.
Whatever other items or props you do bring I would suggest choosing a single, consistent theme for them. It will create continuity to the photos.
Does the engagement ring need to be cleaned? If it does you should remember to get this done a day or two before the engagement shoot, and again before the wedding.
Please let me know if there is any other significance to the ring, or if there is any other engagement gift that you two have exchanged.
Hair & makeup
You’ve got a professional photographer, it can’t hurt to hire a professional for your hair & makeup. Makeup for camera is different than makeup for an evening out, and a professional makeup artist knows how to make you look fabulous!
Think of this as a test run for your wedding day makeup.
Hint: If you’re hiring a wedding day hair & makeup stylist you could try and schedule the consultation for the day before the engagement photos.
Make sure to schedule any of these appointments in advance so you get the timeslot that you need. I’d suggest giving yourself at least an extra hour or two between the makeup appointment & the shoot start time. The sunlight waits for nobody.
There’s nothing wrong with doing your own makeup. Just remember that for photos it needs to be more saturated than your normal makeup.
If you’re getting your hair colored: make sure to do this a week or two before the shoot.
I’m going to be taking closeups of you two holding hands, hugging, and, of course, the engagement ring, so make sure to have your nails looking good as well!
The Day of the Shoot
Make an evening of it!
Eat something before the shoot, or bring some snacks. Everyone gets run down when they’re out of fuel, and some people get hangry (you konw who you are). Don’t worry, I’ll tell you if you have something in your teeth.
Enjoy each other, enjoy the moment. I’m here to make your photos look fantastic and your energy as a couple is what makes the images special.
Think of the shoot more as a date. Be silly, play around! I’ll give you direction as we go along. If you’re relaxed and enjoying yourselves the images will look genuine and I’ll make sure that you look your best!
Some stuff to bring on the shoot
- your partner
- the ring
… ok captain obvious
- any accessories
- water & snacks (no Cheetos!)
- small makeup kit for touchups
- hair stuff: ties, pins, gel, stuff & things…
- change of clothes
- umbrella, and / or sunscreen
- small towel for dabbing sweat
- a towel to sit on (optional)
- comfortable shoes if we need to do any walking
- any medicine you may need