Preparation Tips for Engagement Photo Sessions
Being well prepared for your photo session can make the difference between average and fabulous photos. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be well on your way to looking your absolute best.
Mindset: Relax and Have fun! I will help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you.
Arrival: Arrive early or on time to your appointment. We will take the first picture at your scheduled time. Showing up late means you lose camera time, and we don’t want that. Allow yourself extra time. A buffer in case you get lost will save you some stress. Tip: If you’re drive is 30 minutes and you haven’t left 45 minutes prior, give me a call we may need to reschedule with a rescheduling fee. I usually schedule back to back sessions, and for many reasons including lighting I honor the times of each client.
Style: You’re unique and beautiful. Follow the guidelines but be yourself in how you dress. Be fashionable. Wear clothing that’s stylish and put a lot of thought into your choices. This is a unique opportunity and we want you to look amazing! Great photos require planning, so think about this.
• Make it personally relevant, plan and style your engagement shoot around who your really are as a couple. Whether you prefer a casual picnic, jeans and cowboy boots, dressing to the nines, do it. As yourself what are the three things you enjoy doing together, common hobbies, interests, what makes you feel connected. This will help determine many things such as location, baseball diamond, bridge, lake, etc. Your outfits don’t need to match, they should coordinate meaning complement each other.
• You have unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring A LOT of options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. Chances are we won’t use them all, however it will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings.
• Bring a variety of color and neutrals. If the background is colorful and you will pop if in a neutral outfit (White, Beige). • Group your outfits together on hangers. Make sure items are ironed and ready to go. (Jewelry/Hats/Scarf).
• Plan on changing quickly. The faster you change, the more time and pictures you’ll have to choose from.
• Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and it flatters you. This will ensure you’ll like how your photos look.
• If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless, cap-sleeve and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller.
• Solid colors photograph much better than busy patterns. Avoid stripes and plaid.
• Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.
• If you’re comfortable in dresses, bring them! They photograph well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual dresses for some great looks.
Shoes: I cannot say it loudly enough. Wear heels! Whether pumps or boots, dressy or casual, plain or sassy, heels really make you stand out and look glamorous.
• Flats can also work well if you mix them with the right outfit.
• We will not photograph you in flip-flops. Yes, they’re comfy and we all love them, but they don’t photograph well.
Hair: Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like.” Make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility. Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.
• Bring hair spray, clips, pins, and whatever else is needed to keep your hair out of your eyes if it’s windy. Also bring a brush and mirror for quick hair touch-ups.
• Do not make drastic changes to your hairstyle right before your photo session. This could add unneeded drama to your life.
• Makeup that is well done is one of the best preparations you can make for your session. It will even out skin tones and help give your photos that extra pop for a model-like look. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup or wear very little, take the time to do it well and your photos will look their best.
• MakeupShould only be slightly heavier than normal. Mascara should be clean and not clumpy. Avoid makeup with an SPF because it tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color.
• Closeups are taken so pay special attention to your makeup.
• Tanning is not necessary, in fact it can take away from your photos. If you choose to tan, don’t overdo it. We don’t want you looking orange and leathery.
• Complexion: Makeup helps a lot here, but I do retouch your photos, so please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. I have you covered! If your acne is more severe, you’re still okay. We had bad acne is high school and understand! We’re happy to help you out with some extra retouching.
• Keep it simple. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the important subject, you. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hanger with that outfit.
• All that being said, the proper jewelry can really complement your outfit. It’s nice to have a variety to choose from and it doesn’t hurt to bring numerous options with you.
Props: They’re great! Bring props that help show who you are. Some popular choices are:
• Sign with your Save the Date
• A Pet, (you’ll need to bring someone to care for since they won’t be in all the shots)
• Meaningful items, obviously your ring, but anything else that is of significant importance, maybe framed photos of your parents that you can hold.
Assistant: • An assistant, Friend or Parent is welcome and often can be a help.
Weather: • Don’t worry about clouds because they even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call me at 651-366-7637. if you have any doubts or concerns.
Braces: • If desired, we can remove braces in Photoshop for an extra charge. Otherwise, try not to worry about them. Give a natural smile and enjoy yourself. A good smile with braces is far better than the awkward smile that comes when you try to hide them.
Undergarments: • Please make sure the colors of your undergarment coordinate well with your outfits and don’t show through your clothing. If you need a strapless, please bring one to your session. Tucking or moving straps will not always work or give the most pleasing look. Check ahead of time to ensure that undergarments don’t leave unpleasing lines underneath your clothing.
Finger & Toe Nails: • If you paint your nails, make sure they’re done well for your session. Chipped nail paint will show and distract from you. Avoid bright colors that will distract from you and may not work with all your outfits. Instead, opt for basic or natural tones.
Location: • Consider returning to the place you met or proposed.
Pinterest: • Create a engagement board of images, poses, and ideas. This will help me better meet your expectations. Word of caution, it can be very easy to be swept away with all the ideas. Remember to be authentic to yourselves as a couple.
Draft Wedding Timeline
This is a rough 8-hour schedule that I use, however it is a ‘starting point’.
• 11:30-12:00 First Pictures, dress, accessories
• 12:00-12:15 Groom Prep
• 12:15-12:30 Bride Prep
• 12:30-12:50 Couple 1st look
• 2:50- 1:10 Bride Wedding Party
• 1:10- 1:30 Groom Wedding Party
• 1:30- 1:50 Entire Wedding Party
• 1:50- 2:05 Bride Family
• 2:05- 2:15 Extended Family
• 2:15- 2:30 Groom Family
• 3:00- 3:30 Ceremony
• 3:30- 5:30 Extra Location Pictures
• 5:30- 7:30 Reception