This is the hardest part. From deciding what to wear, how to coordinate with your fiancé, to how to do your makeup and hair, prepping for your engagement session can be stressful! That’s where I come in. I want to go over a few guidelines + tips to help my current and future #mibrides feel their best and stay stress free while planning the engagement session!
- Be You! It’s important to choose a look that is true to who you are. Don’t go by what everyone tells you to wear. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll be more comfortable during your time in front of the camera. Confidence is key, and if your pants are too loose or your shirt is too tight, not only will it show in your photos, but you’ll feel physically and emotionally restricted. This may seem obvious, but it can be the most crucial. For me, I know that I am never a fan of the way my arms are in photos. Now, I love the way others can pull off a great strapless dress, but for me, I know this isn’t an option. Confidence photographs well!
- This isn’t the 90’s. Fortunately for everyone, the days of wearing the same shade of blue jeans and white polo t-shirts are behind us. Coordinate, don’t match. Mix it up with bold colors that compliment each other. Colors in jewel tones such as navy, maroon, emerald green, or magenta always help your photos “pop” a bit more. If you’re going for colors that complement your wedding colors, find pieces in the same color but a different shade. If one of you plans to wear a busy pattern, try pairing it with a neutral or solid sweater.
- Add layers + Accessorize. No matter what the weather, it’s always a good idea to dress in layers. A light jacket or cardigan can add dimension to an outfit, or a bold color scarf, and even boot socks can take an otherwise boring outfit and make it great! Bold statement necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and even a great hat are a great way to complete the perfect outfit. Don’t underestimate the power of a great shoe! Ladies, even a short wedge will help you fall into posing a bit easier and more comfortably.
- Prepare your groom: Often times, your guy just isn’t a fan of having his picture taken, so it will be better for everyone if you can at least give him an idea of what to expect! It can seem awkward to nuzzle or cuddle each other in front of a camera, especially if all he had in mind was to stand and smile for 30 minutes and call it a day! Don’t forget to have him shave, or at least trim up the facial hair (eyebrows too!). Even if he can rock the full beard, have him trim up the ends, comb it out, etc… just trust me on this one.
- Bring some options. I always suggest my couples bring 2-3 outfits, and plan one of them to be more “dressy” than the others. We may only get to two outfits, but at least we’ll have some variety to choose from. The dressy option can vary from couple to couple: some may choose a simple cocktail dress and some may prefer a gown and tux!
- Don’t be late. As a natural light photographer, this means that I don’t shoot in a studio, or inside at all. I rely 100% on the sun and the best light is during golden hour, which is about two hours before sunset. Shooting this close to sunset does magical things for your photos, but it also means I’m working with a deadline, so showing up on time is very important. If you’re a morning person, shooting two hours after sunrise is also pretty magical!
- Choosing your location. This can be very tricky for most clients. While my clients most typically choose their locations for their natural beauty, some choose locations closer to their hearts. Whether it be on the campus they met on, the restaurant where they went on their first date, or the park he proposed in, it’s always special to revisit locations that mean something to you and your love.
- It’s in the details. Most brides get a makeup trial done before the wedding day, so why not plan this on the day of your engagement session? Either way, I highly recommend finding a professional to do your makeup, and it’s always fun to pamper yourself! If you choose to do your own makeup, apply it a bit darker than usual, and it’s always a good idea to bring along a lipgloss or lipstick for extra color. Last but not least, your ring! That’s why we are here in the first place right? Well I mean, after the meeting and falling in love part. 😉 If your ring could use a little cleaning, take it in to get polished before your session. A lot of the time, you can get this done for free at your local jeweler!
- Animals are people, too! I get asked a lot if couples can bring their furry babies along for the experience, and my answer is always, yes! I usually suggest to bring along an additional friend to help take care of your baby while they aren’t in front of the camera, or possibly take them home after they are done! I have worked with dogs, cats, even horses, cows and goats!
I hope all of this information helps you better plan your engagement session. I love helping all of my #mibrides with anything they need, even if it means texting me photos or even a shopping trip! Now for some photos that I hope will help inspire you to create your one-of-a-kind look!
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