Engagement Session Style Guide
Engagement sessions are one of my favorite times with my Wedding Couple's. Not only is it a chance for you to document your short time of being a fiancé, but it also gives us time to get to know each other in front of the camera. It really helps to make your wedding day smooth, comfortable, and seamless. My goal as a photographer, is to create fun, candid, happy pictures of you two as a couple. As a bonus, engagement pictures are always great to put on those save the date cards!
I want you to remember that this is simply a guide, not a rule book. At the end of the day, the outfits you wear, location you pick, and memories you make are all yours! I want you to enjoy the session, laugh a lot, and I'll take care of the rest!
Selecting the Right Location
If you have a location in mind, let me know. I love photographing new places, and I like photographing the places that I already have come to know and love. The location of your session should reflect you as a couple. If you spend all of your time traveling and touring plantations, then we should choose one of those. If you enjoy long strolls in the park, then that would be the perfect location. Couples that like to ride horses, go to rodeos, and wear boots should maybe pick a barn venue! This all comes back to you, and what your vision is for your photos. If you have no clue, create a vision board on Pinterest (how cliche, I know). Save photos, that you would love to have of you and the love of your life hanging on the wall, and I will help you find a location that we can create that vision for you!
Patsy & Jared love the beach, so we decided to visit Fountain Bleau State Park for their engagement session.
Choosing a Date & Time
I am a natural lighting photographer ! This means that I love choosing the right time of the day to capture the sun's natural light and reflections. I try to schedule all sessions between 90-120 minutes before the scheduled sunset for that day depending on how long your session is. This is the "golden hour" that will make your heart melt every time you see the photos! Remember that during the summer, the sun sets really late, and in winter months really early in the day. This may help you decide on a date ! Remember also that if you love flowers and gardens, a winter session might not be the best option, and if you like leaves fallen on the ground, summer or spring might not be the right time to take pictures. Seasons are almost just as important as the location and completely depend on the date that you pick for your session.
Thomas & Jackie's Spring Session made all the difference in their outfits.
Food for Thought
-Is there a place you like to go for date night or a coffee cafe that you spend all your time at? We can always ask the owner for permission to shoot in that place for a portion of our session.
-Did you pick a wooded area for your location? Make sure to bring the right shoes, bug spray, and anything else that you may need to shoot at that location. (HELLO LOUISIANA)
FOR HER !
-Have you ever thought about rocking a flower crown, sequined dress, or even that formal bridesmaid dress that you love, but have never had another place to wear? This is your chance to do it up! There is no such thing as too dressed up when it comes to your engagement session. Rent -the - Runway is a great way to get that celebrity dress, with out the celebrity price for your photos.
Most of our brides that bring that WOW outfit also bring the jeans and a t-shirt or short sundress for a more casual "this is us" feel. Remember you can bring one-three outfits. If you can not think of a second or third outfit, don't stress about it, just be YOU!
An important part of your outfit is to make sure that your fiancé matches! We will go into more detail about that in styling FOR HIM!
Having an accessory or two can really make your images pop! A big necklace, or classic pearls will make a statement. Make sure to get a matching bracelet, and earrings as well.
COLORS: Make sure you try to stick to Neutrals & Pastels to create the focus on you & Keep your pictures full of light!
Be the Best You !
Every woman, regardless of shape and size has areas that they are insecure about. Recognizing that and choosing flattering pieces, and colors is the best way to ensure that you will love the way you look in your photos.
I know I hate clothes/dresses that show my stomach area, I always choose high waisted dresses that flows out at the bottom to complement my body and cover up my unsecured spot!
Below is a picture of me by Cara Eliz Photo to show an example!
So what is your area?
Arm: Three quarter length sleeves create arm slimming effect. Jackets, blazers, and cardigans can also be used to cover arms. Strapless dresses, and thin straps have the opposite effect and tend to highlight the arm region!
Legs? Heels tend to elongate your legs and make you look altogether skinnier. Closed toe heels in particular carry out a slimming, elongating look. Have open toed heels? maybe get a pedicure!
Stomach: Choose a long flowy dresses that are high waisted usually cover up your stomach region. Or short dress, mid waist that goes out in a hoop like manner.
Quick Tip: bring flats to go from place to place. Heels hurt, and you're feet will thank you later!
Go professional! Hair and Make-up is always on the top of my bride's check list, because it makes you look flawless, is a good test run before the bridals and wedding, and an extra boost of confidence. Not to mention professional hair and make-up stand out and give an additional glow in the photographs! Make - up tends to look different in photographs due to lighting and the fact that the equipment picks up flaws that the human eye can't even see. Get a professional to do it they know what they are doing
More Quick Tips:
- Have your nails done, and pedicure (if open toe shoes will be used).
- Get your ring cleaned.
-Spray tans that don't make you look orange, make you look skinnier!
-Avoid clothes that show your bra, bra straps, tags,
-Avoid clothes with branding, logos.
-Take off all unwanted jewelry (pony tail holders, etc.)
Make sure to try your outfits on together to make sure you are both confident and ready to rock and roll in what you have on! Is also suggest not eating in them before the session. I always drop mustard on my clothes :(!
Okay the girl of your dreams is in a formal dress, and you are the Gatsby to her Daisy or the Jay-Z to her Beyonce! Wear a well tailored suit or dress shirt and sports coat! Solid grays and navy's are a strong compliment to most colors of the woman's outfit. Where pin stripes, and plaid sometimes distract! If a suit just isn't you, my husband Chad would agree and recommend khaki pants, and a button up dress shirt!
Think accessories! Ties, bow ties, socks, belts, suspenders, watches are all more than welcome here! They are great and usually compliment the woman's dresses!
For the more casual outfit go with a polo shirt and blue jeans or khakis
-Avoid hats, logos, baggy clothes, white socks,
-Get a fresh hair cut and have a clean shave! Yes, beards are great, just make sure you clean up around the edges!
Ladies prep your man!
-Be sure to grab a drink before your session to calm your nerves. For some reason Guys HATE being infront of the camera. Just don't get them drunk haha.
Sessions are usually 90-120 minutes! Make sure your man knows this, and express how much it means to you for them to cooperate.
Session Time: What to Expect
We will start off casual like standing in front of the Christmas tree taking a quick snap before dinner, and walking together having a conversation like walking on the beach at sunset! This warms you both up in front of the camera and lets you get rid of the jitters.
I don't expect you to be a professional model, I just want you to have fun and be yourself! If I ever pose you and you feel uncomfortable in any way, just let me know! I'm all about the experience and would hate for you to get home and hate the images, because you didn't feel flattered in the pose ! I try to make sessions as less awkward as possible, and honestly my couples who claim to be "that awkward couple that photographs terrible" love there photos the most.
We will take breaks to just talk, maybe walk to a new location, drink some water, and get some air in this Louisiana heat! It's not just a constant shoot for 90 minutes straight. I want to get to know you , how you met, your favorite things about one another, and your wedding visions, etc!
The more comfortable you are with me and my camera, the better the pictures will be.
Turn Around Time : I usually take around 2-3 weeks to deliver your session images! Too long, I know! So, I create a blog with 5-10 images in it as a sneak peek within the first week after your session. Sometimes it will be posted on my facebook page and instagram story the day after the session!
Save the Dates: They should be sent out around 6-8 months before the wedding!
Weather: It is uncontrollable. Living in LA we know that the chance of rain is very possible, especially when the session is booked months in advance. I will be in constant contact with you and try to avoid rescheduling at all cost!
After the Session: Plan a date! You are already dressed up, take advantage of it and go somewhere nice. Relax and unwind after a busy day of getting ready and taking photos !
Contact ME: Don't hesitate to contact me with all the questions that you may have. I'm here to help you plan and create the best experience for you as possible!
If you haven't found a photographer yet, shoot me an email I would love to work with you!