Not surprisingly, one of the most common reasons for concern when organizing an engagement or photo session is attire. To make it as simple as possible, I normally recommend two outfits: one for a nice date night and one for a more informal occasion. One clothing change (in conjunction with a location change) is okay, but any more will break the shoot’s natural flow and eat into our photographic time. It’s also okay if you only want to wear one outfit!
If you ask, I’m always happy to make wardrobe recommendations, but my major recommendation is to wear something clean and comfortable that makes you feel confident and badass. Sometimes that means ordering a new outfit, but I strongly advise you to go through your closet and bring out your favorite and tried-and-true pieces. Comfort is also important when it comes to footwear. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes because we tend to do a lot of walking and moving during these sessions and stopping to change shoes cut into the time and the flow of our day.
If something restricts your movement or prevents you from sitting comfortably, you should reconsider wearing it for the session. During our shoot, I encourage a lot of movement and contact so wearing clothing that is too tight or restrictive might make it difficult to move candidly.
Solids or “quiet” patters + neutrals and earth tones always photograph well. If you’re more of a color lover, soft pastels work wonders!
If it’s new to you, please test it out before the session to see if it makes you feel like your best self. Try something else if you’re continually pulling at it or adjusting it.
Always remember the location that you’ve chosen. Please don’t hike in high heels for your own safety!
Pick a palette of 2-4 colors. Let this be your starting place. Think in terms of tones: blue tones, earth tones, neutrals, pastels, etc. Everyone in the family can express their own sense of style within the chosen color palette, and everyone will coordinate beautifully.”
If you want to schedule a hair and make-up trial before your wedding, now is the time! The engagement session is an excellent opportunity to put your beauty team to the test before the big day!
On the subject of makeup, unless you wear a full face on a regular basis, I believe that for your wedding or photo session, less is more. If you’re used to wearing no makeup or just a light tinted
moisturizer with mascara, don’t go for big false lashes, deep contour, and overdrawn lips; you won’t feel like yourself.
The same may be said of your hair. Just because other couples do it, doesn’t mean you have to wear a formal updo or have “wedding hair” also. Do whatever makes the most sense to you and will make you confident in your wedding day and in your photos!
One of the most common worries I hear is this one. When this concern is brought up, it typically means “I’ve never had professional photos taken before” or “I’m awkward/nervous in front of the camera” – and it’s one of my favourites to answer because I always say, “It doesn’t matter!”
You won’t be stiffly posed or nervously standing in an uncomfortable position long enough to wonder what your hands are meant to do. I’m sure you’ve had enough of that with school photos. Expect to be reminded of the power and beauty of your love story by laughing until it hurts and running around like weirdos. I will never try to change you into something you aren’t; instead, I will give you the freedom to be the fullest version of yourself because I believe that’s where beautiful imagery emerges. This isn’t a photoshoot for Vogue, you’re much more interesting than that.
You’ll leave with hundreds of photographs that will capture your love for each other. Believe me when I say you’re going to look amazing!
Do you want to bring your pet with you? I adore all kinds of animals! Many dogs have accompanied us on sessions. It may help you limit your options, as some regions aren’t as dog-friendly as others! It provides you with another object to use (besides each other) and allows you to take some cute family shots! We all know that a person’s pets are always an important component of their relationship!
Another piece of advice is to bring some ‘liquid courage’ to the session! Perhaps a bottle of bubbly for that dramatic spray shot (but keep it inexpensive because you’ll lose some), or your favorite craft brews, etc. I want your engagement session to be a cause to have a date night, and the best dates include a sunset cocktail! If you bring a little more for me, I never say no!
While we’re shooting, try not to carry too much extra stuff. We’re normally in a car and can leave non-essential items in it, but in busy places, we may be walking or taking public transportation, making hauling extra bags a bit of a hassle. I carry my gear pack and can tuck some of your smaller goods (wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, chapstick, etc) inside, as well as throw a small bag over my shoulder if necessary; but, repeatedly putting down bags will disrupt the flow of the shoot.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else I can do to assist you beyond this guide! In the meantime, happy engagement session planning!