WELCOME TO YOUR ENGAGEMENT GUIDE!
Here you will find everything you need to know from picking the perfect location to how the session is going to play out! Please read this all through when you first receive it and a day or two before your shoot! The more prepared you are, the better this session is going to be! And prepare to have a lot of fun, and to make fun of my dance moves. I promise I will probably bust a move at least once!
These sessions are my absolute favourite because I love all the one-on-one time I get with you! There is no pressure because if something happens, we can just do it again! The goal of your engagement session is to capture your relationship, how you move together and interact with each other. You definitely don’t need to be nervous, you’ll be warmed up in front of the camera in no time!
So let’s get to it!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
The only wrong place for an engagement shoot is somewhere where you as a couple would not normally go. So if you wanted to have your pictures done at a basketball game but neither of you are interested in the sport, that would be a wrong location. If you wanted to take pictures while on a hike but both of you hate being outside, that would be a wrong location!
You want to go somewhere that excites both of you. A place that has a special memory, like your first coffee date, is a great start! Talk with each other about what you want your pictures to look like. Do you want to get all dressed up, more laid back and cozy, or on an adventure? The possibilities are endless, so the first thing you have to decide is what you want the vibe to be. It will be easier to pick a spot when you know what you want. These pictures don’t have any rules, they don’t have to be fancy, they don’t have to be crazy, they just have to reflect you as a couple! I am seriously up for anything. I love an adventure and I love a cozy coffee house.
Leave the lighting to me. Almost any place you pick, I will be able to work with. Once you have chosen your location, let me know and then I will help you determine the best time to go so that we can get the best lighting for you! Just remember that your location will affect how the light looks. If you want pictures that are brighter with lots of natural light but you picked a movie theater (which is a great choice!) your pictures will be darker and moodier. So just keep that in mind. If you have chosen more than one location, we need to make sure that they are fairly close to each other. Nothing disrupts a photoshoot flow like travel!
If you are still stuck and have no idea what you want then that’s where I come in. As long as you know what kind of vibe you want for your session, I can help you find a place that is perfect for both of you! You are definitely not alone!
WHAT TO WEAR
LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD
You might be REALLY tempted to go out and buy a whole new outfit (believe me, I’m all for an excuse to buy new clothes!) but you might consider wearing some of your favourite pieces that you already have! Feeling comfortable in your clothes is going to make such a huge difference to how you act in front of the camera. Wearing something that you already know you love will give you that boost of confidence that you might need!
If you do decide to go get something new, wear it around the house first, maybe to a girl’s night or out on a date with your hot fiance! Make sure there is nothing annoying about the clothes that you fell in love with at the store. If you find yourself constantly fidgeting with straps, hemlines, pants riding up, itching etc. consider wearing something else. Make sure you check yourself out in all angles so there are no surprises and have some friends that you trust give you honest opinions! We could have THE BEST time (and we probably will) on our shoot and you could feel great, but if you get the pictures back and there is some “unflattering” aspect of your outfit, you probably won’t be happy with the images. So make sure you love how you look and feel in the clothes that you pick out! That goes for you too men!
So then, what to wear?!
We’ve established that you must feel fabulous in whatever you’re wearing, but if the outfit doesn’t come immediately to mind, here are some tips that might help you out!
Think about the location. It might be hard to manouver through a waterfall in heels! Make sure you’re dressed in a way to make it easier to move (there will be a lot of moving around!). If you’re signature look is a pair of heels, remember to bring a pair of sneakers or slip ons in case we are going on an adventure to get to our location!
This isn’t the time to try out a new style. Wear something that you would normally wear. If dresses are not your thing and you hardly ever wear one, don’t feel pressured to wear one if you want the photos to look sophisticated! There are other ways to achieve that look without going outside of your comfort zone! You want to look like yourself in these pictures. Remember, feeling comfortable and confident is key!
Solid colour outfits tend to look better than prints, which can be distracting and overwhelming. If you do go with a print, make sure it’s not too loud! If you are a bold person, opt for a super fun pair of shoes or showcase it with your accessories, rather than a bold print!
Start with a neutral base and build from there. Neutral tones are typically more flattering and cohesive than bright colours. Pick two or three neutrals to start with and then add little accents of colour if you want!
Avoid tight fitting clothes that might highlight areas that you’d rather not have highlighted. For example, I have a mommy tummy, so I stay away from really tight shirts when I wear low riding pants, or I layer with blazers, and tend to tuck my shirt in on one side. You’ll find out that that is my signature look!
Consider the weather! Make sure you’re prepared with a cute coat if it’s rainy or snowy!
Do not match. Avoid wearing the same outfit (especially the classic white-t-shirt look. I can knock that look because that is what my husband and I wore for our engagement pictures!). Instead, try to coordinate. Mix and match the base neutrals that you picked out. You should also both look like you’re going to the same place. If you are all fancy, and your future hubby is wearing flannel and denim, you will feel that disjoint in the images.
If you’re still stuck, head to pinterest for inspiration and you can send me pictures of your outfit(s) if you want my opinion! When in doubt, ask!
You might be thinking, “okay, we’ve got our location and we know what we’re wearing, what else is there to know?”
There are a few things you can do to prepare so that our session goes smoothly and we can all have a great time and get great pictures!
Avoid foods the day before your shoot that make you feel bloated (fast food, foods that are high in salt or fat or sugar). Trust me, being bloated is not going to make you feel pretty during your shoot!
Speaking of food, keep it light the morning of as well, bring some snacks (especially if we are adventuring!).
Make sure everything is all ready the day before so you aren’t scrounging up your clothes in the morning, you don’t want to be flustered before your shoot! One time, before we had our family pictures done I forgot to do this and I realized all the pants we were going to be wearing were in the washing machine. I was definitely frazzled and it was not great.
Don’t get your hair cut/coloured right before the shoot, the best time to do it is about a week to two weeks before.
Don’t underestimate the power of a manicure! Since these are your engagement pictures you know I’m going to want to shoot that bling! Gents, having your nails groomed is also a good idea!
Clean your ring! We want it all pretty and sparkly for the pictures!
Try on your outfit a couple days before the shoot, you want to make sure that you still feel great in it. If you don’t feel great, change it up!
If you have any questions about your session (that isn’t answered in this guide) sent me a message!
What to Bring
I’m a better-bring-it-just-to-be-safe kind of person so I will usually have a lot of back up stuff with me. However, here are some handy dandy things that you might end up needing!
Water bottles (especially for those summer sessions or hiking sessions, it gets hawt!)
Snacks that are not messy. This is the only time I will not be encouraging the eating of chocolate. Unless of course we are doing a chocolate shoot!
A brush, hairspray, and/or gel. Do you trust your hair to stay how you want it for 1-2 hours? I definitely don’t trust mine but you’re the one who is in front of the camera!
On that same note, bring a little makeup bag for touch ups. Make sure to include some type of towel in case anyone gets too sweaty.
Please don’t bring gum! But definitely bring tic tacs or something. Nothing kills our romantic moods like bad breath!
Umbrellas, because weather.
A change of clothes. You might want to switch it up (and you are more than welcome to!) So don’t forget to bring that with you. It also helps to have a back up in case you fall (or get pushed) into a puddle or something.
Okay, now that you are ready for your photo shoot even during the apocalypse, I have some great extra tips and tricks for you! This will help you with my shooting style and give you an idea of how your session is going to go.
I do my very best to make sure your pictures don’t look “posed.” Instead, I will give you a direction and tell you what to do and then you make it your own. I won’t be telling you exactly how to place your hands or exactly how to stand. My directions are often vague which leaves you free to be yourselves! Plus, I don’t need to tell you guys how to be a couple, you’re already a pro at it!
Never. stop. moving. Seriously, the more movement you give me, the more pictures you are going to get. When I give you a direction and you stand still, you are going to get one shot from that pose. But if you take my direction and move around, you’ll get so much more variety. Don’t worry though, you’ll get the hang of it while we’re shooting!
I really want you to get handsy with each other. This sort of goes hand-in-hand (ha! Did you see what I did there?!) with the whole movement thing. Just always be moving your hands all over each other or even playing with each other’s hair. Kissing is always encouraged, feel free to take any liberties with any direction that I give you when it comes to embracing, kissing, laughing, joking, and being silly. And flirty. So much flirty-ness. Be sappy and romantic. Be you!
That’s another one. We’re going to get really silly. I’m sorry, but I might make fun of you a little bit (I hope that’s okay, I promise I love you and I don’t mean it!) and I will definitely be making fun of myself. I will be making a fool of myself and I suggest you do the same. Nothing screams authentic quite like trying to do the chicken dance while hugging!
I will be bringing music to the shoot to help loosen everyone up. I have a playlist that I use but I will ask you if you have any specific type of music you’d like!
This is not a photo shoot. This is a date, and I am your very staulkerish and sometimes bossy third wheel!
If you are uncomfortable in any of the poses, stop and adjust. If you’re uncomfortable then the pictures look forced and we do not want that!
Be yourself! Remember, these are pictures of you so don’t try to be like that person from Pinterest. We will try a number of shots and not all of them will turn out and that’s okay. The ones that do turn out will be the most natural and beautiful versions of you and your love!
Another cool thing to do is to include items that are important to you or that you can have fun with. For example, if you have a motorcycle, bring it. If you have a Viking helmet, wear it. If you have a cute dog, bring it. If you have an ugly dog, leave it at home...haha, just kidding! If you have an idea for your wedding invitation pictures, let me know so that we can make sure to make that one perfect!
And what do you do if you need more information?! Send me a message! I’m here for all of your needs!