Advice on Prepping for your Engagement Session

Thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer! After booking, we get the ball rolling by discussing specific things like the date, best time of day and location for your photo session. However, there are several things you can do to prepare for a fun, memorable and relaxing experience. Here are some things I find important to know in the days preparing for your session.

Location

The location for your session is completely up to you! Some things to think about is what you like to do as a couple, where you like to spend time together and what places hold fun memories like where you first met.  Being in Southern California, the beach and trail parks are popular options, but I encourage you to be creative!  Brainstorm a list of fun places that you enjoy hanging out at, spend a lot of time at or enjoy going to together either on a daily basis or as an annual trip. Some places to consider that might hold great memories are campgrounds, national parks, county or state fairs, local carnivals, your alma mater or even your first home together.  The possibilities are endless!

Clothing

  • I encourage being coordinated, but not “matchy.” Choose 1-2 colors that complement you both that are neutrals like denim, navy, blacks, and grays.  Then, choose pops of color in the form of accessories.  Think about jewelry, different textures or tiny prints to give interest and personality to your look. I suggest looking at actual window displays of stores like J.Crew, Zara, Nordstrom, or the Gap to get ideas on how to coordinate your clothing without being too matchy.
  • Stay away from large, busy patterns, branding and logos in your clothing.
  • Be sure your clothes are wrinkle and stain-free! Plan on changing into your outfit when you arrive at the location if you find it wrinkles easily.
  • Dress for the weather and location. If you’ve booked your session at the beach, plan to be barefoot for most of your session. Likewise, if your session is at an open field or an urban location think about fun shoes like cowboy boots, bright shoes, patterned tights or fun socks.
  • Ladies, please keep in mind your undergarments (yes, I mean bras and panties!) should be appropriate for your outfit choices. I advise sheer tops be layered with full tank tops and bra straps are hidden or worn strapless unless it is part of your outfit and you mean for it to be photographed.
  • Accessories are fun and can really help individualize and polish up a look. If you have a favorite necklace or hat, bring it along!
  • The most important thing is you dress comfortably and for yourselves.  If you find your outfit to be uncomfortable, too short, or tight, your uneasiness will show in your images.
  • If you need inspiration for fun color combinations or clothing options, visit my Pinterest board.

Hair, Skin, and Nails

  • Plan on any haircuts and color/touch-up appointments at least 2 weeks in advance of your session. This gives you time to either get used to a new style or help make the cut look a bit more “lived-in” as opposed to blunt.
  • For ladies, make-up for photography should be a bit heavier than your day-to-day.  I highly recommend getting your hair and make-up done professionally.  Don’t forget to bring along translucent powder and lip color for any necessary touch-ups during the session.
  • For both of you, I don’t recommend getting a spray tan.  As much as it may seem like a great idea, skin often reads too warm in my camera, especially in natural light. Your natural skin tone will be so much more beautiful and glow without. Trust me on this one!
  • For both of you, apply lip balm. Nothing compliments a smile better than soft, pretty lips.
  • For both of you, nails should be manicured or clean and free of chips or dirt.
  • For both of you, remove any temporary tattoos or stamps, especially if they are half washed off. Unless you don’t mind them being in the photo, it’s best to remove them

Pets

  • Please let me know in advance if you would like to bring along a pet as many locations don’t allow them. I know just a couple of locations that do.

Last of all, BE ON TIME.  It is extremely important you arrive ready and on-time for your photo session.  Most sessions are scheduled based on sunset hour.

My goal is to capture you and your fiance at your best, authentic selves and it definitely helps to come a little prepared!

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!