How to Best Be Prepared for Your Engagement Shoot


February 4th, 2017


So you've made the exciting step of booking me as your wedding photographer, and now it's time to move onto the first really fun part... your engagement session! 

Perhaps you may be feeling a tad nervous to be on camera for an extended period of time. So my aim is to make you feel relaxed and have fun-- that will produce the best photos! This is also great practice for the wedding day. As far as preparations, here are a few tips & tricks to make you feel your best and create a cohesive, beautiful photograph:

Makeup: I recommend wearing more makeup than normal, as the camera tends to wash it out. False lashes, extra highlights/ contouring and a lip color are all good things! We still want you to feel comfortable of course, so a good rule of thumb is to double whatever you typically wear. And feel free to bring your makeup bag for touch ups throughout the session. We can even take a test shot to make sure you're happy with your final look before we begin!

Hair: Hair that moves well photographs beautifully, so if your hair is medium/long, I recommend wearing it down. Use some flexible hairspray to prevent flyaways yet allow for natural movement and body. If your hair is on the shorter side, getting a fresh trim from your favorite hair stylist about a week prior to the shoot is a great idea. 

PS- If we're doing a sunset session, it may be a great chance to do a wedding day hair/makeup trial beforehand... two birds, one stone kind of thing :) If you don't have someone picked out to do a trial with yet, Sephora & the MAC counter offer makeovers. 

Nails: Natural is best! So that includes no polish or light/ neutral colors (think light pink, taupe, nudes, etc). Please try to avoid bright colors, as we want the focus to be on your faces or the beautiful engagement ring :)

Wardrobe: This is probably the most important consideration, and also the one that can vary the most. Things to think about are the location, colors of the scenery, your personal style, and the vibe that you're going for (formal/fine art, casual/relaxed, etc). Generally, I recommend neutral, complementary colors, or one pop of brightness. So for example, if one of you is in light pink, the other could be in white and beige. Or you could always both be in neutral/light colors. Brown or nude shoes are good as they don't distract from your faces (plus they make legs look longer-- always a good thing). Oftentimes clients will send me photos of the outfits they're considering, so feel free to do the same via email or text! Definitely bring a couple of options so that we can adjust based on the best backdrops that we find at your selected location. Flowy dresses always photograph beautifully (like hair that's worn down, they can capture movement really well and add another visual element to photos). Structured suits or just a sports jacket photograph really well and can be a great complement to the flowy fabric of dresses. Please avoid any tight-knit patterns (such as checkered shirts) as they can warp on camera. Floral patterns with negative space are great and do not cause this effect! 

Bonus Tip: Clean the bling :) My lens gets really close up on your ring, and we want to show off how beautifully it sparkles! If your jeweler is close by, a professional cleaning will always be the most effective. If you're short on time, try soaking your ring in warm water with a couple drops of dish soap. Leave it in there for about an hour, and then clean/dry it off with a soft cloth or towel. If you don't get a chance to do either of these, let me know and I'm happy to bring some cleaner with me! 

All of these recommendations are great general guidelines, but we will dive into specifics for your shoot on our engagement session consultation (always included with your package). After all, each couple is unique and I strive to create customized experiences to reflect that! If you're more of a visual person (I can relate), feel free to get some inspiration by scrolling through the photos below. I hope these tips help, and I can't wait to see you soon and get to photograph the love between you two!