How to prepare for your engagement session

For many newly engaged couples, the engagement session is the first opportunity where they are photographed together by a professional photographer. So not only are you traversing the waters of wedding planning for the first time but then you also need to prepare for a photo session that you also have never done before. But I am here to help! I don’t expect you to know how to prepare for your engagement session without some help, and I will do everything I can so that you know what to expect and how to prepare.

So in the content below, I have some of the most common questions that I get asked and then some questions that people don’t think to ask. It will hopefully show you how to prepare for your engagement session!

Check out Marina and Andrew’s full engagement session.

What should we wear?

This is such a hard question to answer because not everyone likes the same colors, styles or fabrics! I can tell you what I like, but that doesn’t help you unless we have identical tastes. So I encourage you to know and if you don’t know, to find out what colors look the best on you! If you have never done the Find Your Truth quiz, I would recommend it! It may open your eyes to colors and patterns you normally steer away from.

Now I can recommend what looks good on camera and for my style! For my bright and vibrant style, I find that light, neutral colors look so beautiful. But I also love vibrant, gemstone colors, because they pop so well. I also recommend you wear clothing that you are comfortable in. If you are not comfortable, it may be bugging you through the entire session.

My engagement sessions include 2-3 outfits. I recommend bringing one dressed-up outfit, one more casual and then an optional special or unique outfit. When you dress up, not only do you look and feel fabulous, but you know you look amazing, you also radiate that confidence and you can see it on camera! So go buy that dress you have been eyeing but have nowhere to wear it to!

When I say wear something casual, I don’t mean jeans and a t-shirt. This could even be another dress or a super cute off-the-shoulder top with jeans that are just begging to go with a wide-brimmed hat. When coordinating your two outfits, don’t overthink it too much. Colors don’t have to match identically, too matchy-matchy and it looks too forced.

I always recommend wearing heels for the bride. Heels does wonders for your stature and toning and lifting your legs. You can always bring sandals or flats to walk in between if you would rather not walk in them.

For the optional “special” outfit, you can do many different things. Some couples wear their favorite sport jerseys. Others want to do a fun theme, like Bonnie and Clyde. Or maybe you are both into something unique, like you are both cops, and want to wear your uniform. This is optional, if you don’t want to do something like this, it is totally ok!

Check out Nick and Savannah’s full engagement session.

How do we pick a location for our session?

I always answer this by asking what kind of vibe my couples are into. Whether it is a country, rustic feel with open fields. Modern and urban, with clean concrete or maybe some brick. Maybe it’s a secret garden vibe with lots of romantic bridges and florals. How about a boho feel with lots of dried grass and glowy light. There are so many different types of aesthetics out there. Once you figure out what kind of vibe you want, then we can pick a location that fits that. I have a list of locations my couples have access to easily pick from or to get inspiration from.

Some of my favorite places include arboretums, nature parks, river beaches, cafes, iconic streets, vineyards, farms or even pretty shopping areas. You can turn any place into a great location for photos.

Check out Kelsey and Joe’s full engagement session.

Should I book professional hair and makeup?

Absolutely! Not only does professional hair and makeup make you feel great and confident, you will love the look once you see the photos. Professional stylists know how to flaunt and hide things to make you look your best and you will love it. I can book this for you at the time you book your session or you can book your own stylist separately, or use the stylist you will have for your wedding to get a feeling of their work!

Check out Elena and Paul’s full engagement session here!

Clean your ring!

I will be taking some detailed shots of your ring, so make sure to take it in for a cleaning and it will have that extra sparkle! Since I will be focusing on your brand new sparkling ring, make sure both of your hands are clean and your nails are manicured.

Last but not least tell your photographer if there are things you are a bit insecure about. I want you to love your photos, so if there is a small thing that will make or break it for you in a photo about yourself, let me know! Sometimes it’s that you know your hair gets frizzy, or you have a medical device that you don’t want seen. Maybe you have a “good” side, or maybe just really insecure about a potential double chin. It’s completely normal and if I know what that little thing is, I can make sure to keep an eye out for it during your session! It is how I prepare for your engagement session!

Oak park Engagement session

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wedding and portrait photography