When to book
The best light for your portrait session will be either late afternoon right before sunset or early morning at sunrise. This light is everything we need to make stunning photos! Late afternoon gives us that strong golden hour light everyone loves but few people know how to use well.
As early as sunrise can be, I can’t stress how worth it it is to take your engagement photos early in the morning. There’s no comparison to that sunrise light and in the summer it’s the perfect way to stay out of the heat. Mornings are also an ideal time to photograph in public places, as parks and coffeeshops are usually much quieter and we can avoid those random photobombing strangers in the background.
Save the Dates typically should go out at least four months before the wedding. Since my turnaround time is typically 3 weeks for engagements, I recommend scheduling your engagement session for 5 months before your wedding. If you have no time constraints, even better! You can schedule your session to accommodate whatever you want to incorporate into your photos.
About the session
The purpose of your engagement or portrait session is to celebrate who you are together, showcasing your story.
For my wedding clients, I love portrait sessions because it gives us a chance toget to know each other before your wedding day. It also helps you become comfortable in front of my lens. I promise that your wedding day photos will be even more relaxed and beautiful after doing a portrait session with me.
These sessions should look like you. How do you spend your weekends? What do you do on Saturday mornings? I want to step into your life together and photograph you there. That’s what these engagement stories should look like.
We can make beautiful photos where ever you want to shoot. If at all possible, you should choose a location that is meaningful and unique to the two of you. Where did you first meet? Any favorite date spots? Would you be up for me coming to shoot you cooking together in your home or drinking wine at your favorite bar? Do you have a favorite hiking trail or any hobbies you share together?
Think about any unusual places you may have access to - often times the best locations are the ones not many other people will think of. Places as quirky as junkyards, old attics or warehouses can make for amazing photos. Or maybe you know someone who has access to an amazing rooftop downtown we could use, or you have a family member who lives on a farm with acres of beautiful woods.
If you know what kind of mood you’re going for, start thinking about what kind of outfits you want to wear for these photos nd that can help spur on location ideas as well. Flower crowns wouldn’t work in a quirky café location, for example, but it would be gorgeous in the woods at sunrise.
Try to stay away from places like landmarks, monuments and typical “engagement photo” spots in your area - they’re usually overdone and crowded with people at any point of the week.
Typically I suggest couples should choose 1-2 locations for a normal length engagement session and we’ll take it from there. Shooting in natural areas like the woods, by the water or in state parks are always favorites of mine. Let me know what you’re thinking! I’d love to give lighting input or help location scout for you to make your photo dreams happen.
(I’m also always up for traveling - if you decide you want to do your engagement photos out of state for mountain views or to be on the coast, let’s talk!)
What to wear
The most important thing is whatever you choose to wear for your photos should be an expression of you. That being said, this session is probably the best reason for you to buy that Anthropologie dress you’ve had your eye on for the past few months. You have a floor length black dress you never get to wear? Wear it. If you were ever going to wear that cute hat you got at Free People, now is the time. I’ve put together a Pinterest board of engagement style inspiration with some tips to help you find the right clothes for your shoot!
Florals play a huge part in my photography. Adding that floral shirt over your dress or floral tights under a denim shirt can be golden. Have your guy wear a floral tie with a chambray shirt. At the same time, if one of you has a bold pattern you want to make sure the other is wearing solids so you don’t clash patterns or colors. Darker colors are always my go to - stay with neutrals but add accessories and layers. Wear scarves in the winter and rompers in the summer. Be playful and bold, but creative. Wear those cute glasses!
For guys, button-up shirts rolled up at the sleeves look amazing. Add a denim jacket, suit coat or suspenders and you’re killing it. Jeans rolled up slightly at the bottom with boots always looks good. Avoid tennis shoes, sneakers, baseball caps and shirts with logos at all costs!
Finally, show off your tattoos if you have them. Adding multiple necklaces, bracelets or stacking rings can make your outfit pop against all backgrounds. Add a floppy hat or fedora, or break out the ponchos and leg warmers if it’s cold. Avoid clothing that can easily show bra straps or can be see through, revealing undergarments. Wear comfortable shoes! Get your make-up trial done the day of your portraits to give yourself that extra confidence boost.
I recommend wearing your outfits at least once before we shoot to make sure everything feels as good as you look. I trust your style - break the rules if you want to. You’ll look incredible.
More than anything, your engagement photos are about who the two of you are, together.
I'm so excited for your upcoming session - please let me know what insight I can give you related to all of the above.
See you soon!