Preparing For Your Engagement Session
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016
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#1 Tip for Ladies:  Great hair and make up 

Set aside an extra hour dedicated to getting yourself all snazzy.  Get your make up done by a pro, make an appointment with your hairdresser to wash and style (no big, fancy up-do’s necessary. You’re supposed to look like you, but you at your best.)  Super important.


#1 Tip for Gents:  Don’t get sunburned 

At least one week before you’ve got pictures scheduled (or the wedding) stay in the shade, wear sunscreen and play it safe.  You don’t want your great-great grandkids thinking you were part lobster.

How to Select Your Outfits

For the Simple Portrait Session you’ll have 1 outfit, but I suggest bringing a back up or two.  For the Classic Portrait Session, we’ll select three for the various themes/storyboards that I’ll come up with before hand.  Bring an option or two per look on the day of our session and I’ll help finalize wardrobe with you.  Always think “back up plan” -last thing you want is to arrive and realize you’ve spilled coffee on something and now you’re severely limited in your wardrobe selection.

Try your clothes on first (both of you.)  Do a 360 check in the mirror.  Look for any problem areas and opt for outfits that flatter you from all sides.  Be aware if your bra strap tends to show in that dress, if you need a slip, if you need a different size in jeans, if a shirt hugs you a little too much, dips too low, etc.  You can look smashing just the way you are, but the key is in the clothing.  Plus, you need to be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.  If you love your clothes, you’ll be more relaxed and your shots will turn out even better!

Choose colors that make you look alive, that bring out the best in your features, that enhance you.  If a color washes you out or makes your skin look pasty, choose the color on the opposite side of the color wheel and you should look much more “with the living.”  NOTE: If you have a reddish complexion or had the misfortune of getting sunburned, please avoid wearing red tones.



Think Color Palettes –  You don’t have to be too matchy-matchy (highly technical word) but you don’t want to contrast each other two much.  High contrast (ie: girl in white, guy in black) can overwhelm the picture.  Try to coordinate but don’t get too caught up on looking like you just walked off a department store display. 

Fill Out Your Outfit – Accessorize.  Shoes can be an awesome part of your shoot (I’m a huge fan of feet shots) so dress your whole outfit.  Think jewelry, belts, scarfs, hats, shoes -whatever makes a finished outfit for you.

Guys, Avoid Writing – Unless it’s your favorite shirt and there’s an inside joke about it that you both agree should be documented, leave the logos at home.

Keep it Clean – Make sure your clothes are washed, pressed, fresh, and stain/pill-free.  Unless you’re going for “Deralique” (Zoolander reference, anyone?)

 Ideas for Props:

  • Flowers: a bunch, loose stems, wildflowers, small pots
  • Balloons: a bunch, multi-color, or single unique balloons that make a statement
  • Food: lollipops, popsicles, ice cream, cupcakes, big cookies, apples, watermelon, bananas, hot dogs, s’mores, wine, beer, coffee, favorite candy, popcorn.
  • Activities: baseball/softball, bowling, boating, cycling, country dancing, golf, tennis, karaoke, fishing, cooking, etc.
  • Settings: tent, campfire, garden, library, bed, waterside, pool, hiking trail, playground.
  • Objects: books, pets, heirloom objects, love letters, special gifts, fire arms, sports team paraphernalia, paper parasols, hand fans, masquerade masks, musical instruments.


Your Must-Have Kit:

  • Water/Beverages
  • Pack a snack (I love Zone bars and trail mix.)
  • Make up for touch ups (lips, blotting paper, powder, blush)
  • Hair brush and accessories to change hair styles (clips, bands, etc.)
  • Hankie to dab perspiring faces
  •  Boots (if we’re shooting in rustic areas/fields)
  • Comfortable shoes for walking (if you’re mainly bringing high heels)


Well, you’re set!  Let me know if you have any questions on how to get ready for your session.  I’m at your service! 

Leave a comment:
Jessica - Full of great tips! Thanks.
John - hey great article!
Kyle - Super helpful. I feel ready for my session now!
Samantha - Great post, looking forward to it! :)