Let's capture your love
My hope is that these photos are heirloom images that will be in your family for years to come. That is exactly why I have written a "how-to" guide for styling, posing and preparing for your couples session. As the saying goes, "If you look good, you feel good" and if you feel good, your photos will be good! Use this guide as inspiration, but let your own personality shine through. I'm always here to serve as a sounding board if you get stuck, but hopefully this will provide you with a good place to start.
I'm going to go ahead and say it, this is the time to buy that amazing dress you've been eyeing! When it comes to engagement sessions, there is no such thing as being too dressed up.
Compliment the Camera
The lens loves long and flowy; this creates movement and interest to the image. Dresses and skirts will always be a favorite choice for photographers.
Patterns can, at times, be hard on the camera. If you like pattern, go with larger patterns rather than smaller, and try to avoid strips.
Coordinate with Him
Choose your outfit first. Once you find what you feel best in, choose something that compliments that outfit for your fiance/husband. Choose a similar color palette, but not something that matches exactly. If you're in a pastel, he should have a layer of pastel in his look. Try to find a common theme or color that can tie both of your looks together.
I said it before and I'll say it again - if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good your photos will be good. Choose something that represents you and your style, while also flattering your silhouette. In general, 3/4 - full length sleeves compliment and slim ladies' arms more. Don't forget to get yours fingers and toes spiffed up before the shoot - your hands (with that ring!) will be the star of the show, and your feet will be doing all the hard work posing - so they deserve some love too!
Don't forget the ring! Make sure it's been cleaned and is extra shiny and ready for it's close up! When it comes to additional accessories, try to keep it you but also nothing too overt. Generally, I suggest avoiding large statement necklaces or trendy accessories that won't stand the test of time. Remember - these photos will stand the test of time, so let's make sure they don't feel outdated with fashion sooner than you intend.
Similar to my tips for the ladies, when it comes to engagement sessions, there is no such thing as being too dressed up. Let's break out that sport coat or invest in a suit and get him to feel his best!
Men look great in a suit. Whether it's a tux, a tailored suit or a sport coat and jeans, there is something timeless and classic about a man wearing a coat. The great thing about a suit is that you can layer it with a nice button up and create a couple different looks in one!
Speaking of layers... these are ideal for men for photo sessions. Layers add another dimension to the photo, while also allowing for options. Jacket on for one shot, jacket off for another.
Dress it up
In general I suggest the men leave the tennis shoes and the shorts and sandals at home. If you're wanting a more relaxed photoshoot, you can still achieve that look without going full on casual-beach vibe. After all, we are in the Midwest. Long pants and closed-toed shoes will compliment your man, and you, the best.
If your man is a clean shaven man, make sure he shaves the morning of the shoot. If he's more of a beard guy, bring some scissors to that face and ensure it's trimmed and kept nice. I always encourage men to set a hair cut the week leading up to their shoot as well to make sure they're feeling their best. While your hands will be the star of the show with your ring, his will be there too. If he works with his hands, make sure they're clean and he's checked under his nails!
Engagement sessions can sometimes feel awkward for couples. They're often the first professional photos you'll have and that first step in front of the camera lens can feel unfamiliar and strange. My job is to direct you into certain poses, or give you certain cues (that sometimes feel weird, but often are intentionally for a reason). Your job is to try to keep a smile on your face and to be authentic to you and your relationship with your partner.
Don't be afraid to laugh, or tickle, or dance or pick each other up! These are the moments that turn into the best photos. Don't be afraid of strange cues like "smell her hair", "tickle attack from behind", "smile into each others teeth" or "bump hips". They seem like strange cues, but they often get the cutest and most authentic images.
AFTER THE SHOOT
You're all dressed up and the pictures are done. Don't forget to fill the cup of your relationship - go out to dinner and celebrate your love. I will provide a couple previews in the next couple of days to get you excited about your shoot all over again. Until then, relax, love on one another and know the best is yet to come...