ENGAGEMENT SESSION PREPARATION
*TIMING: Please be on time. I’m a natural light photographer, so the sun dictates how long I can photograph you. Please make proper considerations for traffic, hair delays, and fashion emergencies! ;) An average shoot lasts around 1.5 hours…if you show up 30 minutes late, the session is not extended, but, rather ends at the regularly scheduled time because of lighting. Please don’t think ill of me…I just want to be honest in advance and let you know I want the BEST photography experience for you. And being on time achieves exactly this! Depending on final location choice, you can expect to start roughly two hours prior to sunset.
*LOCATION: Don’t hesitate to check out photo shoot locations in the next couple of weeks, or brainstorm some ideas. I encourage you to find a spot that reflects your love and/or a place you’ll both feel comfortable! And please note that there is no such thing as an “ugly” location…there is beauty everywhere….we just have to find it! I’ve shot in pretty much every location you could think of! Here's a link to just a few locations that I think are great for engagement sessions: https://aliciamink.com/engagement-locations . Keep in mind, many locations in OC and LA are requiring photography permits to shoot at their locations such as the beach, parks, etc which are not included in my collections. Once I know the location that you'd like we can start gathering the correct permit information.
*BEAUTY: Some girls will have their practice run regarding hair and makeup for the engagement shoot. This helps them feel a little more “done-up” for the shoot and boosts their confidence. I’m not saying you have do this AT ALL! However, what I can say that in my experience shooting engagement sessions, girls want to feel pretty and confident…and sometimes spending a little extra time getting ready achieves just that. Also, beware of the spray tan. Please be careful when choosing a salon if you're planning on getting a spray tan. For some reason, the camera really picks up on orange and red tones.
Here is a link to my vendor list which includes my hair and makeup recommendations: https://aliciamink.com/vendor-recommendations
*WHAT TO WEAR (this one is long, please brace yourself ha!):
I personally prefer long flowing dresses, it really adds a hint of romanticism and movement to photographs. Not to mention, it gives you something to do with your hands haha! My usual rule of thumb is that if you can wear the outfit to your office on a regular workday, don't wear it to your engagement session! On that note, engagement photos are a wonderful opportunity to wear something that really stands out and is fabulous. Wearing an outfit that you think is boring or unflattering won't do you any favors, so make sure to choose things that make you feel great! When you feel your best, you're less inhibited and more likely to love the way you look in your photos, so take the extra time to get items tailored for your body the way it is TODAY for a perfect fitting look that you won't be tugging at in every photo.
Feel free to choose a variety. My engagement sessions are long enough for my clients to wear at least two and sometimes three different outfits. It's totally okay to pick a variety of styles to get different looks. I also absolutely love it when my clients ask my opinion on wardrobe in advance. They send me photos of their outfits ahead of time and I even suggest bringing a few outfits to choose from and bring them with you to the session so that we have options. From there, I can make suggestions on similar items that might photograph a bit better or that I know from experience look great. Don't forget the groom! The most important think when choosing outfits is to make sure that both of you look like you belong in the same photo (without being matchy matchy). If you're going with an amazing floor length gown for your shoot, make sure that he isn't wearing a loose button down shirt, jeans, and flip flops! I love when grooms have one great casual outfit such as dark jeans, a button down shirt, a sweater, and a tie or bowtie underneath to create layers and texture, as well as a more fancy look like a slim cut suit and tie. However, tuxedos and bowties are really fun looks for more dressed up engagement photos, and it's also great to have some mix and match jackets, shirts and bowties on hand to play with as well. Have fun with it! One mistake I see people make quite often is keeping the clothing extremely simple and I dare say boring. Engagement photos are not the last photos you will ever have together...they should be a great example of your style and the current trends. I say, the more fun the better! Don't be afraid to pull out a long skirt, formal wear, a fun hat, or small items that really make you two you Creating a look for your engagement photos that you love will make you feel really confident at your shoot, and also inspire your photographer to really make the most of whatever location you choose.
If you’re looking for dresses check out Morning Lavender (they even have a boutique in Tustin), Asos, Show me your Mumu, and Lulu’s!
*HAVE FUN! :) Engagement sessions are meant to be laid back, fun, and a chance to work together before the big day! We'll walk around and have a great time, I promise! Just be yourselves and remember to interact/be a little flirty, so feel free to move and laugh together. "Poses" are meant to be guides to interaction and the more you laugh, cuddle, get close, joke around the better! You can even think of it as a unique date night ;)
FINE PRINT: Beware that it may be windy (especially on the beach), be prepared to do some walking and occasionally some climbing - I always suggest a comfy pair of shoes to tag along with you, and the more fun you have the better your photos will be :)
Lastly, here is a link that I found on my favorite wedding inspiration blog. It has some of the best tips out there for successful engagement photos! Be sure to check it out!