ENGAGEMENT SESSION TIPS

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. 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 your 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! 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. Once we set our location, clients are responsible for obtaining a permit if required (unless they need special insurance from the photographer, in which case please forward all emails to me so I can take care of it with the location). If a client chooses to not get a permit, they are responsible for paying a fine if we are given one and having a back up location in mind.

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 should 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. Besides, you could see how your ideal wedding day makeup will photograph!

*Side note: 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 list of some of my favorite vendors who do an amazing job at hair and makeup: - Chantel Matteau - Thefaceofbeautyus@gmail.com http://www.thefaceofbeauty.us/
- Veronica Fensel - veronicafensel@gmail.com http://veronicafensel.com/
- Dana Tao - http://www.bookcheektocheek.com/

- Prive - http://www.privebeautygroup.com/
- Design Visage - http://www.designvisage.com/ - Beauty by Melina - info@beautybymelina.com - Ting Makeup - info@tingmakeup.com

WHAT TO WEAR*

-- Dress for the location! Dressing for the location where the shoot will take place is the first step to creating gorgeous engagement photos. If you're at the beach you could do lighter, beach wear, flowing outfits and then a casual outfit like an off the shoulder chunky sweater with jean shorts/jeans. In a woodsy location you can go dressed up and or casual. The contrast of being dressed up in a woodsy location actually looks amazing! Shorter cocktail dresses tend to look really stiff, especially at beach and woodsy locations but they do look great in the city/urban areas! The one thing to be aware of is to stay FAR FAR away from is basically everything that falls into the realm of business casual or matching outfits. I personally prefer long flowing dresses and outfits with movement, it really adds a hint of romanticism to photographs and gives them life. 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.

-- Choose a variety. My engagement sessions are long enough for my clients to wear at least two outfits. If you'd like to get a variety of looks and photographs it's important to pick two outfits. 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 in the event you have a change of heart. 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. 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! 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! 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. Here is a link to my Pinterest board of engagement outfit inspiration. I've added in ideas for casual, dressy, romantic, and everything in between! Pinterest is a great tool to spark creativity but remember the shoot and interactions will be all your own.

-- If you'd like to add a hint of color or style, consider adding a bouquet to your session. I have a couple of florists that I work with to make the perfect arrangement for your session. Just let me know and I'll give you more information on ordering a bouquet!

*Great brands to look for dresses are:
- Morning Lavender (they have a store in Tustin as well!)
- Show Me Your Mumu (great for bridesmaids dresses too!) - Asos
- Plum Pretty Sugar
- Lulu's
- Rent The Runway
- Pink Blush

WHAT TO EXPECT

- Engagement sessions are really fun! So the first thing to expect is that you'll have a great time.
- Expect walking. To get to certain locations, especially at the beach or in the wood/nature

you can expect to do some walking. If you're planning on wearing cute (but slightly uncomfortable) shoes be sure to bring a pair or comfy sandals to walk around in from location to location.
- Wind. Wind is a possibility especially at the beach. I've worked in many situations like this and I actually love the wind, the key is to not get frustrated if it blows into your face at some points because the movement it will give your clothes and hair actually looks great too!

- Poses are guides to interactions. We all call them poses but we really want to capture how you two are as a couple. I'll be giving you some prompts to encourage interactions, moments, and movement.

HAVE FUN - THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP

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! Be yourselves and remember to interact, laugh, smile, and share some quite moments - I'll be prompting you on all of these. As I listed above, 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 ;)

Last but not least, check out this link from my FAVORITE wedding blog! It’s a great resource for engagement photos:

https://www.stylemepretty.com/2018/05/25/how-to-take-engagement-photos-that-you-really-love/