*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! 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. Sometimes, two spots is doable if the locations you want are close together. However, the less driving, the more photography time you’ll have and more time to warm up/get comfortable.
*BEAUTY: Some brides will have their makeup trial scheduled for the engagement shoot to help them see how their wedding day makeup will photograph. This way, when you get the photos back you can tell them if you’d like any adjustments prior to the wedding. Also, please be careful when choosing a salon if you're planning on getting a spray tan for the shoot. 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:
For brides, long, pattern-free, light colored, flowing dresses, are always a safe bet! They add a hint of romanticism and movement to photographs whereas short dresses seem a little more stiff. 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 and unique. 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 fitted look that you won't be tugging at in every photo. For grooms, nice khakis and a light blue, grey, or white button up always look great and timeless! Grooms also look great in very dressed up look like a suit!
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 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 and send me photos of their outfit pairings. I even suggest bringing a few outfits to choose from and bring them with you to the session so that we have options if you have a last minute 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 (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 casual shoes. I love when grooms have one great casual outfit such as dark jeans or khakis, 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 depending on location, and it's also great to have some mix and match jackets, shirts and ties 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 showcase your personality. 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.
Overall, anything light, solid, and neutral photographs best on film and will closely match what you have seen on my portfolio, especially because we’ll be shooting around sunset. Also, lighter colors will help as a natural reflector, giving you the best looking skin tones. When you wear lighter clothes, the sun has a chance to create a dreamier effect on you. (examples are at the bottom of this page)
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!
If you want to add a bouquet to add texture, color, and use as a prop please let me know! Bouquets are priced at $200.
*MOST IMPORTANTLY - 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 ;) And don’t worry, I’ll be guiding you through everything as I shoot!
WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT: Beware that it may be windy (especially on the beach), be prepared to do some walking and in rare occasions, some climbing - I always suggest a comfy pair of shoes to tag along with you! There may be people around especially if shooting on the weekend, it’s best to ignore them and I always try to avoid them when shooting.
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!