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How to prepare for your engagement session

Yay! Your date is set, the plans have started happening and it's time for your engagement session!

Unless you are a professional model you probably don't spend your days thinking about how to pose for photos or what to wear, but have no fear....I'm here to help.


Below are some fun and simple tips and tricks from a wedding photographer (psst that's me!) with over 20 years in the wedding industry.


I've seen it all...oh the stories I could tell you!

So sit back, grab your favorite beverage and get ready for a really fun time!

Picking the right location

This may seem like something easy, however we leave in California and literally everything is so pretty!

It's hard to pick! 


Pick a place that represents who you are as a couple. For example: if you love the beach lets spend golden hour there and be prepared for me to beg you to get your feet wet! If you have a favorite local spot like a coffee shop or winery that you love, let me know! It never hurts to ask.


If in the end you can't come up with something, don't stress I have a literal list of places we can go, and you can always check out my Instagram​ and gain inspiration from there!

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Sometimes getting your photo taken can feel awkward at first

....and that is TOTALLY normal!

Again unless you are a professional model, this is new for you but I am here to help you along the way. If there is one thing that I can promise, it is that the awkward feeling only lasts about 5-10 minutes. Before you know it you'll forget all about it and be totally in the moment.

I tell every couple that books with me, that having your engagement photos taken is a wonderful way for us to get to know each other. You will notice on your wedding day, that you will feel instantly comfortable in front of the camera and the cues I give you will come naturally! 

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To Prop or not To Prop....that is the question

One of the best peices of advice I can give a couple prior to their engagement session is that if you want to bring props make sure that they are very meaningful to you both. Don't get me wrong, props can be so much fun, but I feel like there is too much emphasis put into props these days (thanks, Pinterest!). A great example is below, this couple loved Chandon Vineyards and I encouraged them to bring a bottle to incorporate into their session.

It was a great way to bring what they love into the session without it being the focus, make sense? 

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Lighting makes all the difference

Prepare to be tired of listening to me talk about golden glow. It's part of my signature style and really important when it comes to planning your engagement session. Most photographers, myself included live and breathe for good lighting and we always want that perfect light for your session. This is called "golden hour". It takes place about 90 minutes prior to the sun setting and it's the softest light of the day. Pure magic!

I always like to schedule sessions about two hours before sunset, this gives us time to chit chat and walk to the perfect spot if the parking spot isn't super close. Once that sun sets, it's game over and I hate to rush!

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Professional Hair & Makeup

Ladies, consider having your hair and makeup professionally done. You know how you feel when you first leave the salon after a haircut? That confidence definitely translates to photos (plus you’ll truly look your best). But really, the inner boost you get from feeling all “done up” after someone else applies your makeup and styles your hair is what really inspires that outer glow just as much, if not more so, than the actual hairstyle or makeup you’re wearing.

You can get your trial hair and makeup scheduled for the same day as our engagement shoot — two birds with one stone! You’ll want to do a trial run with your hair stylist and makeup artist at some point before the big day, and you’ll also be able to see how it photographs.

And don’t forget a manicure in case of close-ups of your engagement ring. Remember a pedicure, too (if you’re wearing open-toe shoes) and don’t neglect your shoe choices in general — they’re part of your outfit. Jewelry counts, too. Accessories like a nice watch or a hat are fun for dudes, as well!

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After your session

When I've used up every ounce of light and we are walking back to our cars, I'm sure you will be wondering what happens next? In the next few days you can expect to receive a handful of sneak peeks from your session, I always show the back of my camera during the session but there is something so exciting about seeing a fully edited image or five within 48 hours! 

From there, you can expect to receive your online gallery of hi-resolution images within 2-3 weeks. This gallery comes in a link via email and you can download all the goodies at your own pace!

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