How to prepare for your Engagement Session – Tips from a professional photographer.
How to prepare for your engagement session is something I work on with my wedding clients. I give these tips to all my clients and want to share them you with you. Over the past 10 years in my wedding and portrait business, I have helping my clients look their best so they feel at home in front of my camera.
I’d like to teach you some simple concepts that will help you look and feel great during your engagement session (with the help of a professional photographer, of course!) This photo here is one that I created for this couple last year. Red was an important color for their wedding day. They wanted it to be a part of the engagement session clothing choice… so I had to be careful how I posed them. More on that in a minute.
#1-The lightest thing in a photograph appears larger.
Dress up in that favorite outfit and then stand in front of the mirror and answer this question – What is the lightest color I see? If the lightest thing is your face, PERFECT! That is the most important part. If it is your pants, shirt or shoes, it’s NOT so perfect. The lightest thing in a photograph appears larger so unless you have a perfect figure it would be best to wear darker shades or dress in one color tone to create a slimming effect. Your photographer will position you in the most flattering pose for you but they cannot change the color of your clothes so easily. The colors you wear will help you look thinner. I always make sure my clients faces are the brightest things in the photo.
#2- Bold patterns and colors attract the eye.
Fire engine red, brilliant pinks or yellows stick out like a sore thumb. If you are the only one in red, you will stick out like a sore thumb in that photo, and as a result, you will look larger. Neon colors, bold horizontal stripes or other large patterns do the same thing. Small patterns in colors that coordinate with your outfit and your partner’s outfit are much prettier and slimming.
#3- Avoid sleeveless shirts or blouses.
Sleeveless tops are cool in summer and feel good. However, unless your shoulders and upper arms are the same tone as the rest of you, don’t wear sleeveless. This goes for the guys and gals – cover your arms or roll up your sleeves instead guys, it’s cool. Ladies, wear 3/4 sleeves. Sleeves hide small imperfections in the shape of your arms and its more flattering. If you lift weights and work out regularly and you like your arms, great- go for it! But I do think that the covering as much skin as possible slims down everyone and makes everyone look their best.
#4 – Coordinate color and style with your partner or family.
For engagements, I suggest you dress as if you’re going out to a nice lunch or casual dinner. Talk to each other and coordinate colors and styles. If your man is showing up in shorts and you in nice dress, probably not a great choice. So talk to each other about it the week before so you have time to figure it out. Best practice, lay clothes out on the bed or floor and see how they look together in color and styles. Then, wear them to see if you are comfortable. That is a big part of it too – be comfortable and happy in your clothes so you feel and look your best.
#5 – Shoes matter.
When I photograph my couples, it is may be the first time they have ever had photos together. They might be a little nervous so I start the shoot with them walking together or sitting down on something a little farther from me. This means their feet will be in the photographs. So wearing white sneakers and socks will not rock your session. Closed shoes with socks that match your pants or nice sandals will look so much better. If you are at the beach most likely you will not have shoes on. During my sessions, even at the seashore, I insist that my people bring closed shoes and sandals so we have choices. A small bag in the trunk with extras and alternates are really helpful and come in handy so if you decide you made a wrong choice – you still have option
Pulling it all together.
So the photo above addresses most of these concepts: The color red was a theme for them so I snuggled them together to minimize the amount of red that showed. I found a background that had red brick tones (blurred out) but which pulled it all together tonally. They coordinated their outfits beautifully, their faces are the lightest thing in the photo, his sleeves were perfect rolled up, they dressed like they were going out to dinner and they looked relaxed and radiant.
These are things I talk about with all my clients. I always meet up in person with my clients so I can see who I am photographing and we can discuss all these things to help make their session fun and awesome.
I hope this was helpful to prepare you for your engagement session or any portrait session actually. Check out my weddings here, then give me a call to set up a time to chat about your engagement or wedding day photography to see if we can work together.
That’s all for now. Spread the love on Valentine’s Day and please leave a comment so I know you were here.