Engagement sessions are the perfect way to practice having your photos taken with us before your wedding. We encourage all of our couples to schedule an engagement session, especially if either of you are feeling a little nervous about being in front of a camera. After your engagement session you’ll both feel like pros and you will be prepared and relaxed for your wedding day photos. Plus, you will have beautiful photos to use for your Save-the-Dates and Signature Guest Book.
It is always fun when couples personalize their session by including props. Props can bring an element of design to your session; complimenting a theme or feel in your photos. Personal items that work great are family heirlooms, quilts, an awesome car or bike, or even your family pup (we love dogs!). Another great resource is a local props rental company. Check out Portland’s Something Borrowed for some really unique items. Just looking at what props they offer may inspire you. If you are crafty, make your own handmade banner or kites. The options are really endless!
Location + Time of Day
When you start thinking about where you want your engagement session to take place, consider places that are significant to the two of you. Maybe where you went on your first date or where the proposal took place. When choosing your locations, you will need to find out if a permit or a fee is required in order to shoot photos there. If you are unsure of where you would like your engagement photos taken and need some suggestions, first think about whether you would like a more natural or urban setting. We can then help you pick locations based on what setting you would like to have in the photos. We are natural light photographers, and because of this we usually schedule engagement sessions in the late afternoon / early evening. This time of day has the most ideal lighting. Because we are utilizing this type of lighting, it is extremely important that you are on time for your session so you get the most out of your session time.
Wardrobe + Styling
What should we wear? Good question! The first and best answer would be to wear something you feel AMAZING in! If you feel good about how you look, you will photograph wonderfully. If nothing in your closet jumps out at you, this may be the perfect opportunity to buy yourself a little something new! Companies like J. Crew and Nordstrom’s offer free personal shoppers to help you select an outfit that compliments your shape and will not clash with each others outfits. Also think about using Pinterest as a resource. You can get lots of inspirational images by typing in search words like ‘engagement outfits’ or ‘what to wear for an engagement.’
Here are some other helpful hints when choosing your engagement session wardrobe. In general, bold colors and fun patterns work great! Cute summer dresses and heels are perfect! Guys, please bring a variety of clothing, but make sure to coordinate with your bride. If your bride is wearing a pattern, you will want to choose a solid. Ladies, bring a pair of flats in case we do some walking. Still unsure of what to wear? You know what I always say… “just bring it all!” I am happy to spend time before the shoot helping you decide which outfit will be the most photogenic! We will narrow it down to 2-3 outfits for you both. PS: If he doesn’t feel like changing into a second look, just bring a nice jacket and bow tie and we can fake it!
Guys Options: Blazers, Jackets, Cardigans, Coats, Vests, Hats, Suspenders, Bow Ties, Ties
Ladies Options: Shawls, Coats, Cardigans, Blazers, Belts, Scarfs, Hats, Jewelry, Floral or Decorative Hair Pieces, Tights
*Rent the Runway: Want a designer dress for your engagement session but don’t want to pay the high cost? Check out www.RentTheRunway.com. Search their collection of dresses and accessories, then filter by designer, price, length to narrow down your favorites. Once you’ve selected your items, book for a 4-day rental period. Your order will arrive by 8PM on your delivery date via UPS. After your session, send back your items in the pre-paid envelope provided. You can even use this service for your bridal shower and rehearsal dinner!
Hair, Make-up, Nails, Oh My!
If you are having professional hair and make-up for your wedding, your engagement session is a perfect opportunity to do a trial run. Most professional make-up artists will do a test run for you, just schedule your test the day of your engagement shoot. Remember to bring a comb or hair brush along with some lip gloss to do some touch-ups during your session. And ladies (and guys), you will be showing off those rings, so a manicure is always a great idea for your engagement photos!
The main goal of your engagement session is to HAVE FUN and document the two of you in love. There is no reason to worry about anything. We will guide you through the whole session and after 10 minutes or so you two will feel comfortable. Besides receiving amazing photos and making you feel comfortable during your session, another goal of ours is to create a friendship and relationship with you. We absolutely adore all the couples that we work with, and making you happy makes up happy!
XOXO Jerome + Rebecca