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10 tips to make your engagement session AWESOME!

It’s definitely that time of year! Weddings & hands with brand new, shiny rings are filling up our newsfeeds. I know how overwhelming planning a wedding can be…so I will be starting a series of posts to help brides and grooms that are scrambling to figure things out. Starting off with 10 tips to make your engagement session AWESOME! It’s common to have questions, ranging from what to wear and how to pose. So here are just a few answers to the many questions we get before a session!

1. “UGH, I get so awkward in front of the camera! Can you help me?!” Pick a photographer who you get along with. I CANNOT tell you how important this is. You have to be able to click with your photographer. If you don’t find stupid jokes funny and your photographer cannot stop telling them to you to make you laugh while taking your photos (guilty 😉 ), then it is going to be one awkward day. If you pick the right photographer, they should be able to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. The more you and your fiance gel with your photographer, the more natural the photos will turn out…and the more YOU, you will be in them. So, pick a photographer who’s both personalities and photos you love! Also, remember to BREATHE, relax and don’t be afraid to giggle. You’d be surprised what can make a good photo!

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2.” I have NO idea where we should take them…what do you think?!” First and foremost, I always like asking clients to think about a place that is special to the two of them. All you need for a good photo is lighting, so…feel free to be as creative as you want! I’ve had clients take me to spots where they had their first date…or where he proposed…or where they both went to school. The options are endless and the more personalized you get…the more meaningful (and unique) the photos will be. With that being said, if you’re still drawing a blank, ask your photographer for their opinion. They will ask you what style you’d like…definitely think about that. Options include : Romantic, urban, desert (in my case, atleast!), etc. etc.. If you and your photographer put your heads together, I’m sure it will be amazing. But TRUST them, they know what they are talking about 😉 The photo below was taken just strolling through downtown LA. Completely unplanned. Which sometimes the best moments are!

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3. “What time should we take the photos?” Usually for engagement photos, I highly recommend starting an hour or two before sunset… as will most photographers, so listen to them. It’s the only way you get that juicy, romantic sunset light! Light can get a bit harsh in the middle of the day..so my backup time is in the morning.

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4.“What in the world should I wear?!” Something that you FEEL good in! That goes for you, too, boys! The better you FEEL the better you will photograph. I am a huge fan of the wardrobe change. I love it when couples bring an outfit they can be comfortable in…as well as an outfit that has that ‘wow’ factor. Try to steer clear of logos that can be too distracting. Bold colors that don’t match, but coordinate with each other work well. Be YOU. Last thing you want is a photo where you look NOTHING like yourself, am I right?!

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5. “Should I get my hair and make up done beforehand?” This is not needed, however, I do recommend it. Sometimes brides use this as a time to do their run through with their makeup artist. Definitely wear just a tad bit more than you’re used to, as it makes your eyes POP! Most important thing is that you FEEL beautiful, so sometimes it helps to be pampered!

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1621988_10151994666762333_916953847_n 6. “Will you tell me how to pose?”  This differs with every photographer…however, my answer is yes AND no. I am huge fan of naturally posing my clients. I will put you in a flattering pose…but love it when a couple moves around naturally..(Talk, giggle, canoodle<–oh yeah, I use that word.)  Every couple is different, so I like to feel out the poses that each couple is comfortable in. Not every couple is the type of couple that stares longingly into one another’s eyes…and not every couple is the kind that’s going to want to run, jump, and play. So sometimes it just takes a few to get the feel for each couple.

GR3A2592-27.“Can I bring anything? My dog?” YES. Bring whatever you think you’d want in your photos. In the end, these are YOUR photos. So if you want to bring that sign that says save the date or your pup..by all means DO IT! But yes, always yes to doggies.

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8.” Can we go to more than one location?” This is also another thing I am a huge fan of for engagement sessions but by no means is it necessary. I love to have two different locations just to change it up a bit for my clients. However, there are places (like Balboa park, below) that lend itself to so many beautiful backdrops, that going to another spot is just unnecessary.

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9. “Will you look at my pinterest for ideas?” Ah, yes. Pinterest. If you are comfortable with your photographer and LOVE the way they shoot…Trust that they know what they’re doing. However ,once again, this is YOUR photoshoot, so if there is something completely unique that you’re dying to have, show it. Sometimes, shared pinterest boards help get both you and your photographer on the same page when thinking about what style to go for.

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10. “How long will the photoshoot be?” Every photographer is different & so is every couple. Depending on what you’re wanting, how many locations, wardrobe changes, etc..it will change. The photo below needed to be taken at twilight, so this photo session went on a bit longer than most. The average engagement session lasts around an hour and a half.

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Other than that….have FUN. Work on your sm-eyes (Any ANTM fans out there?)  Strut your stuff. But most of all, just be yourself!!

A few extra do’s and dont’s:

-Don’t over tan. It tends to look unnatural on camera.

-Try to steer clear from wearing ALL black.

-Don’t wear colored contacts that are lighter than your natural eye color

-Do wear a little extra mascara, it helps the eyes pop.

-Do make it personal

-Do enjoy yourself!