A lot falls under this category! Outfits, locations, make-up, hair, and more can be determined by creating a mood board. I suggest starting this mood board with Pinterest! Start pinning images with outfits, make-up, hair, locations, and overall “feels” that draw you in. Make notes of what you love with each one! Having 20-40 pictures is great—I usually shy away from recommending more because eventually you’ll have so many options, you can easily get overwhelmed, confused, and anxious about which one to do! Remember which ones initially drew you in and why! Once you have a mood board that reflects what the overall mood you want your engagement session to be, share it! I want to see what inspired you, what drew you in, and what you love. While I will never be able to get an image “exactly like you’ve seen on Pinterest”, I’ll do my best to bring your vision to life with a spin on it that is unique to you and your partner. Quick tip: if you have an outfit in mind already that you’re dying to use for engagements, pick images your mood board that are based around that outfit!
Are you going to bring props? Guitars, blankets, picnics, candles, mason jars, rugs, arches, etc. We can get as crazy and as awesome as you want. If you think this is over-the-top and you want things kept simple, there is nothing wrong with that! But just know if you want something that will take a little more effort but will be epic, I’m 100% down with that and will help you style it, create it, and bring it all together so that the stress doesn’t 100% fall on you! While I love the simplicity of just my couple with nature, I also love creating unique set-ups that really bring the session new life. It’s something I’m really good at, not to toot my own horn, and I really enjoy it. So, if this is something that interests you, let me know! I styled this entire shoot from beginning to end, because the couple completely trusted me with their vision. And it turned out incredibly! In fact, all of the items you see from the set-up were brought from my personal home. I go above and beyond! Haha
Do you have special locations that are near and dear to your hearts—maybe where he proposed; your first kiss; the place you first met? Do you love to do specific things with each other somewhere specific, like a bar, or a coffee shop, an arcade, a theatre, a hiking trail, a look-out, or even your couch? All of these things are awesome places to think about incorporating into your session because it is special and will forever make your engagement session a touch more special. Life changes quickly, but with these photos, you can go back and remember important places in your history together. If you don’t necessarily have anything like that, but you have hobbies you enjoy, let me know and I can work on helping you guys find the right location for you.
Lighting is arguably the most important aspect of photography and will be key in creating your envisioned mood. Do you like sunset and want some starry night photos? Do you love golden hour with a gorgeous orange glow? Do you love sunrise and getting up early? Time of day will determine quite a bit in the planning process, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for. My suggestion is always sunrise or sunset, though I typically love sunset because of golden hour and blue hour. I’m also a night owl, so mornings are not kind to me, but I’ll do anything for the right shot! Talk to me about what you’re wanting, and I can recommend time of day based on your look and location!
5. Make-up + Hair:
If you’re anything like me, doing make-up and hair does not come naturally. At all. It’s taken me a long time to be even somewhat decent, and I still have so much potential growth in that area! So, for these special occasions and beautiful pictures, I recommend hiring a professional! Depending on your budget, you could have it done for your engagement session, formal/bridal session, and your wedding day, but if you can only afford one session, it should definitely be saved for the wedding day. The benefits heavily outweigh the negatives in hiring someone that specializes in making people look awesome. Your photos are going to be amazing no matter what, but if having flawless makeup and hair during your session makes you feel a little more confident, prepared, and beautiful, then don’t hesitate to do it! You’ll thank yourself later, because you’ll see your confidence radiating through in your photos. If make-up and hair isn’t really your thing, don’t waste time and money on it. Being yourself and feeling like yourself is the most important aspect of any shoot, which takes me to number six.
6. The focus is YOU.