Enagement sessions are so much fun and a great way for us to get to know each other better. And often times at the end, people (especially the guys) say ‘that was a lot of fun, and I was dreading it!’ I understand that it can be a little nerve wracking to think of being in front of a camera for 60-90 minutes, but fear not- it’s always a great time. And I’ll be telling you exactly what to do every step of the way, literally- even in those candid looking moments. Very rarely do we work with models who know exactly what to do in front of a camera, so I totally get it! Also, people always ask ‘what should we wear’ for their engagement session? So I went ahead and compiled a little list of tips that will hopefully get you feeling fun, cool and confident!
1. Be You: Tried and true advice that applies to just about everything in life…be you! Choose outfits that reflect your style and personalities. Wear what makes you happy and your confidence will come out in the photos.
2. Coordinate: Wear colors that compliment each other but aren’t exactly matching. Also, be sure to dress on the same scale. You should both look like you are headed to the same place. If you are dressed formal and chic, he shouldn’t be in plaid shorts and his old college t-shirt.
3. Stick with Neutrals: Bright colors (especially neons) are distracting, can reflect funky color casts on your skin tones, and can take away from what we want to capture in these photos…you! Now, this doesn’t mean you can only wear grey, white, and beige. There are more neutral tones of all colors. For example, baby and navy blue are neutral shades of blue. These shades are toned down and will be far less distracting than say a bright royal blue.
4. Less is More: I love simplicity. While one or two accessories such as a hat or a scarf can add a lot of personality into a photo, it’s important not to go overboard. Remember an engagement session is about capturing your faces, your relationship and your connection.
5. Consider the Surroundings: When choosing colors and style, consider the surroundings. Be sure to choose outfits that compliment and make sense with the surroundings. Everything should have the same vibe. We all know how much I love shooting in these far flung locations. So for example, if we are up in the mountains, be sure to wear (or at least bring) shoes you can hike in.
6. Watch for Distractions: Just like I mentioned staying away from bright colors, watch out for other distractions such as logos, wording on clothing, or bold patterns.
7. Empty Your Pockets: I mean this in the most literal sense…empty your pockets! We do not want keys or a phone showing through your pockets. Guys, sorry to call you out on this one.
8. Comfort is Key: Wear clothing that is comfortable and that you can move in. Be sure to get just the right fit. Not too tight, but not to loose. The better you feel in your clothes, the better you’ll look in front of the camera!
9. Switch Things Up: Can’t decide to go casual or formal? Patterns or solids? Don’t decide, do both! It’s fun to get two totally different looks in your session. Or, try mixing both styles into one outfit. Flowy dresses are my absolute favorite to photograph… They are the perfect mixture of formal and casual and work with almost any location.
10. Spoil Yourself: I recommend every girl get their makeup professionally done for their engagement photos. It’s a small investment that helps you feel confident, which definitely shows up in your pictures. Makeup artists also know all the right tricks for even skin tones and perfect application — all things if not done right, the camera is really good at picking up. Take some time to spoil yourself a little; you’ll enjoy these images forever.
Bonus Tip! Have Fun: I know this doesn’t necessarily have to do with “what to wear” for your engagement session, but it’s important nonetheless. Maybe the most important tip I have! Remember this is something you’ll only do once in your lifetime…enjoy it and soak in every second. Have fun and laugh together. Planning a wedding can be busy — use this time to slow down, focus on your relationship, and reconnect.
As far as the actual shoot is concerned, I love both the simple, and styled equally. So any props or pets are always welcome, but never necessary! If you have any questions just let me know. We’re going to have a blast!
There are so many beautiful places in Wilmington to shoot engagement sessions.. One of my favorites has to be Fort Fisher, just south of Kure Beach. This is where Joey proposed to Jacquelyn- so it was only fitting that we went there to shoot their gorgeous engagement session.
Leslie met with Allie and Justin in Topsail NC for this awesome engagement session. The sunset was incredible and Leslie captured it and this great couple perfectly!
If you are looking for a rustic setting for your wedding or engagement session around Wilmington NC, Poplar Grove Plantation is one of the best! Lucy and Rob got engaged here a few months ago so right around Christmas we went back to shoot their engagement session here too. The plantation is about 15 minutes north of Wilmington on on Rt. 17 and is gorgeous all year round! It’s become one of my favorite places to photograph because of the great rustic/historic mix.
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Crystal and Doug are quite possibly two of my favorite people… Easy laughers and so fun to hang out with! Of course it doesn’t hurt that we started the session off right at a local pub, but that’s neither here nor hgh human growth there… I also don’t shoot in Raleigh too often, so it was fun to get out and learn a new area!