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Tips for Great Engagement Photos

EngagementSession_SashaReikoPhotography-01

If you and your love decided to splurge and celebrate each other with a couples session, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re newly engaged, congratulations! I absolutely love engagement photo sessions with my clients. It allows us some time to get to know each other before the big day and gives them a preview of my shoot style, Invariably, this gives us better photos and a more relaxed atmosphere on their wedding day. Engagement photos are great for ‘Save the Date’ cards, framed photos at the wedding, guests books, as well as your wedding website which are becoming incredibly popular.

I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for your upcoming engagement session. Couples tend to ask a lot of the same questions, so this should help clear some things up.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Selecting a shoot location that means something to you as a couple is always a great idea. It makes the shots more personal and helps tell your story at the same time. It’s also fun to think outside the box and shoot in places that are a little more random and fun. For instance, I like to follow couples on a ‘date’ and capture your time together, whether it’s a coffee house crawl around Capitol Hill or a hike in the mountains. Make sure the location you choose suits your personal style and personalities.

HERE is a link to my blog about Location ideas in Seattle.

On a side note about the weather….cloudy, overcast days are the best! They create an even, bright light that always results in the most flattering lighting. Sunny days (especially at noon) create splotchy sun shadows, and under-eye shadows won’t make you look your best. Early morning and sunset are also prime times as the sun is not high in the sky directly over head creating harsh shadows and squinting. If we do shoot on a sunny day, I will likely be on the hunt for open shade the whole session to make sure you guys are in flattering light!

WHAT YOU WEAR MATTERS!

Yes, I’m serious. What you’re wearing can make a huge impact on the overall look of the session! No matter how amazing the place or the weather, if you and your partner are clashing, wearing t-shirts with logos, or a oversized beige sweaters, the photos will contain obvious eyesores later on…I promise you.

Check out my Pinterest board to get some inspiration for Portrait Outfit Ideas.

The important thing is to be comfortable. Wear something you won’t have to keep adjusting or worrying about throughout the shoot. Try to wear colors in the same color palette. Don’t forget to bring accessories like hats, extra shoes, scarves, belts and jewelry. Try to choose clothing appropriate for the shoot location. If we’re shooting at a beach, a big hat, flip flops, and a flowing dress might be in order. If we’re shooting at a park, wear lots of layers and bring those rain boots and umbrella in case it rains. Date night? Go all out! Wear those heels and that cocktail dress.

Ladies, don’t forget to help a guy out! A sharply dressed man can pull a shoot together. Seriously. Tell him not to be afraid of going all out: a newsboy hat, suspenders, a vest, brown leather shoes, and a nice belt can all look amazing if he’s loving that style, if he wants to go with something more simple, just remember to layer layer layer and bring some more options to our session so I can help you out! Point is, we want him to feel great which will come through the photos. 

HAIR AND MAKEUP

If they were my engagement photos, I would get my makeup done by a pro the day of the shoot. I might even do a test run of the look I’m thinking about for my wedding day. And I’d get my hair done as well. Pampering yourself for the shoot will make you feel great and give you more confidence which always shines through the photos. It will also reduce your stress level and allow you to relax and just think about the session. I have an amazing list of referrals for hair and makeup I can provide, just ask! 

THE CLOSER THE BETTER

The best shoots (and resulting photos) are always when the two of you are being exactly who you are–a couple in love! So, the closer the better. Don’t be afraid to be super affectionate with each other. And don’t over think it…just relax and have fun together. You can think of me as a ‘third-wheel friend,’ occasionally taking some photos of you both enjoying each other.

My mission for every session is for us to have fun, laugh til we cry, and most importantly walk away thinking, “that was such a good time!”. Candid moments are always the best. Be playful with each other–chase each other, pick her up, jump in the air, get crazy! Don’t worry…I’ll get PLENTY of dramatic calm shots of you holding each other while looking into the sunset.

My favorite couples are always the happy ones, and luckily that’s all I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot. I’ve never had to say, “give me a laugh you guys!” and I hope I never have to. I like to catch REAL emotion and REAL laughter. Whether it means I’m acting a fool to make you laugh every 5 minutes, or you telling each other secret jokes…genuine funny moments will happen. And I will capture them for you!

SOME OF THOSE SHOTS DON’T COME EASY

One thing I always tell my clients, is if they want a mind blowing set of photographs, they need to be willing to do anything! Some of the best photos appear so effortless and easy, BUT I’m here to tell you that the beautiful girl wearing the long white flowing dress with the 4 inch pumps and perfect hair swinging through the air by her fiancè did not get into that shot easily. She tromped through that wet grass in flip flops holding up her dress while I ran out there after her fixing her hair and straightening her mans vest. They were cold, wet, and down to do what it took to get those shots! I’ll carry your shoes, my shoulders will become your coat rack, I’ll carry your bags, I’ll fix your hair, I’ll tell you you have something in your teeth…I’ve got your back, that’s what I’m there for. Go with the flow, turn awkward situations into funny ones, and be game for anything and magic will happen.

COMMUNICATE!

I’m here for YOU. My goal is to make you look and feel your best. Feel free to tell me all about what you love and what you hate. Tell me what you’re looking for, what you want to get out of the session, what shots you want to be sure to get etc… If you’re not feeling good about elements of the shoot, stop me and tell me about it before it’s too late! I love feedback and hearing your ideas, so don’t hesitate to talk to me about anything.

Well that’s all for now! I’m super excited to meet you and capture your story during our time together!

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