Engagement Session Tips and Tricks
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Saturday, April 16, 2016
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Engagement Session Tips and Tricks





I typically suggest clients to choose a location that means something to you both. Have no idea where to begin? Where was your first date? Do you have a common date location? Where did you get engaged? 



Location will also play a factor into your wardrobe.... are you strolling in the city? or outdoors? is it spring/summer where colors are bright and green? or fall where the trees are colorful or bare?



#2 TIME 


Sunrise vs. sunset


Are you the fun, outgoing, bubbly couple? Are you both shy? If you want a more intimate session, mid-day or a busy location might not be for you both.  




Dress up, means something different to everyone. I always suggest for client to be comfortable and to be themselves but maybe a more polished version. Think of Sunday’s best, a dinner date attire, or even senior portrait pretty.  





  1. Dress: As a basic rule, wear solid colors, as stripes and patterns draw attention away from your face. Avoid wearing turtlenecks and large loose clothing, as these often make the neck seem nonexistent and the body seem wider than it is. Men's business shirts are great for this reason. Shorts or capris have a tendency to make legs appear shorter than they are. Men should avoid shorts; if shorts are worn both parties should wear shorts or a dress.
  2. Colors: Solid monochromatic colors are easiest to coordinate, but primary or complementary colors also look great and bring energy to the photograph. Darker colors will cause the subject(s) to appear thinner while lighter colors will cause the subject(s) to appear larger. Dark pants or jeans with dark shoes give texture and visually anchor a portrait. When choosing color schemes, consider not only what looks best on you, but also what colors will look best in wall portraits and complement your home’s décor. Avoid white (too much), neon, and pastel colors; they do not work well with most skin tones.
  3. Compliment: Complement each other in colors and in location. Softer colors will look great against colorful green landscapes and bright, bold colors will pop more against dull city backgrounds. Dress on the same scale.
  4. Jeans: Washes must be of similar colors; there’s nothing worse than a light wash against a dark wash to distract from the portraits.
  5. Layers: Jean jackets, blazers, men’s jackets, ties, bowties, and men sweaters on top of their shirts look sharp.
  6. Accessories: Chunkier necklaces come out great. Use this to express your character. Avoid sparkly or costume jewelry. Men’s ties can be used to compliment and keep the consistency of colors.
  7. Footwear: Avoid running shoes, white socks and heavy footwear. Also, consider fashionable boots, sandals or bare feet for casual photos. You can never go wrong with classic black heels.
  8. Props: Props help showcase your personality. Some examples of props could be musical instruments and sports equipment.
  9. In general, you should bring at least two to three different outfits to the shoot and we can help you decide what would be most appropriate.

***There are always exceptions to these rules.


NEED some more ideas of what to wear? PINTEREST is a GREAT TOOL 





A professional makeup and hair artist is not mandatory but high suggested for added quality to your portraits. A manicure and pedicure are also highly recommended. The following are some great makeup tips for those of us who do it ourselves.


  1. Skin: Before you apply makeup, start with smooth, toned and moisturized skin. If necessary, give yourself a facial or scrub treatment. This minimizes uneven or artificial looking makeup application and promotes a healthy, glowing look.
  2. Minimize Shadows: As photos are two-dimensional, the camera ages the subject by enhancing dark, fine lines and wrinkles. To compensate, gently apply a lighter shade of concealer makeup to darker areas: around the eyes, crevices and expression lines. Next, using an upward stroke, apply a light layer of foundation makeup over the face including lips. Blend makeup at the edges. Except for corrective work, use foundation makeup colors closely matching the natural skin color.
  3. Bronze or Blush: Various makeup effects can be achieved with blush. Bronzer makeup powder is widely successful and produces a natural or lightly sculpted look.
  4. Eyes and Lines: Unless you like the look, or have the eyes for it, avoid harsh lines, or the raccoon look, it makes the eyes look smaller and deeper set. Try a smoky-colored eyeliner pencil, and smudge a bit if necessary. With liquid eyeliner, an option is to dot the eyeliner next to the eyelash base rather than create a solid line. For a different look, limit liquid eyeliner application to the top eyelid and/or the outer corners of the eyes. Smoky eye shadow applied above the eyelids and blended with the outer corners of the eyes also creates a desirable effect; a highlighted brow area enhances this effect.
  5. Lips: Most lips benefit from definition, even when lipstick is not generally used. For a natural but polished look, try a shade or two darker than your lip color
  6. Powder: Apply a light dusting of translucent powder over your face to avoid shine and set makeup. Concentrate on the T-zone as necessary, and apply sparingly to lined or dry areas.
  7. Eyebrows: Before applying makeup ensure that the eyebrows are properly shaped. Tweeze stray brows outside these areas and use an eyebrow pencil for even more definition. However, it is best to avoid significant tweezing just prior to applying makeup. For best results, waxing or threading should be done 48hours prior to session.


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