How to Prepare for Your Upcoming Session

Congrats, you’re engaged!  One question we always get from clients when booking their shoot is “what the heck do we wear?!” Do you go with something more formal?  Casual?  Maybe something with drama?  What about hair and makeup?  And how is he supposed to dress?  The questions are endless, so I’ve come up with a few quick hitting tips to put your mind at ease.

Engagement photos (typically) only happen once so use this as an excuse to go shopping.  Photo sessions are an heirloom investment, something that will live on throughout time, and part of the experience should be build up and preparation.  The likelihood of you pulling something out of the back of your closest a night or two before your shoot probably isn’t going to give you that same fiery feeling of confidence and excitement that a new outfit would. So yeah, go shopping! Suggestion #1. 

Some of my personal favorite online stores for engagement shoot dresses/outfits are: ($$$) Investment pieces for sure. Free 2-day shipping and free returns (the best!). Take the time to measure yourself (bust, hips, waist) for the most accurate sizing.  I did it and it’s rare something doesn’t fit me based on their sizing guides. I get lost on this site… big, big fan. ($) Quality isn’t fabulous, but the prices are cheap and their stuff is super cute.  Ships from China (usually about 2-weeks). First round of returns are free. I did a SHEIN haul before one of my California trips and I swear to God I never got as many clothing compliments in a 5-day span as I did decked out in SHEIN.

Other online favorites: Vici Dolls ($$), Red Dress Boutique ($$), Abercrombie (before you sh*t on me, trust me when I say they have come A LONG WAY since high school… Especially the last 2-3 years).

Good American Jeans: I hadn’t splurged on a pair of jeans in my life until about three years ago.  This brand has become my go-to spot for jeans. 

Suggestion #2- Variety is the spice of life my friends! So I always suggest a full outfit change for our girls and at least a shirt change for our guys.  I usually like the idea one casual outfit and then one on the dressier side, but I’ve had a ton of girls double up on dresses or skirts lately and I’m really loving that too.  

In terms of patterns, I personally have “a one pattern rule” which says that there should only be one pattern for every three people in a group.  So if your fiancé goes with a patterned shirt, pick a solid color found in that pattern and rock it.  Winter accessories (hats, scarves) are the exception to that rule 😉 

Next up, be true to your style.  If you’re not wearing something that you’re comfortable in, the camera will only magnify that.  You’ll want to pick something that compliments your figure. If you’re doing an open air shoot (on a beach, in a field, etc.) I love the idea of picking a dress (or skirts) that’s fitted on top with some flowiness on the bottom; this will allow for movement, playfulness and will help keep your hands busy.  As for shoes?  Barefoot on the beach, heals or wedges in the city and whatever your heart desires for green space.  If you hate your legs, don’t wear shorts and if you hate your arms, wear something with a sleeve. You’re in control here!  So play to your strengths while drawing attention away from those “trouble” spots you might be a little self-conscious of.  We all have them.  

What about hair and makeup? I would say only about a quarter of my clients get their hair and makeup done for their engagement shoot. Some use it as a trial/test run for their big day while others just want to soak up the whole experience.  For me personally? I know I feel my best when I’m tan.  If you’re feeling a little ghostly pre-shoot, consider getting a spray tan 2-3 days prior or invest in some self tanning drops (a link to my favorite can be found here).  Don’t forget to get your nails done too for the engagement ring close-ups!

Give yourself plenty of time.  Plenty of time to find an outfit, plenty of time to get ready, plenty of time to travel to your shoot.  Rushing will only cramp your style and stress you out the day-of, so give yourself grace!  Remember to enjoy the whole experience, preparation included. Blast your best Spotify playlist and indulge in a glass of champagne while getting ready.  Take your time, have fun with it and just let it all sink in. PLUS, a little liquid courage always helps take the edge off <3 

And lastly, FLORALS.  Looking to elevate your engagement session in a big way?  Add a fresh floral bouquet, wristlet or flower crown.  It’s amazing how much one prop can totally up-level the tone and mood for a shoot (not to mention they’re beautiful and live on for days afterwards). Holler at me if you’re interested in this and I’ll gladly put you in touch with some of my favorite local florists. 

Hope this has helped!  Can’t wait to shoot with ya!


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