June 30, 2021

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Engagement I Anniversary

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Six Essentials for Your California Engagement Session

Why should you schedule an engagement session?

You’ve booked the perfect photographer for your wedding and you’re so excited for them to capture everything that day! This often raises the question, especially for grooms, “Why should we have more photos taken beforehand?”

The biggest reason: for you! Our couples often tell us that their engagement session is the first time they’ve ever had their photos taken together professionally. This means they can feel a little nervous and not quite know what to expect, which is completely understandable! By doing an engagement session, you essentially get a practice round for your wedding day. You get to be in front of the camera with your wedding photographer and see how they pose you and interact with you and your fiancé. This way, when you’re feeling a lot more emotions and nerves on the actual wedding day, you won’t need to worry about what to expect with the photos. Our couples feel so comfortable with us after the engagement session, that on the wedding day, they are able to just relax and take everything in.

At the end of the day, these pictures are a representation of the two of you at a significant point in your love story and that is what you want captured. So before your session, make sure you take some time to relax, remember why you’re getting these photos taken to begin with, and just enjoy your time with your fiancé as you celebrate! If you want to check to see if we’re available for your date, you can do that here.

What should you wear?

From our experiences with the couples we’ve photographed, we’ve been able to narrow down some styling tips that work across the board and help you absolutely love the way you look in your pictures!

Colors – When choosing colors for your outfits, we recommend selecting lighter and more neutral tones. By choosing more muted shades, it keeps the focus on you two and your relationship! You can never go wrong with light neutral colors like cream, taupe, camel or light gray. The camera loves shades of soft pinks and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light-colored neutrals. That softer, more pastel-leaning color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments and won’t be distracting.

Outfit For Her – remember: there’s no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you’ve been eyeing a gorgeous dress, but never had an occasion for it, this is your occasion! There’s nothing more romantic than a long, flowy dress. Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I recommend choosing long, flowy dresses or skirts because they’re flattering on all body types, look amazing on camera and bring extra movement and dimension to your photos (especially for those twirling and walking shots!). We always recommend Rent the Runway for finding a perfect piece for the session that is affordable.

Outfit For Him – just like dresses are flattering for women on camera, jackets have the same effect for men. Whether it’s a blazer, sports coat, or a suit jacket, making sure it’s fitted and pairing it with the correct length pants are the key to a sharp and sophisticated look. Feel free to mix and match the top and bottom to add interest (i.e. navy pants and a grey jacket), but stick with solid patterns so they aren’t distracting on camera.

Shoes For Her – while they may not be your favorite to wear, heels are perfect for making your legs look elongated and toned. Closed toe heels are even better because they visually carry your eye all the way to your toe, but peep toe heels are just as classic! Quick note: remember to bring flats or sandals to slip on if you’re doing more than one location!

Shoes For Him – to pair with the jacket and pants, men’s dress shoes are often the best option to create a perfect look. Whether its velvet loafers or leather lace-up’s, have fun picking out a pair that seal the deal!

Accessories – your engagement photos are something that you’ll be referencing throughout the whole wedding-planning process. If there is a look that you’ve been imagining, now is the time to create it! Whether it’s bringing a picnic with a bottle of champagne to your session or brightening things up with a flower crown or fresh bouquet to hold, this is when you get to incorporate uniquely “you” touches that add an extra pop to your images! Fun ideas to consider: balloons, a statement hat, bubble machine, fresh flowers, or a champagne bottle and glasses!

What do you use engagement photos for?

You pulled the trigger and did an engagement session – now what should you do with the images? Our couples will often use their photos on their Save the Date announcements and on their wedding website that has their registry links. You can also print and frame them to place on your welcome table for guests at the wedding or make an album of them that guests can sign as the guest book. Best of all, you can save them in your own personal album to remember what the time leading up to your special day and last but not least, they always make a great lock screen on your phone!

When should you schedule your engagement photos?

This question is slightly more dependent on the couple! If you want to use some of your photos on your Save the Date, you should schedule your session about 6-7 months before your wedding date to ensure enough time for your photographer to get the images back to you and to send the card out. If you have a shorter engagement and you don’t care to use the photos for a save the date, you can schedule your session anytime up to 6 weeks before the wedding day. This allows you to get your gallery back before the wedding day and enjoy the photos before you start anticipating your wedding gallery and some time before the day so you aren’t as preoccupied with the final planning details. If your photographer is not local and is traveling for your wedding, you can do your engagement session 2 days before the wedding to take advantage of their travel schedule and still allow time for a rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding.

Want to see how much fun you can have at your engagement session with us? Check to see if we’re available for your date!

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