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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!

MAISON      CALEB

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How to Prep For Your Engagement Session | For Brides Series | Tips, Tricks + Helpful Hints.

December 7, 2014

I’m super excited about today’s post in our For Brides series–How to Prep for Your Engagement Session!! I have been thinking about + prepping for this post for awhile as we get SO MANY questions about engagement sessions!! Our hope is that this post will help couples better prepare for their engagement session so that they can LOOK + FEEL their absolute best during our time together!!

As we tell all of our couples, the engagement session is one of our favorites to shoot!! It is the time when we FINALLY get to meet our amazing couples in person + show them how much FUN getting your picture taken can actually be!! For real!! They get to see how Caleb + I work together as a photography team (+ how much fun we are to be around ; ) ha!!!), + we get to see what makes our couples tick. How they interact, what makes them laugh, what “poses” + style of shooting is best for THEIR personality as a couple!! But again, most importantly is that we get to meet each other before their wedding day + they can experience how the photography aspect of their day doesn’t have to be something to dread, or just another thing to do, but rather can only enhance + ADD to the wedding day experience!! It is such a fun time for them to have to love on each other for the one or two hours we are together (trust me, by the end they don’t want to stop!! Even those non-PDA-er’s ; ) It’s the best!!)

So today, we are sharing some practical tips on how to “prep” for your engagement session! Most specifically, tips for what to wear, as this is our most asked question!! For those getting ready for their upcoming engagement session, I hope this post helps + blesses you!! ENJOY!!

1. Colors (Bold is good, Coordinating vs. Matching) 

BOLD COLORS are a good thing!! Believe it or not, bright, bold colors like reds, dark oranges, teals, hot pinks, etc., photograph REALLY well + can bring a lot of color + brightness to your photos!!

COORDINATE your outfits, don’t MATCH them. Wearing one similar accent color, or shades in the same color family, is a much better idea than wearing the SAME color!!

2. DO Accessorize!!

Scarves, jewelry, ties, jackets … the camera LOVES these extra pieces!! Think big statement necklaces for the ladies + belts, watches, + layers for the guys!! Accessories can really show off WHO you are–so don’t be afraid to wear things you would consider “your” style!!

When wearing patterns, think the BIGGER the BETTER!! Smaller patterns are hard to see in photographs. Also, if one person is wearing a big, bold pattern with lots of colors, the other person should wear something more neutral.

Some tips for the guys!!

  • Layering is your friend–for example, dress shirt AND sweater, or a layering blazer or jacket
  • Wear clothes that make you feel masculine + that represent your personality
  • Some other personal preferences:
    • Shoes are noticeable!! We recommend a dressy boot or boat-type/loafer shoe. It can really tie an outfit together! Most importantly, your shoes should match the style of the rest of your outfit!!
    • Form fitting vs. baggier clothing–we like the former : )
    • Darker wash jeans seem to photograph the best!!

3. Outfit Styles

We always recommend that couples wear one dressier outfit + one casual outfit. That way, some photos will feel more dressy + sophisticated (dressed to impress!!) while others will feel more casual + relaxed! An important thing to remember is that you both have the same level of “dressy-ness” + “causal-ness” to your outfits!! For example, you wouldn’t want the girl to be wearing a black dress + heels while the guy is wearing a t-shirt + jeans!!

Casual                                                                                         Dressy

Additionally, it is so important to wear clothes that you FEEL good in + LIKE, as well as clothes that are flattering to your body type! I’ll use myself as an example!! So I love the look of high-waisted jeans, as well as rompers with the full pants, however, OH MY they do NOT look good on my body type!! I have thicker legs + hips, + these styles of clothing do not look good on me!! So I would not wear them to my engagement session!! I also am self-conscious about my arms, so I would not wear a tank top or sleeveless shirt!! It’s good to think through things like this for yourself!!

Casual                                                                                            Dressy

4. Dress for the Weather

We cannot stress this one enough!! Dress for the season in which you are taking your engagement photos!! Here in Wisconsin, we have some REALLY cold weather!! If a couple has their session in the winter because they want snow in their photos, we tell them to dress appropriately! Jackets, scarves, hats, mittens!! Not only does it make the photos look better because you are wearing something you would actually wear during that season, but it also makes them look better because you are able to ENJOY each other + not just be thinking about how cold you are the entire time!!

5. Go the Extra Mile!

These final tips regarding your engagement session look are not necessary, however can really be the icing on the cake to your photos + personally, we think are worth going the extra mile!! These tips are for the ladies!!

  • Consider getting your makeup done for your engagement session! This is a great time to work with your makeup artist + test out your makeup look before your wedding day! If you choose to do your own makeup, we suggest wearing more makeup then normal so it shows up better in the photos (the same way performers in shows or on TV wear more makeup than usual!!)
  • We will be taking some close ups of your ring, so if you want, it’s a good time to get your ring cleaned!

6. Don’t Stress!

We PROMISE that this session will be a blast!! So don’t stress : ) Trust us + trust that we know what we are doing to make you look your best!! Be confident–after all, it IS the best accessory!! At the end of the day, we are all drawn in to those big smiles, moments of genuine laughter, gentle kisses, + sweet whispered moments captured on camera anyway!!

Additional posts in our For Brides series:

How to Prep Your Groom for the Wedding Day

Tips for Your Getting Ready Location 

For Brides

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