Hi, I'm Rachael
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Since engagement session season is right around the corner and the temperatures are warming up here in Ohio, I figured this post would be super helpful for all the girls with some new bling on their finger!

Did you know? Engagement sessions are actually the most important part of your wedding photography experience. It allows you to have intentional time for you and your photographer to really get to know each other! AND it allows both of you to get familiar with the way that they work! (for more on this, see this blog post!)

The thing is, preparing for any time of photo session can be a little intimidating! Your mind can fill with questions like: “what do we wear?” “should I get makeup done?” “my groom doesn’t like photos, what do I do?” “what am I going to do with my hands?”. The list goes on!

But! I want to help you calm those fears and be able to step into your photo session with full confidence! So, I’ve put together a 6 step prep plan to ensure that your engagement session goes off without a hitch and you get the photos you’ve always dreamed of! You ready?

1. HAIR & MAKEUP : Splurge a little! If you were considering getting your hair and makeup done, this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself! You’ll have these images for a long while and so investing in professional hair and makeup can be an extra fun way to celebrate the occasion! And it can add to your confidence during your shoot! Tip: Go for the false lashes! Makeup doesn’t appear nearly as dramatic in photos as it does in person! Your typical, everyday makeup can look like none at all in professional photos! So, getting false lashes will make the most impact in your portraits and ensure that your eyes pop in all your photos! Another tip: I’ve had a few brides schedule their hair and makeup trial for their wedding right before their engagement photos! Of course, you may not want it to be completely the same, but it allows you to get a feel for what you’ll look like on your wedding & how it will appear in photos!

2. LOCATIONS : I always have my couples consider choosing locations that are unique to their relationship or have some sort of sentimental value! Maybe you’re favorite date involves hitting up a local coffee spot? Let’s go there! Or maybe you’re more the nature and adventure type of people? Let’s plan on going to a park that provides some stunning views to capture that adventure feel! OR maybe you’re the kind of people that love to go out on the town and the city/urban vibe is much more up your alley! Then, we can totally explore the city and capture all that! And if you’re the type of couple that loves recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask! I’ve always got an arsenal of locations that I use to create some great photos!

3. CLEAN YOUR RING! : At your session, you get the chance to show off your ring PLENTY of times throughout portrait time! But! Your ring will get a chance to shine in the spotlight because I typically whisk it away for a few solo shots while y’all are changing into your second outfit option! This means that this would be a perfect opportunity to have your ring cleaned so that it’s clear of dirt and other build up that may be visible through a macro lens!

4. CHOOSING OUTFITS : I actually wrote an ENTIRE blog post just on this topic! But, I’ll summarize it here for you. My best advice when selecting outfits for your session is to go for things that match your style and you feel comfortable in. Especially for the ladies! If you choose an outfit you don’t 100% love and feel a little self conscious, then that will show in your photos. The next thing I’d say is to coordinate rather than try to match. Pick colors and patterns that pair well together, you don’t have to find him a shirt with the exact same shade of teal that’s in your floral dress. Maybe choose something more neutral like a cream or a light gray to pair with your louder, patterned dress. For more on this, here’s that blog post!

5. HAVE A PREVIEW PARTY : Grooms aren’t always on board with engagement photos and most times it’s because they don’t know what they’re getting into! Not all guys are quick to love photos like girls, and that’s alright! It’s my job to win them over to our side during the engagement session and it usually doesn’t take too long! But! There is something you can do to give them an idea of what an engagement session is really like! I’ve found it super helpful for brides to have a little preview party with their groom before their engagement session. Take ten minutes and sit down together to scroll through 2-3 of your favorite engagement sessions on my blog or Pinterest. This will allow your groom to be prepared for what he is about to experience!

6. TAKE A DEEP BREATH! : It’s normal to be nervous. 90% of my couples have never stepped in front of a camera to model before! I always joke before we begin that the BEST models are the ones that have never done it before! Why? Because you’re starting with a clean slate! You have no expectations! And once I’ve taught you the posing system and you’ve gotten past the first awkward 15 minutes, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to ROCK IT! So! Be encouraged! Get excited! And don’t sweat the small stuff and let your nerves get the best of you! Your engagement session is practice for your wedding day, so there’s NO WAY to mess it up!


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