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Congratulations! You’re engaged! Time to tell all your friends and family… find a venue… photographer… dress… pick bridal party… juggle families… pick colors…. food vendors… chairs… tablecloths… flowers… vows… the list goes on and on. Sometimes we get so busy planning our wedding, we forget to just enjoy this phase of our lives. Cue an engagement session! It can be a great way to escape the grind of wedding planning and everyday life. Your only task during an engagement photo shoot is to block out the world and focus on each other.

That being said, figuring out what to do for engagement sessions can be surprisingly difficult and feel like one more thing you have to do. Where should we take pictures? What time of day should we do it? What should I wear? Hopefully this article helps give some ideas, direction, and overall makes the process feel a little less daunting :)

WHERE

Is there somewhere that is special to you or your family? What activities do you enjoy doing together? If you love being outdoors, let’s throw on some boots and start exploring! If you hate hiking, standing on a mountain top may not be the best plan if you are going to be miserable on your way up there. Big one: how comfortable are you with PDA? Engagement sessions can get cuddly, so if hugging and holding hands in public isn’t your jam, let’s make sure we don’t chose Pike Place Market. It doesn’t have to be in a public place. At home sessions (cooking, watching a movie, pillow fights…) are definitely a great option too! (WARNING! If your session is near water and it is above 70 degrees outside, I (Brittany) will probably make you get in it. #sorrynotsorry)

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WHEN

Firstly, what works with your work schedules? That definitely plays a big role. Most people work 8am-5pm or so, and aren’t able to take off work. In the winter, sunset can be as early as 4pm, which makes doing photos after work difficult. We are usually shooting weddings on Saturdays, but Sunday could be a good option that fits all of our schedules. Secondly, what kind of light do you want? Light conditions really set the mood of most images. On sunny days, the best light happens around sunrise and sunset. Light in between those times can cause images to look harsh, and you’ll be choosing between having the sun in your eyes or having shadows on your faces. Granted, this can be mitigated if there are patches of shade nearby. On cloudy, rainy, and snowy days, the light is diffused so pretty much any time of day can work. If you tell us your availability and the time of year you want your session, and we can figure it out :)

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WEATHER

Ok… we’ve picked a place, a date, and a time. We may have been hoping for an October sunset surrounded by fall colors and falling leaves, but we live in the magnificent Pacific Northwest. Mountain ranges. Waterfalls. Puget Sound. Part of what makes it so beautiful here is the amount of precipitation we get. Which can be a lot. And often. I encourage you, both with your engagement session and future wedding, to embrace the weather. Feel the wind in your hair. The rain on your skin. Enjoy the experience. I wish I would have worried less about my mascara and just taken more time to be present. So, please let me live vicariously through you :)

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STYLING

Truthfully, there is no magic recipe for choosing outfits. We are different sizes with varying skin tones with unique personalities. There are so many options… what colors will look best? What fit is the most flattering? The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable in your outfit. If you can’t breathe or bend over (spanks), or walk because you are in uncomfortable shoes, it is going to be obvious in your photos. If your session is in the woods, avoid greens and browns unless you want to blend in. Jewel tones tend to stand out (maroon, burgundy, dark blue). If in the city, stay away from gray, and embrace more vibrant colors like a true red or green. e generally advise to avoid neon colors because they reflect onto your face, unless neon is a very specific theme you want.

More importantly, what parts of yourself do you love? Your eyes? Smile? Hair? Play those things up! Maybe add some eyelash extensions… Get your hair done at a salon… or simply let me know so we can frame your images and give direction that accentuates the features you like most. Easy, right?

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With all that in mind… here are a few links to outfits, blogs, ideas, to help us create the portraits you’ve dreamed of :)

Hair & Makeup Artists (HMUA)

LASHES!

Flowy skirts that billow in the wind (warning, they run small!)

Fancy dress

Floral dress

How to match with your partner