Engagement Photography Session Preparation

Think of your engagement session as a fun date.
You dress up a little. You have some fun. You show off your personality. Don’t even think about the camera. That’s my job. I’ll give you some light direction and prompting, but mostly I’ll be capturing real moments and your authentic emotions.

Dress to impress.
Start with simple, classic style. Sure, a plain white T-shirt and jeans never goes out of style, but you can quickly kick it up a notch with a freshly pressed button down or blouse. Go even further with a nice suit (or tux!) and beautiful maxi dress to add a real touch of class. Wear something you feel great in, but don’t be afraid to look amazing! 

There’s nothing worse than regretting not looking and feeling your best. When you see both sets of photos in your wedding album, you’ll feel confident that everything flows together. A little extra effort goes a long way.

Timeless, not trendy.
Wear classic pieces that stand the test of time. You don’t want to look trendy today and gaze back in disbelief when you look at your album 10 or 20 years from now. From your clothes to your accessories, choose classic cuts and simple pieces. Long neck lines are always in style and always flattering (think: V-necks instead of crew necks). If you’re not fashionable, take your cues from the fashion ads in the latest issues of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Fashion, Sharp, and GQ. Keep an eye out for classic looks that are timeless and avoid styles that are too trendy.

Coordinate your wardrobe.
It’s always great if your outfits echo each other, but don’t go so far as to look the same. You don't want to be mistaken for twins. Look for common elements, such as style, colour palette, fabrics, and textures. Coordinating your wardrobe is one of the key ingredients for a successful engagement shoot.

With accessories, it’s easy to overdo it. Keep it minimal. Think about how it might look. Heels are a nice touch, but keep the big flashy earrings at home. Instead, put in a pair of beautiful pearl studs. A simple necklace or bracelet can add sophistication. 

A classy timepiece looks great on a guy, but an Apple Watch, as cool as it may be, just looks like a highly-reflective black square on your wrist. When thinking about ties, it’s nice to bring a couple of options (colours, neck vs. bow) and we’ll decide on one for the shoot. I have an extensive background in fashion photography, gents, so don’t stress about it. I’m here to help.

Dress for the setting.
Dress for the location and season. What you wear during a late fall session on a hillside hike will be very different from what you wear during a summer session at the beach, or a winter session in the city.

Show off your personality.
Despite all of the advice I’ve outlined above. Do NOT be afraid to wear something that defines you, that says something about who you are. Have a red leather jacket that you love? Include it in your wardrobe. Got a favourite pair of Chrome Hearts shades? Show them off. Feel free to add some whimsy or a flat-brimmed fitted if that’s your style.

Includes elements of your life.
Cars and motorcycles are great elements to include in your shoot. If you love riding vintage motorcycles, wear your Red Wing Iron Rangers and moto jacket or, even better, bring your bike (whether permitting, of course). Love to sail or canoe? Think about incorporating your boat into your shoot. Have a dog that is a constant third wheel in your relationship? Bring her along!

Pamper yourself before the shoot.
Visit your hair and makeup artist. I recommend scheduling your bridal hair and makeup test during the day before your engagement session. Alternatively, I can recommend an amazing artist for you who knows exactly how to make you look and feel beautiful. Avoid the smokey eyes and keep it light and natural.

Guys, schedule an appointment with your barber the morning of the shoot (or the day before if it’s an early shoot). Want to be clean shaven? Treat yourself to straight-razor shave and hot towel. Have a great beard? Clean up the edges. Love your stubble? Time your trim so it looks perfect on the day of the shoot. 

These are an extra expense but that little bit of effort goes a long way to making your memories look and feel amazing better for decades to come.

Treat yourself after your session.
We started off thinking about this as a fun date. So cap off your day by heading to a great restaurant and having a real date to unwind from your busy day.

If you have any questions, please call or email me, and I'll be glad to help.