For an outdoor session: In order to have the dreamiest, onelove-style lighting at your shoot, then timing is everything:
On a sunny day we generally begin shooting 2 hours before sunset.
On a cloudy day, do not fear! Lighting is actually soft and beautiful, but we do need to start earlier (appx 3 hours before sunset).
These sessions are often the first time you or your other half have ever taken professional photographs. It can be nerve-racking! Not to worry – as a professional photographer, we have many go-to’s to help make any newbie-model couple feel AMAZING in front of the camera!
The location of your shoot should set the stage for your look. You can create one cohesive story by tieing together the background with your outfit selections and any (optional) props. Consider pairing a chic evening look strolling through the streets of an urban downtown. Or, a cozy knit sweatshirt and jeans wrapped up with your love in a blanket in the outdoors. Here are a few more ideas to get you started:
– Romantic fields
– Orange orchards
– Urban downtown chic
– Your favorite bar/foodie hangout
– Playful/Amusement Park
– Dramatic forests
– Planes, trains and automobiles! Not to mention, an adorable row/sailboat!
– The desert
– Ice cream shop/Candy shops
– Drive-thru movie
– “Themed” after favorite movie, show, or era
– Snowy cabin area or snowboarding/skiing area (Snowflakes and snow angels!?)
Keep in mind that some locations require permits to photograph at. Double check in advance! Consider the seasons and how they affect the look of your location. (For example: an open field in February will be green and lush, however in June it will be golden brown.) Be prepared for changing weather and be clear with your photographer on how you feel about shooting in the rain, so they can gameplan with you in that circumstance. We LOVE shooting in the rain! If you are game, it can make for some of the most romantic and sexy images!
If you have a part of your body you like, consider showing it off! If that’s a nice booty, wear a tight pencil skirt. Or make your gorgeous locks the centerpiece if you have a long, flowing mane. Play around with a shorter hemline and keep your leg line even longer with nude pumps.
Accents photograph amazingly. Here are some ideas:
(New shoes can do wonders for your man too. An updated shape, like a loafer, looks perfect. )
Give a nod to your bridal look and the big day approaching, by donning something white and romantic. It can be one of several looks for the shoot!
Find a way to coordinate without looking too “matchy”. While you don’t want to look like twins, you do want the look to feel balanced. One thing to remember is you don’t have to wear the same exact color. The same color family would work well too (example: bold purple and light purple). Style-wise, make sure you both match the overall “feel” of your look. (i,e, If she wears a dress, then dress him up a little too.)
If you have an area you want to avoid drawing attention to, let your photographer know, we have all sorts of tricks and angles to make you look your best. In the end, put in the effort, and dress accordingly, but love YOUR body. It’s fun to go fashion-forward, but it’s just as awesome to wear pieces that feel authentically like you. If you feel like yourself, you’ll look more natural on camera, too.
It’s generally recommended to bring several different outfits so that you can change for a different location. Most couples typically bring 2-3 outfits depending on the locations and how much time we have. They almost always end up doing at least 1 outfit change. Guys don’t always change their whole outfit, instead they might change only their shirt.
If you are planning to shoot in a rugged terrain (loose soil, gravel, hiking involved) or a place where you’ll be lifted or carried, think about how your body will look and feel there. You won’t want to be wearing a miniskirt if your partner scoops you up in the air. You want to feel comfortable, too. If boots and jeans are more “you”, stick with what works. If you want to wear heels in a rugged area, bring a pair of sandals or shoes to walk in.
Billowy tops and dresses, or anything hanging off your body in too many places can look messy, or make your body look bigger than it is. Consider an outfit that is form-fitting in the best places, and flows only as an accent.
From the right angles and in the right weather, a flowy skirt paired with a form-fitting top. Here’s an idea: work the asymmetrical hemline of your dress with a photo of you and your fiancé walking.
Remember that a shot from behind can be just as stunning as one from the front, especially when you have details to show off.
Strip down to your birthday suits! Head to the nearest pool or even a river and sit back and enjoy the sun. Maybe your feet in the sand with a beer in hand….super fun pool toys…. an elegant river shoot in nature…
We have known many a couple to toss back a few before a shoot in order to relax. Of course considering safe driving, we definitely do not discourage having a drink before or during the shoot if it makes you feel more comfortable (poppin’ some bubbly does photograph well!) 😉
The single biggest snag we run into at photo sessions is a couple running late, and feeling super stressed about it (not to mention the arguments in the car on the way there about who made who late). It can make it hard to feel relaxed and lovey-dovey in photos the moment you arrive. Plan to have your hair and makeup done at least an HOUR before you plan to leave. And plan extra time for traffic, to arrive early even!
Most importantly: Be comfortable and have fun with it! You will have a much better time which will make for better photos.
Since many couples aren’t used to being professionally photographed, an accessory or prop of some kind can help you feel a little more styled and warm you up
If you’re going to incorporate props, make sure it has meaning! Your props should accessorize you and not distract from you. Your choice of location and the props should all make one cohesive story of you.
Don’t limit yourself to jewelry! Try some of these ideas below:
– A Pet (Tip: Bring a friend to help handle them when you are shooting, unless they are very well behaved)
– Your family! If you have children, consider bringing them for part of your session. Then, you can focus on just the two of you after!
– Floral hair wreaths
– Bunting banners (signs spelling words)
– A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” sign on a poster-board for personalized thank you and save the date cards. Remember: it’s always great to get your photos out there for everyone to see!
– A vintage car (shiny and restored, or old and beat-up – this is one of THE best photographable props)
– Instruments you play
– Fake geeky glasses
– A colorful umbrella
– Polaroid camera
– Quilt and picnic supplies
– Cute Hats/Floppy hats
– Your favorite cool couch or chair (Yeah, we can tote around some furniture for your awesome session)
– Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you.
Balloons are SO much fun, but they can be a headache if you are not careful! If you are photographing at a windy location, consider the battle to hold onto them and if they will stay upright in your photos.
Looking for a place to buy an adorable balloon or two?
Check out these places:
– Santa Monica: http://www.ballooncelebrations.squarespace.com/
– Etsy (Buy a balloon, fill it yourself): https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioMucci?section_id=12164376&ref=shopsection_leftnav_3
– Letter Balloons http://www.balloonsfast.com/letter-balloons.html
– Hearts and Shapes Balloons http://www.balloonsfast.com/solid-color-shapes.html
This is a great time to have a “trial” with your wedding day makeup artist. Plus, it’s true that a little more dramatic makeup and hair is often needed in photographs (mascara/eyeliner/lashes as well as lipstick/blush).
Occasionally we have a bride who calls us before or after her shoot, worried that the makeup was too dramatic for her normal taste, unsure of how it will look in photographs. Nearly every time, it actually photographs PERFECTLY when you kick the beauty enhancements up a notch!
It’s not a bad idea to get a manicure, too. Your new bling will be the star in these pictures!
Have FUN! Being engaged is an incredibly fun and short period of the entirety of your (future married) lives together. Focus on being yourself. Don’t try and be someone else’s Pinterest board. Dress up, but not so much that you feel uncomfortable. Hang out and interact with each other the way you normally do. Actually, we want you to focus on each other SO MUCH MORE than you may normally do! Fix your eyes on your love, and focus on all the reasons why you adore them, and try to forget the camera. Goof around, make silly faces, play and laugh! Be you!
Options, Options, Options! It’s generally recommended to bring several different outfits so that you can change for a different location. Our couples typically bring 2-3 outfits depending on the locations and how much time we have. They almost always end up doing at least 1 outfit change. Guys don’t always change their whole outfit, instead they might change only their shirt.