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Planning Your Engagement Session | 6 Tips for doing it right

Now you're like Taylor.. Why are you telling me about this - I got your prep guide.


Well not everyone who visits here on the blog or my instagram is a client of mine so they don't get all the prep and information that I have already given you. SOOO that being said if you're a client of mine, this is all in the prep guide I send to you.


Pretty much a huge perk to being a client of mine. I love making sure you feel prepared so that when the time comes you know exactly what to expect and you can be prepared!

Its a lengthy little PDF booklet but seriously so damn informational.




1. Choosing the right location


I do not want you getting the idea that the location is the #1 priority. Because if we're being honest.. The location is probably the least most important thing when it comes to planning your session. A good photographer can find you great light in any location.


Light is WAY more important then the scenery. We can have an amazing location with a beautiful background but if the light is not any good - the photo will not be good.


With that being said.. it is nice to have a beautiful location! When you book with me I send out a document with some of my favorite locations for you to chose from. I'm always open to going new places.


When you're thinking about location take a second to think of any where that means something to you.. Where he proposed, where you met, maybe a family farm.

Or somewhere you private access to! Your Uncle works at a country club or Great Aunt has a private creek or pond on the property. A special cherry blossom tree that you always drive by that grabs your attention.

Sometimes your venue will even let you use their property for your engagement session - its a great time to get familiar with the light and locations where you will be having the big day!




2. Read The Style Guide


I provide you with a full style guide with whatever kind of session you book with me. Want to know why?!


Because I say this in the nicest way possible - you don't know what photographs well. You don't know what your photos need to really pop. I'm not telling you don't know how to dress yourself. Obviously you do.


But your engagement photos are a time for you to go all out. Dress up, go the extra mile! I encourage all my couples to make an evening of it! We typically meet an hour before sunset - so we will meet up you're all dressed up looking amazing. I am your personal hype girl for a full hour so I have you feeling amazing with constant compliments. You might as well make it a date night and grab dinner!

With me being located in Frederick I often make recommendations to some lovely restaurants downtown for my couples when they come to visit me!


If you're photographer sends you a style guide or prep guide of any kind be sure to give it a read. They took the time to put it together so YOU can look your best!


Picking statement pieces is so important to giving your shoot an editorial look. Who doesn't want to give their photos that extra kick to be fabulous?!





3. Know when to stop Pinning (get off Pinterest)


Pinterest is your friend.. until it's not.


Pinterest is great for outfit and location inspiration! To piece colors and locations together in your head to get a feel for what exactly it is you're looking for.


BUT....

There is a time when it becomes to much. Your shoot is not supposed to be someone else shoot. You may get an idea for a photo or a pose. Bring it up to me - we can try to recreate it in our own way. Some Pinterest ideas can be to cheesy to where I would no longer recommend it. Or it is not my style and will never see the light of social media - but ultimately I'm here to make you happy.


I'm brutally honest. I prefer little to no props. Large props are great - but don't worry we are going to get into that into further detail below.

You should be trusting your photographer and their style enough where you are not walking them through every single image you want. Let them do their job. If you don't trust them why did you hire them in the first place?


So what I'm trying to say it.. Pinterest is for Inspiration - not for recreation.




4. Use your free resources


FREE?! Who doesn't love that word free..


What kind of free resources are we talking about here Taylor... We're talking about utilizing your creative team for your big day!


Makeup - Typically when you hire a makeup artist for your wedding you get a free makeup trial to plan out the look you want for the wedding day. Your engagement session is the BEST time to utilize that makeup trial. You're already getting dressed up - go full glam. I promise the fake lashes don't look to much. They photograph beautifulllyyyy!


Free locations - like I said before. Sit back and think of any connections you may have with someone who may have access to beautiful property or venue. I've been saying my whole life its all about who you know!


Florals - Now... free florals is a stretch that is something that never comes free. In my prep guides you will see me recommend florals add an editorial touch to any kind of shoot. A bouquet for an engagement session or floral halo. Some fresh greenery. This is totally something you can DIY or hit up your florist and see if they can offer you anything!


Pets - if you're including your pup in your wedding day you might considering hiring a service to help babysit your fur baby. Forever and Fur Always is one of my favorites! They come and take care of your pup during the big day.


If you're including your dog in your engagement session is may be worth it to reach out to them and see what kinds fo tips/tricks they may be able to offer as far as getting your dogs attention for photos.





5. Hiring the right photographer


I'm not here to tell you to hire me. That is not who I am or what I stand for. I want you to find someone who can offer you exactly what you're looking for! That someone may or not be me.


When my couples book with me I am interviewing them just as much as they're interviewing me. I want us to click and share laughs and build trust! I'm here to make connections with each of you - that is what I live for!


Hiring the right photographer can boil down to a bunch of different things. Heres a few of the big ones.

- Style

- Consistency

- Price Point


Stye. I would say my style is light, clean, vibrant. There are so many different styles of photography, styles of editing, do your research and browse to see what kinds of images and style you're drawn to.


Consistency. Hands down the most important part to hiring the right photographer! You found the style that you like. Now you need to do your research - you need to be looking at galleries to see how well the images look consistent throughout their portfolio. Do they all look like they have the same kinds of hues and tones?

You want to make sure that the product you're seeing is the product you will be receiving. Best way to do that is to just thoroughly look through their portfolio.


Price Point. Obviously you don't hire a photographer you can't afford. There is always stretching your budget to fit things you want then there is totally out of budget..

When someone is totally out of budget ASK THEM who they can recommend with a similar style with a lower price point. People in the creative community know not everyone can afford their services and should have no problem making a recommendation.





6. When to use and not use props


Large Props Good - Small Props Bad


okay so not necessarily.. and not trying to hurt your feelings. Pinterest is full of ideas - some of which are amazing and some are straight cheesy. If you bring an idea to me I may be honest with you and tell you its not my style - I might still do it.. but it is just to make you happy.


Big props are great such as..

Cars, Vintage Trucks, Bicycles, Upholstered Chairs, etc


Small props can be more on the cheesy side. If there is something of great importance to you I will never say no. But when using props I want you to take a step back and think - is this clean? is it timeless?


If not.. MOVE ON SISTAAAA.


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