Congrats! You are engaged, did you just pinch yourself?!
Here are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself for a great experience where you are prepared and in the know before you show up.
B E F O R E T H E S E S S I O N
The engagement session day is a great time to have your hair and make up trials done. That way you will feel pampered, and beautiful. If your “wedding look” might be over-doing it, then perhaps opt for having your hair styled at a salon the way you normally wear it, just better. That way you can have that “I just left the salon and I FEEL FABULOUS” look happening during session. Don’t forget to have your nails done too.
Wear outfits that you love and feel comfortable in. If you feel awkward it will show in the photos.
Visit the WHAT TO WEAR page if you need ideas.
I have lots of amazing locations but if there is a spot that is dear to your heart feel free to throw ideas my way! I love when the couple picks the place. I adore when you have a chosen a location that is meaningful.
H A V E F U N W I T H IT
Think of a theme if you want. Set up a scenario for your engagement sessions thats more than just hanging out and looking adorable. Some fun ideas would be a camping out session, going to the beach, at home lifestyle shoots, fairs, canoeing, baking cookies, washing your dog, planning your wedding, favorite coffee shop, bookstore. The possibilities are endless. It is fun when couples really get into the session and make it their own. If that’s more than you want to deal with then I can totally make walking around Eastern Iowa just what you are looking for!
Furry friends coming along too? I LOVE it! I could play fetch all day. If this is something you would like please try to have a friend bring them or pick them up, so we can have time with just the two of you as well.
We all know men dont always like the have their pictures taken (even some of us ladies at times just arent feeling it)! But please keep in mind these are very precious memories and maybe have a pep talk before hand to bring your best attitudes for it! I promise, ill try to have a good time and maybe even make you laugh a little!
What I want you to remember when you think back to your engagement session was that you had fun, the images are natural, and the emotions are true to who you are!
These two were so amazing during their engagement session! When I arrived to Danielle and Erik’s farm I was greeted by sweet kittens (see if you can spot them). I knew right then we were going to have fun. Both working for the school distract and Erik being a coach I knew we would end up on the field.
You’ve had your maternity session, you survived child birth (youre amazing), and now you are ready for your newborn session. You are in the right spot. The following will prepare you for whats next!
I have a little homework for you! Super easy don’t worry!
I am a natural light photographer so it is very important we schedule your session during the brightest time in your home. Shut off all the lights in your home for a day or two and watch the natural light for me. I will be photographing mainly in the master bedroom and nursery. Just keep note the time of day that which is the brightest so we can schedule your session.
Clean up just this once. I don’t mean hire a maid service, but fluff the pillows, make the bed, and put the dishes in the sink. A solid blanket/comforter (or something that isn’t TOO busy is best.) I do highly recommend white to light cream bedding to keep things light and airy. I am more than happy to bring some along if needed! No need to go out and buy all new furniture for our session, but I do want those bright spaces to be the best version of your house.
There will be time for baby to be fed and changed throughout the session. By doing so this gives time for parents to stop and feed or change their child. I want everyone to stay happy and comfortable. Taking 5 minutes for a little break never hurts! Moms tend to stress out because this is a new experience…and aren’t used to the waiting game!
They see their baby being fussy or having a difficult time getting settled and panic.
“This is a disaster! There aren’t going to be any good pictures!”
It isn’t, and I will! I will take the baby’s lead; getting them to sleep before posing takes time and they may need to be fed or cuddled a few times first. In fact, we’d say that a good 50% of your session will involve feeding, diaper changes, and cuddling to get baby comfortable. If that doesn’t work, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what baby is giving us. Sometimes that best photos happen when baby isn’t doing exactly what we want.
Just remember: Babies can sense stress and anxiety (especially from their mommy’s!) It’s super important that EVERYONE remain calm and relaxed during this session. Keeping the environment as mellow as possible is pretty much the only way we’re going to get the shots we’re looking for.
CRANK THE HEAT! Crank the heat 30 minutes before our session to ensure that it’s warm enough in time. We may be sweating, but baby will be nice and warm…and that’s really all that matters!
Bonus points if you’re willing to make a few back and forth trips to the dryer to keep baby’s blankets warm! They love that!
A well fed baby is a happy baby! Please feed and burp baby right before our session to ensure a happy, sleepy (“milk drunk”) baby. We’ll also be more than happy to take as many breaks as needed to help him/her re-fuel. It’s tough work being a model!
In the first 10-14 days the babies are most sleepy and can easily handle noise and movement. Although during my lifestyle shoots I don’t mind if they wake up and show their eyes for a few! Newborn sessions can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. It all depends on baby’s mood and willingness to sleep. Unfortunately…this isn’t something we can predict! We ask that everyone remain calm, should he/she not want to sleep, since your baby will pick up on any frustration in the room. And if sleep doesn’t happen, that’s okay! Wide-eyed newborn photos are beautiful too.
Hope this helps as you plan for your baby’s photo session! These first family pictures are so special and sentimental. They will surely be a treasure for generations.
If you haven’t booked your newborn session yet, now is a great time to do so… newborn and maternity sessions are limited availability.
E N G A G E M E N T S E S S I O N
Get ready, i’m going to prepare you for an awesome photo shoot!
So many clothes and don’t know what to pick!? Here are some pointers in your decision making.
Reflect Who You Are :
Picking clothes that reflect who you are key. Your engagement session is all about who you are as a couple and I want to show that. Be as comfortable in your clothes as you can. We all have that certain dress that we know looks great on us or even certain colors. Be confident, you’re beautiful!
Complementary Colors :
Clothes that complement each other are a how stopper. Try to stay away from busy patterns such as you BOTH wearing plaid. Plan it out and even try them on together at least once before the day of engagement session.
Matchy Matchy :
Too much matching looks blended in the images. Try to add a pop of color and fun! Colors that look great complemented together are pink and white, blue and yellow without over doing it. You can always keep it simple with a classy dress and some beautiful neutrals. And the best thing about neutrals is they don’t have to match!
Layers, layers, and more layers!
Did I mention I love layers? Tights with a dress, cardigan, and a chunky knitted sweater for example makes for an adorable outfit for fall. And throw a vest on your soon to be husband if that’s his style or a sweater over a button up. Whatever it is remember to be comfortable and have it reflect who you are. Keep the weather in mind and dress accordingly, layers come in handy for this too! Consider the location for your outfits as well. If you want an urban feel then wear that little black dress and some amazing heels. If we are doing a camping scenario grab those layers and boots! If we are headed to the beach then maybe a pop of color would be nice to go with your neutrals.
Wrinkles : They are total nightmare when it comes to editing so please if you iron or steam, do it the night before and then hang the clothes for your shoot. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily, don’t wear it in the car on the way to the shoot. You can change at the location.
Logos : Try to stay away from any logos or large print on your tee shirts. They tend to be very distracting in the images.
Your engagement session will be like a practice round with your wedding photographer before the big day! So hopefully these tips helped. And remember to be yourself, enjoy the moment and get some beautiful images.
Playful session in the park. These outfits have great colors that compliment each other without overdoing it. And her layering of the vest adds a perfect amount of interest.
On the farm life style session. Green and blue are in the same family and look great with her neutral top. The red dress brings a pop of color on a clean and simple backdrop.
Here is an urban engagement where she wore a gorgeous dress and heels and he is wearing colors that compliment and show off personality.