Shaleena Danielle

Genuine Emotions; pure feelings; happy memories

Emotional  Fine   Photography

My Top 10 Suggestions for a Successful Engagement Session

An engagement session is a couple’s portrait photography session celebrating and announcing this very special time in your life! Typically, engagement sessions are casual and give us a chance to get to know one another without all the pressure of the wedding day. They usually take about 1-2 hours and can be a lot of fun! Where we shoot is entirely up to you. Sometimes couples choose locations where he proposed, others a favorite town or outdoor spot. If you can’t decide, I’ll pick a spot based on the look and feel you want. Since the engagement session will be your first time in front of my camera, I want to help you feel relaxed and as prepared as possible. As a result, I’ve created this little guide to help you get ready for our time together. It includes answers to my clients’ top 10 most frequently asked questions about their engagement sessions and will hopefully give you an overview of what to expect! I’m always here to help with recommendations or ideas if you need them, too.

1. Comfort is Key!

While shopping for a brand new outfit is something fun and an exciting thing my clients love to do for their engagement sessions, I always emphasize how important it is for their outfits to be
comfortable. If you do decide to get everything brand new (and really, who can blame you!? We all love new things!), make sure you wear it at least once before your shoot to make sure it fits and feels great.
This is especially important for things like shoes, which can cause all kinds of problems if they aren’t broken in properly, especially considering many of the locations we go to are rough and rocky, or are involving long walks! I would usually recommend bringing along a second pair of shoes that are comfortable and stable, like sneakers.

2. Two is Always Better Than One

Want to try out a couple looks? Great! I encourage my clients to bring two outfits to their engagement session. Before we begin, I’ll ask you to show me both outfits so I can help plan which one would go best with which backdrops, or terrain, and make a “game plan.” We’ll pause halfway through the session to give you time to change.

3. Prepare The Day Before

Take some time the day before your shoot to get everything together, cleaned, ironed, and steamed! Make sure your accessories are in one place, any wrinkles in your clothing are history, and any stains / spots are busted well before the shoot. Make sure that any props, blankets, books, etc. are where you can find them. I’ll remind you that your session is coming up a few days beforehand, so you’ll have plenty of time and no excuses not to be well prepared. Being relaxed before your session is key to beautiful, natural images, so if you are anything like me, preparation is crucial!

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Pampered Beforehand!

Ladies, this is a big one! I always tell my clients to think very seriously about having hair and makeup professionally styled for their engagement photos. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for you. Hiring a professional will ensure you look your absolute best on camera, and if you need a recommendation I have a few stylists and artists that would gladly pamper you for your engagement session!

5. Wear Outfits That Complement Each Other

I recommend that my couples wear outfits which complement each other rather than match. What does that mean? Well, try not to wear the exact same colors (you aren’t twins!), but do pick colors that go well together. Match each other’s outfit in terms of formality rather than literal colors and patterns. If one person is wearing a bright, bold pattern, it might be a good idea for the other to wear something a little more toned down and neutral! Need help? That’s what I’m here for! Never be afraid to send me photos or ask for suggestions! I can help with whatever you need, right down to the shade of nail-polish you wear. I have even sent my clients photos of outfits that I have found at different stores to help with ideas, or even an easy option to try on and buy for your session. I have your back through it all.

6. Patterns are EVERYTHING

Big, bold patterns (like florals, checkers, or polka-dots) are a no-fail way to ensure your clothing looks amazing on camera. For patterns, the bigger the better, the smaller patterns wont always be noticed on camera, so keep that in mind when choosing your outfit!

7. Accessorize!

Accessorizing is fun, looks amazing on camera, and highly encouraged. Ladies – go for it! Hats, belts, scarves, necklaces, hair scarves, earrings, rings – bring it on! For the guys, try to avoid technology accessories (I can’t tell you how many times a smart watch has ruined a beautiful image) but don’t be afraid to try some fun socks or fun shoes. Guys! Always make sure your phone is not always in your pockets! It’s a pain to try to edit a bulky phone out of your pockets!

8. Long & Flowy = Romantic!

Ladies – if you’re looking for a dreamy, romantic look in your images, I highly suggest choosing an outfit that’s long and flowy. Look for long, romantic dresses or flowy skirts in gauzy fabric that catch the breeze and the light. Heels and delicate, sparkling jewelry add a perfect, finishing touch!

9. Just Be YOU!

Everyone has their own unique style, and it’s OK to choose an outfit that expresses who you are! You don’t have to try to look a certain way or match what your friends did for their engagement sessions or what you’ve seen on Pinterest. Just be yourself!

10. Relax!

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet so many of my clients get worried about whether they need to know how to pose, look natural, find the right backdrop, turn into the light a certain way. Well I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again, RELAX! Those things are all my job! All you have to do is show up looking fabulous, and I’ll take care of the rest. Comfort and natural poses and emotions are what I’m good at! Ask anyone! Promise I won’t let you down!

Well! That’s all I got for today! Per usual, I shall end my post with a GIF!

Bye Ya’ll

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wedding and portrait photography

portland oregon