Most couples have a lot of questions about their engagement session, so I thought I’d take the time to answer a few of them here. I hope this helps you plan your session and get excited about it!
Q. What should we wear?
A. The simplest answer is to wear whatever you like! These are your photos, and you should feel comfortable in them, and you should be happy with what you’re wearing. Having said that, I do have a few basic tips:
- Wear the same style of clothing, not matchy-matchy, but be on the same page. If you’re dressed to the nines, and your fiancé is dressed super casual, that tends to look like you should be in two different photo sessions.
- If one person chooses to wear something with a busy pattern, the other person should go with something more basic. Combining different patterns can be distracting.
- Try not to clash the colors too much. (E.g.: If you’re wearing light or pastel colors, your fiancé should stay away from really bold colors.)
These two did a great job of planning their outfits. They stuck with their personal styles which I think made them more comfortable. He’s wearing checks, so she’s wearing solids. They didn’t do any color clashing. Beautiful!
Q. What about hair and makeup?
A. My sessions do not include professional hair and makeup. If you are interested, I can definitely recommend great hair and makeup artists. Another thing you can do is have your wedding hair and makeup trial run on the day of your engagement session (just ask them to tone it down, or vary it slightly from how it will look on your actual wedding day).
Whether you choose to have a pro do your hair and makeup, or you choose to do it yourself, my advice is to stick with a look that you feel comfortable with. If you go all out, and try something that’s totally new to you, you may end up feeling self-conscious during your photo session, and that would take away from the experience.
Q. Where should we have our session?
A. If there’s a special place that the two of you spend a lot of time, we could go there! If you have a favorite park or cafe in your neighborhood, it could be a great starting point. If you like going for walks by the lakeshore, we could do that. If you want me to take pictures of you in your first apartment or home together, I can do that too!
If you’d rather not pick a place, I am happy to suggest beautiful locations that I think would complement your style.
For sessions outside of the city of Chicago a travel fee may apply.
These two are big on sweets and treats, so they had their session at Molly’s Cupcakes, in Lincoln Park. They also did an amazing job with their outfits; they’re both in springy, pastel colors, which even serendipitously matched the cupcakes.
Q. How long is an engagement session?
A. Engagement sessions are usually between 1 and 2 hours long. If you would just like me to photograph you in one single location, with minimal wandering around, then an hour will certainly be enough. If you would like to start at one place and walk or drive to another location nearby, I recommend 2 hours. If you would like to have an outfit change, your session should be 2 hours.
Q. How much is an engagement session, and what do I get?
A. My 2015 rate, for all sessions and photography work, is $300 per hour (some discounts are available, inquire for details). You get beautifully edited digital images for print and web use, and a private online viewing and shopping gallery. Art prints, canvases, albums, photo books, invitations and other artwork can be ordered from your shopping cart. If you would like to put together a package in advance of your session, let me know and we can discuss.
Q. What kind of posing do you do?
A. I like to give couples space to be themselves — to play around, or make each other laugh, to kiss if they feel like kissing. I may see a great location, with wonderful lighting, and shift the session to that area. I usually do some natural looking, light posing, and offer suggestions, so that you feel confident, and don’t have to wonder what you should be doing. But, in general, I want you to just be yourselves and have fun!
Q. What time of day should we have our session?
A. I am able to work in all kinds of lighting conditions/times of day, but in general, if you’re having an outdoor engagement session, it’s best to schedule it for mid to late afternoon, when the light is not so harsh.
Q. What should we bring?
A. Pack light if you can, so you don’t have a big bag to lug and keep an eye on. Bring basic makeup, for touchups. Lipstick or gloss is the most important since it gets easily kissed away. 🙂 If you’re wearing your hair up, bring hair pins, incase the wind leaves you all wispy (this is Chicago, after all). If you plan to walk to different locations, but you’re set on wearing super high heels in your photos, make sure you bring a second pair of shoes you can walk in, and that you can easily slip on and off. Dress for the weather. You’ll look much happier and more comfortable if you’re not on the brink of frost bite.
Q. Do we need props?
A. Nope. But you can certainly still bring them! Want my honest opinion? You are unique. Your relationship is unique. If you would like to bring props for your session, I suggest bringing something personal. Maybe a meaningful memento from one of your first dates, or something that you feel helps define your relationship.
Every relationship has special little items that are worth taking pictures of and, in the long run, those little things will tell your story much better than a generic prop that you could buy.
Did I leave anything out? If you have more questions, contact me, and I will happily answer them if I can!