9.13.2007

How to get the best Engagement Photos possible!

Well the weather is cooling down (finally!) after a horribly hot August. So that means that we will be getting a ton of calls for engagement sessions from our clients. In fact, we will even be getting a lot of calls from couples who couldn't hire us to photograph their wedding due to us already being booked, but they will want us to make really cool engagement photos for them. Always a compliment :-)

I want to talk about what you can do to get the best engagement photos possible. First off though, let's talk about "what is an engagement photo session?"

You're young and you're in love. You want cool professional pictures of yourself to show off to your friends, family, for your home, and your MySpace page. Also, most of your local newspapers run engagement announcements. You can use these photos to submit to newspapers (we will submit them for free for our wedding couples). The point of these pictures are: two people in love. It's that simple. This is not like when you were a kid and you get dress up in a suit and tie (guys) or a fancy dress (girls) and sit in a studio, look at the camera, and say "cheese." Times have changed!

There are several things that can make or break your engagement photo shoot. These include:

- Hair
- Makeup
- Clothing

Lets tackle these factors one by one.

Hair: Get your hair styled at a salon right before your shoot. Again, we're talking about how to get the BEST possible photos. You can get decent pictures coming right from work to your photos, but you won't get "Wow!" photos without your hair being styled. Think about a model being photographed; they wouldn't ever show up to a shoot and go right to the pictures without a hair and makeup person working on them. So get your hair styled. Don't do a formal "up-do." Wear it down, wear it big, wear it sexy. Let your stylist know the styling is for a photo shoot, and be sure they style your hair in a way it is back from your face so that we can see your face in the pictures. It will cost a little to get your hair styled, but it will pay off huge in your photos! There are several great salons in Fayetteville. Try Metropolis, Pink Papaya, or Shag.

Makeup: This is the deal breaker for great photos. A lot of you don't normally wear makeup and that's cool, but not for photos. We require makeup for any photo shoot we do. Without makeup, you will look lifeless and dull. If flash is used, it will wash you out and create shine. Shiny faces in pictures is a makeup problem, not a photography problem! Have your makeup applied professionally. Talk to Juliette at Luxe in Fayetteville or Rogers. She uses NARS, Kevin Aucoin, and other pro lines. Also, don't forget about the MAC makeup counter in Dillard's. They offer free makeup application with an appointment. It doesn't get any better than that. MAC makeup is used in professional fashion photo shoots all over the world. Just let them know that the makeup application is for a "modern, creative, photo shoot" and their makeup artists will know what to do. Bring lipgloss and makeup to touch up with. You should walk away from the makeup artist feeling like you have WAY too much makeup on. This is required for a photo shoot. If you leave there feeling comfortable in your makeup, you are not wearing enough. Trust your makeup artist and your photographer. They do this for a living!

Clothing (What Not To Wear!):
This is the big one. Even with the best hair style and makeup possible, clothing will really make or break your pictures. You don't won't to dress like your going to Church. Our engagement photos are fun, fast, and you will be moving around a lot. You won't be sitting still much! You need to dress comfortably enough to be able to move around. Leave the formal clothes at home. Our engagement pictures are not formal or traditional by any means! Avoid bold stripes or clothing with writing on it. We want the emphasis of the pictures to be your faces, not your fashion. However, stylish and non-distracting clothes lead to wonderful engagement photos. This is a great opportunity to go and buy a new outfit! Take it!

Here's the list of what to wear and what not to wear:

GIRL'S - DO'S
Dark, solid shirts and tops
Your favorite blue jeans
Small amount of accessories
Cute/sexy shoes!

GIRL'S - DON'TS
Avoid white clothing (it washs everyone out)
No Turtlenecks (they take away the appearance of a neck in pictures)
No Sleeveless shirts (they can make arms look bigger in pictures than in real life)
Anything too formal looking (think "modern and contemporary"

GUY'S - DO'S
Dark colors, button down shirts (nothing brighter than your skin tone)
Your favorite jeans

GUY'S - DON'TS
No white clothing (it washes you out)
No watches (they distract in pictures)
Nothing in pockets (car keys, cell phone, etc. - you can leave these with photographer)
No suits, Ties, anything too formal (you're not having studio portraits made at Sears)
No shorts (man legs look funny in pictures)
No sneakers and white socks (dress stylin!)

Location, Location, Location:
A cool location adds to the interest of the photos. Most of our shots will be close-up, so the background is not that big of a deal. We shoot engagement photos outdoors, because it gives us many more choices than a studio backdrop does. We know every nook and cranny of Fayetteville, so don't worry about locations. You are welcome to tell us whether you like rustic or urban, and we will go from there.

If you've booked your wedding photography with us, then we have given you a complimentary engagement session with your package. This is good for an outdoor location in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If you desire to have your engagement photos made in a city other than Fayetteville, please contact us for a travel fee quote.

Before your shoot, look over our portfolio of engagement photos to get some ideas of how we shoot. Don't be stressed out about your engagement photos. We will make it fun and relaxing. We've been doing this ten years and have learned a lot about this along the way! Be prepared to laugh, kiss, hug, cuddle (with each other, not with us). Don't be embarrasses, be in love!!! If you've had a bad day, reschedule!

Here are some engagement photos from a great couple, Emily and Chris. They were dressed great, styled great, and were not afraid to show their affection for one another and we were able to make some great photos of them!





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