Tips

Engagement Session 101

Engagement Session 101  

Getting ready for “I do” with your engagement pictures

Engagement Session 101 blog board.jpg

 

For many couples, the exhilaration of wedding planning begins the moment he pops the question. Now that you’ve said yes, it’s time to capture the passion and excitement of this special time with an engagement session!

Engagement sessions are a great way to help couples get used to being in front of the camera, and comfortable around us. That way on your wedding day, you’ll feel relaxed and carefree—and isn’t that the way it should be?

And, of course, engagement sessions are great for getting photos for your save the dates, sign-in books, or as framed displays at your reception—and they’re a beautiful reminder of the time before you were Mr. & Mrs.!

Designed to be as unique as you, our engagements sessions are individually developed to match the individual couples’ style. Whether it’s a fun-loving session in your favorite park, a stroll through a meaningful neighborhood, or simply at your home, yours will let your personality shine through!

As your photographers, our goal is for your engagement session to be an easy, fun and casual experience. But to maximize your time, here’s a few quick tips to get the most out of your session—enjoy!

1)      Bring two or three outfits: If you’re having a hard time choosing, bring more and ask for our input once we get “on set.” Steer clear of black tops and dresses, which don’t look as great in the light as brighter tones. And remember to be comfortable—your engagement session isn’t the time to try out those high heels or too-tight pencil skirts. The more comfortable and flexible you are, the better your photos will look.

2)      Coordinate—but don’t match: Think coordinating color palettes, but not matchy/matchy. Too much contrast (i.e. you in white, him in black) can overwhelm a picture.

3)      Think props: Have something special that has lots of significance in your relationship? It could be a quilt, a piece of jewelry, a vintage book or even something fun like a baseball shirts/caps from your favorite team. The more unique to your relationship, the better!

4)      Check out Pinterest: Pinterest is a great spot for engagement session inspiration. While we can definitely help, it’s great to come in with ideas you can easily share—so pin away and share your faves with us ahead of time so we can prep.

5)      Have fun and relax! Above all, enjoy. This is an exciting time for you as a couple—and this is just the first of many exciting steps! 

Choosing a Location That's Right for You

Choosing a Location That’s Right for You

 

Choosing a great location is one of the most important pieces of setting your family’s photo shoot. The backdrop you select will set the stage for the entire session and will be an essential piece of every shot, pose, and ultimately, the finished product. We recommend picking a spot that’s special to you - either a spot you love, somewhere you frequent, or a place that best represents your family.

After you’ve narrowed down the list, it’s important to think about some key logistics: are there restrooms? Is the distance from the parking to the actual shoot location far? If so, pack comfy shoes for everyone! Will there be places to change outfits, retouch hair and makeup, and relax between shots? Will there be crowds nearby—and, if so, are you comfortable shooting in front of others?

We’ve seen amazing sessions everywhere from backyards to baseball fields, lakes to open meadows. Central Florida offers unique choices of locations year-round, and since we know and live in Lakeland and central Florida, we can help make recommendations based on your family’s unique needs, personalities, and inspirations.

Dress for Success: What to Wear for your Photo Session

Dress for Success: What to Wear for your Photo Session

Rule #1: Coordinate—but don’t be matchy/matchy

If you’re shooting with another person, make sure your outfits complement one another’s. Choose a consistent color palette (which does not mean the same color). If someone is wearing a bold pattern, dress the rest of the group in more solids, but be sure each carries one or more colors from the “star” outfit for consistency.

 

Rule #2: Accessorize!

Scarves, hats, bows, bands…it all adds a fun twist to an otherwise “standard” look. Accessories are also a great place to coordinate looks.  For example, if Mom is wearing a bright pattern with lavender, pink and gray, little brother can rock a pair a gray sneakers while Dad can choose a lavender vest and big sis with a pink headband.

 

Rule #3: Try for Texture

Layers and textures and can really add depth to your photos. Look for clothes and accessories with rich, simple detailing—embroidery, tweed, ribbons, etc—or layer pieces to add dimension and texture. Texture is especially important if you want a lot of black and white shots, which naturally need more visual depth and detail than color images. Also, because you’ll want to keep the pace going during your session, layering is a great way to make quick, convenient outfit changes—pull off the sweater, slip on the vest and you’ve got a whole new look!

 

Rule #4: Dress Kids for Comfort & Movement

Kids naturally run, skip, dance and jump around during photo sessions—they’re kids! To avoid unnecessary aggravation, let them be comfortable in the clothes and opt for apparel that accentuates their natural energy. Skirts, fedoras, scarves, and knit sweaters allow for natural movement, so when the kids start getting wild, their clothes will look even better.

 

Rule #5: Be Timeless

You’ll have these pictures for generations—don’t date yourself! Choose classic, timeless pieces, or even vintage apparel and accessories. Opt for the latest trends and you may feel otherwise about that amazing outfit in a few years (or even a few months) from now. 

Little League Sports Photography

Given that my oldest kid is currently in baseball season, we spend an average of three for four nights at the baseball complex a week. And when we're there, we see parent after parent utilizing a phone camera to document their kid's game. While phone cameras have a place for most casual shots, most of them don't contain an optical zoom adequate to get close to the action. Mobile phones lack the ability to optically zoom in to the image. Rather, they simply digitally zoom in the pixels and often leave grainy, dull, and flat photos. 

The simplest way, albeit somewhat expensive, is to use a DSLR camera with a good telephoto zoom. So, what's a telephoto zoom you ask? It's like strapping a good pair of binoculars to your camera. When it's used correctly, in conjunction with a proper exposure, it can lead to a much better and much more professional picture. 

Taking a good picture with a telephoto lens requires more than just using the lens. It requires proper exposure, setting your camera’s focus settings, establishing composure, and being prepared for the action.