Washington DC Cherry Blossom Engagememen

Emily Kirsten

PHOTOGRAPHY

ENGAGEMENT PLANNING GUIDE

LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED

The engagement session is one of my favorite parts of our time together!  During this time,  you will have the chance to get to know me, my shooting style, how I pose people, and how I handle lighting. More importantly, it gives me a chance to get to know you as a couple as well! Which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless, and comfortable. I'm so excited to capture the only time in your life when you get the be each other's fiances!

 

My goal is for you to build trust in me, so come the wedding day, you are certain, and confident in my ability to make you look your best as well as my ability to do my job as your photographer.

I hope this guide serves as a point of reference for you as we start planning your session! I've included tips from what to expect to locations!

THE LOGISTICS

WHEN

I photograph engagement sessions on weekday evenings, Tuesday-Thursday. I can occasionally squeeze in a weekend date during nonpeak months (Nov-March). 

WHERE

Engagement sessions take place all over the tristate area. I can happily find a location based on the desired aesthetic you’re looking for.  There is a $75 travel fee for locations further than 30 miles from Pottstown, PA.

WHERE

Engagement sessions take place all over the tristate area. I can happily find a location based on the desired aesthetic you’re looking for.  There is a $75 travel fee for locations further than 30 miles from Pottstown, PA.

TIME

Our start time revolves around sunset time. We usually meet two hours before sunset. However, I can shoot anytime of day! If we are shooting in a city, we will shoot a little earlier since the buildings block the sunset often times. 

BAD WEATHER

If the rain chances are over 50%, I usually prefer to reschedule. I don’t like to call it any earlier than one day before because the forecast is so volatile. I like to wait until the morning of if possible. If you’re local, we can wait to call it as long as you feel comfortable waiting! However, if you're having your hair and makeup done, we should plan on calling it earlier out of respect for your artist, too!

DO YOU WANT TO USE THESE FOR SAVE THE DATES?

Save the Dates usually go out 6-8 months before your wedding day. With that in mind, try to schedule your session 2 months before you want to send them out. That way I have time to do the editing, we have a little cushion for rescheduling if need be, and you have time to order them! 

1

SEASON

Figure out which season you would like your engagment session to happen in

2

DATE

Let's get a date on the calendar for your session

3

LOCATION

Decide what style location you like first.  Then narrow down to your favorite location

4

WARDROBE

Take a look through the tips Ihave below, and come up with one or two outfits for you and your partner

LOCATIONS

Start by figuring out what aesthetic you love, and narrow locations down from there.  For example, do you love the look of city images?  The beach?  Or maybe a garden-esque location!  There's also a gorgeous field, a waterfall, something adventurous like the White Cliffs Of Conoy in Lancaster, and so much more!  THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.  Do you have a location that's special to you and your partner?  Maybe it's a bar you go to a lot, or a spot at the beach.  Or a trail you hike a lot.  The college campus you met at.  Or just a city you love.  You can always incorporate a place that means something to the both of you as your location!

Want a list of my favorite locations?

WARDROBE

THE GIRLS

• Having your nails done is always a lovely idea
• You don’t need to be tanner. I mean it! This is the biggest misconception! Fair skin photographs way better than orange skin, trust me. You can skip the spray tan, promise.
• Select softer, lighter tones and more muted shades.  By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other.

• Flowy fabrics + shapewear. Need I say more?! Flowy is forgiving. Shapewear eliminates all the lines + smoothes everything out.
• The key to any light & airy image is the color pallet!

• Be honest with yourself: If you don’t love your arms, don’t wear a tank top. Wear what makes you feel lovely. Do not wear something that will make you want to pick yourself a part in every single photo afterward! 
• Accessories: Fun shoes, jewelry, hats, and jackets/cardigans add great depth + dimension. It’s also easy to remove them to switch up your look if you want!
• Hair & Makeup: This is the perfect time to try your hair + makeup artist! It allows you to get to know them and gives you a chance to see what you look like photographed with professional hair and makeup. Professional hair + makeup traditionally lasts longer and holds up better in the elements, too! You want to feel your best and this will surely make you feel extra lovely!

THE GUYS

•  Avoid shirts with graphics or large logos

•  Long fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men.

• Solid shades are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye and clash.  So choose a solid color that is in her dress, or an accessory of hers!

​HOW MANY OUTFITS SHOULD WE WEAR?

Most of my couples wear 1-2 outfits. The general rule of thumb is if you change, you will have greater variety with less imagery since we will have to stop, change, begin shooting again. However, if you stay in one outfit, you have less variety simply due to wearing one look, but more images! I’m fine with either…the choice is yours + both are lovely options. 

Choosing a formal outfit, and a more casual outfit will give you some variety!  Some of my couples choose two dresses, and some choose to include jeans as their second outfit.

Want some Outfit Inspo?

Check out my Pinterest Board FULL of inspo!

Do you struggle with feeling good in front of the camera?

I get it!  It is totally normal to feel insecure, or shy, or not like something about yourself.  Sooo many people do!  Doing this one thing will boost your confidence, and make you FEEL GOOD!  And guess what?  When you feel good, you'll love the images of yourself that much more!!  It'll show too!

Having your hair and makeup professionally done is this key.  Heck, even go get your nails done!  When you have these things done by a professional, you will feel so much better, and in turn, might even smile bigger in your images!  Most of my clients are shy and "feel awkward", but my friend, with the way I pose and direct my couples, AND your makeup done, that awkwardness will fall right off your shoulders!

Soo....GET YOUR HAIR AND MAKEUP DONE!

ARE YOU GOING TO

TELL US WHAT TO DO?

YOU BET I AM.  I know my photos look pretty natural, candid, and unposed. Let me let you in on a little secret: that doesn’t happen on it’s own. I am secretly guiding all of my couples into those moments! I will absolutely run the show and tell you what to do. I like to keep it fun and light. All you need to do is get out of the car with a positive attitude, ready to snuggle on your person, and I will do the rest! I promise we will take those traditional “smiling at the camera” photos for your parents and refrigerators all over the land. But I promise to do much more than that, too.

A FEW TIPS

1. Clean your ring!

2. Plan some extra travel time: it’s the worst arguing over not being able to find parking then having to get out of the car all frustrated + having to hop into lovey photos. Also, the sun is only out for so long so if you’re late, we may not have much daylight left. If you arrive late, we will photograph the session with whatever time remains from our originally scheduled session time. 
 

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Do you have fur babies?

LET'S INCLUDE THEM!

It brings my heart the most joy when my couples choose to include their animals into their photos!  I typically will include them in the first 15 minutes of your session, and focus on the two of you for the rest.  Bringing someone to take your fur babies once we're done with them, will allow you to be fully present with me the rest of your session! Just include them, okay?

Washington DC Cherry Blossom Engagememen

WHAT TO EXPECT

AFTER THE SESSION

I usually try to get some sneak peeks up on social media for you a few days after your engagement session! I will deliver your full gallery via email 3 weeks after your engagement session date.