session prep

What to Wear | Engagement Edition by Emily Margaret

Whenever a client books a session with me, I'm often asked for advice on what they should wear for the shoot. While these tips apply to photo sessions in general, this post is focused on engagement or couples photography sessions. One of the benefits of booking an engagement session with me is that I offer custom wardrobe advice. We plan the aesthetic for the shoot and I help you choose what to wear based on that and what you currently have in your closet. Until then, these tips will help you figure out how to dress for your upcoming engagement photo session.


Tip #1) Be yourself! If you would never wear an outfit in "real life",  it makes you feel self-conscious, or that top makes you fidgety, just don't wear it. You'll be able to see in the photos if you're uncomfortable and being relaxed and happy will make your session go much better.

Tip #2) Coordinate, don't match! You and your lovely fiance's outfits should go well together, not match. Gone are the days of  wearing jeans and white T-shirts. Instead, choose a complementary colors, such as light pink and grey, red and turquoise, or yellow and dark purple. 

Tip #3) Be careful with patterns and avoid logos. If one of you is wearing a patterned top, for example, have the other wear a complimentary solid colored-top, or a pattern of either larger or smaller print. If you both wear items with the same size pattern, it will look awkward. Trust me. 

Tip #4) Wear the same "level" of casual or formal. If you decide to wear a nice top and dressy jeans and your fiance wears shorts and a tee, one of you will look out of place. Like colors, the level of formality shouldn't clash.

Tip #5) Layer up! Ever notice how the models in J. Crew catalogs often wear more than just a tee and jeans? Wearing an outfit that has 2-3 layers will instantly add dimension and interest. This could be a tee, button-up shirt, and a vest, or a blouse, cardigan, and belt over the cardigan.

Tip #6) Pay attention to details. Ladies, be sure to have a fresh manicure for your ring close-ups. Having your hair and makeup professionally done will greatly decrease the chance of a last-minute hair emergency and will also mean much less work for you!  

Tip #7) Wear fabulous shoes. This is actually one of the most important tips for choosing what to wear to your engagement session. Cute shoes will take your outfit to the next level and will make for some great detail shots. 

Tip #8) Try on the outfit ahead of time to avoid any last-minute fashion emergencies.

I hope this helps take the stress out of choosing your outfit for your engagement photo session! Do you have any tips for choosing what to wear?

Choosing a Session Location by Emily Margaret

Whenever I book a session, I always ask my clients if they have a location they want to use. Some photographers choose the location for them, but I want my clients to have a say in the matter and make it more personal.

I like to encourage my clients to choose a location that means something to them. For example, if it's an engagement shoot and the couple enjoys going on dates to the local ice cream shop, I'd take them there to shoot. The location says something about their relationship, what they like to do together, and they'll be more comfortable in a familiar place.

Lighting is also an important factor in choosing a location. If my client has a location picked out and I haven't shot there before, I'll always go check it out to see what the light is like. The time of day will also make a difference. Morning light will be different than late afternoon light, being of a different strength and angle. If the location isn't well lit and there isn't a way I can make it work, I'll work with my client and suggest a similar location with a better lighting situation.

Think outside of the box. I love finding new places to shoot and sometimes locations that seem a bit "out there" are the best ones. I've seen fantastic shoots done in subway stations, laundromats, farmers markets, parking garages, and local festivals. This comes back to choosing a meaningful location, so I encourage my clients to not be afraid by not going with a "traditional" photo session location.

If you're deciding on a place for your photography session, I hope these tips have helped! Where is somewhere that you'd love to do a session?

Choosing an Engagement Photographer | Paducah, KY Engagement Photographer by Emily Margaret

Did you know that the season between Christmas and Valentine's Day is the most popular time to get engaged? I know my facebook feed has been filled with rings and relationship statuses these past two months. It's an exciting time of new things and planning. One of the first things you'll do after getting your new ring is having your engagement photos taken. But where do you start? How do you find your engagement photographer?

There are so many photographers out there it can be hard to know where to start. Simply web searching "engagement photographer" will give you thousands of results. Here are some things to remember as you search:

-Location: do you want a photographer who is local to where you live or where you will have your engagement session? Many photographers will travel but keep in mind there usually is a travel fee. Photographers who are local to the area will know of locations that will work well for your photographs.

-Recommendations: ask around- do you have friends or family who were recently engaged or married? Ask them about their photography experience. Speaking as a photographer, we love it when you tell your friends if you loved working with us!

Narrow It Down 

Okay, so you've found a few photographers. Now how do you decide?

-Style: does their style match yours? Some photographers will pose their clients while others shoot more candid, photojournalistic images. Do you want photos that will be used in an album or something that looks like it could hang in an art gallery?

-Light: Photographers work with light all the time and each interpret it differently. Take a look at the feel of their portfolio. Are the images bright, airy, and romantic, or more tonal, moody, and dramatic? 

-Composition: Are the people in the photos appear to be a part of the scenery, or the focus? Does the photographer have a lot of close-up, detail type photos, or wide-angle, full-body shots?

-Film: Yes, film making a strong comeback. Does the photographer shoot with film? If they do, their pricing could be a bit higher, but film gives a wonderful look and texture that is hard to get with digital.

-The Photographer: Meet with them before you hire them. Talk with them on the phone. Or even Skype. Is this someone you feel comfortable around? After all, you want to appear happy and relaxed in your engagement photos, right?

Choosing a photographer to take your engagement photos can seem like a daunting task, but I hope that these tips will make it easier for you. If you'd like to work with me or have questions, feel free to contact me or leave me a comment!