The engagement session is one of my favorite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of the camera before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless and comfortable. Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You’re going to be married for over fifty years, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. I’m so excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiancés. I created this guide for you, and packed it with all my best secrets for getting the best out of your engagement experience, so let’s dive right in!

Here are a few key things to consider so that we get the most out of your session

Choosing the right time and location

I am a natural light specialist because I believe that natural light, from the sun and its reflections, create photographs that feel fresh, timeless and true to you as a couple. I try to begin all engagement sessions two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have evening plans afterward.

Selecting the right location

The location of your engagement session is up to you! The first thing to decide is whether you’d like to feature nature in your session. Like you see throughout this guide, most of our couples want to showcase the natural beauty of Texas  to give their out-of-town guests a fun preview of what to expect when they travel here. I especially love shooting in different natural scenes because it’s so unique and the light is divine. There are also other great options around the state, and I’m always up for exploring a new spot together.

Thinking outside the box

This is the time to think outside the box!  I encourage you to brainstorm unique locations that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your personal or professional network, can secure permission to a location that would otherwise be off- limits, like a beautiful private estate, country club or resort. Maybe it’s a family ranch, upscale hotel or even an airplane hangar. The sky is literally the limit! Spend a few minutes thinking about it and checking around. You’ll be surprised with what you come up with. Plus, if something seems out of reach, just remember: you never know until you ask! I have some great go-to locations around town that we can always hit, too. Just let me know which session you love, and what you’d like to feature or not, and we will go from there! Easy. Peasy

Go pro makeup and hair

Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of my brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup

will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light I’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of my brides feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how toget it just right for the camera — and my brides always love the final result. If you need a recommendation for hair and makeup, I work with the best in the business and have a go-to team! They’re sweet as pie, talented as heck, unbelievable professionals and wonderful people. You’ll LOVE them! Just let me know and I’ll send you their information. I know they’ll take good care of you! Quick Tip: Confidence. It’s always the best accessory.

Coordinating Looks

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your finance’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family. So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your color palette. Keep in mind – patterns also create a lot of interest and diversity to photos so don’t be afraid to wear your favorite! Pattern mixing can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! The trick is to alternate pattern sizes, meaning if you’re wearing a large floral print, have him wear a small gingham or even polka-dot. If pattern mixing is too crazy for you, try just having one of you wear the pattern, while the other wears a complimentary solid color! Most of my brides choose their dress first, and then put together their fiancé’s outfit based on that.

After the Session

Don’t forget to plan a dinner date. You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? I know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together!