Engagement sessions are always so much fun and the most amazing work is produced when the clients put some effort into planning the session. It doesn't matter if you want a simple or complex engagement session. Planning is always the key to producing the best results. Below I have laid out a step by step process that will organize all of the main aspects of your session and lead you to other great resources that will help you along the way.
STEP ONE: CREATE A MOOD BOARD
The first and most important step is to create a mood board using Pinterest. This helps you to better organize your style and ideas for the session and also helps me to better understand your style. It is best to mostly pin photos from my website, Facebook, etc. Of course pinning photos from other photographers is okay and welcomed to incorporate new ideas and styles, however, it is important that I understand what it is you like about my style of photography.
To pin photos from my website or blog, hover over a photo that you like, and the Pinterest logo should appear in the top left corner of the photo. Click the logo and follow the next steps to pin.
STEP TWO: CHOOSE A LOCATION
The location is the foundation of our session. It completely affects the mood and or style of the photos. You want to be sure that this location has some significance to you and your fiancé. It can be your favorite park, where you got engaged, a lake you enjoy hiking to together, etc. If you cannot think of a significant location I have created a list of location recommendations in the resources tab that may be helpful. Keep in mind that any session outside of Missoula will require a travel fee.
STEP THREE: ACTIVITIES AND STYLES
Planning activities for the engagement session can really bring out both of your personalities and produce amazing photos that tell a story. Again, these activities should have some significance to the both of you. For example, you could go fishing, hiking, canoeing, have a picnic, walk the dogs, cook a meal together, etc. Activities are not required but highly recommended to achieve "Lifestyle" photography. On the other hand, we will shoot some standard portraits during the session as well, so be sure to plan for that.
STEP FOUR: PROPS
If we use props are not is 100% up to you and the style you're looking for. Props can be anything from a sign with the wedding date on it to everything needed to build the perfect picnic scene. After deciding the location and activities for your session, you should have a better idea about what props you may or may not want to use.
STEP FIVE: WARDROBE, HAIR, & MAKEUP
Okay here we go. The hardest part of planning! Just kidding it really isn't that hard if you just be yourself! I made this subject the last step because if you have pinned ideas, chosen your location, planned activities, and organized your props, you can coordinate your wardrobe to fit the style/theme of the session. For example, If your activity is to hike up to a lake, you probably won't want to wear formal clothes and especially not heels! My number one recommendation would be to stay away from hard patterns, bright colors, etc. Also, neutral colors usually go well with anything and are easier to coordinate with. Ladies, as for hair and makeup, I always recommend getting either hair, makeup, or both done professionally. If it is not in the budget, that is totally understandable! Just be sure that it isn't too distracting and fits well with the style you're going for. Tip of the day: Go easy on the heat damage and hair spray. These two things cause fly away madness and it is very difficult to edit out of photos in a natural looking way.