After photographing thousands of such sessions, the Capture the Love team has learned by experience that a number of things can set the mood and determine the end-product for your session. You will get stunning photos, no doubt, but there are also some things you can do to help your photographer create absolutely out-of-this-world photographs that you will cherish long after the day ends.

Attitude – This can easily be the determining factor between good and phenomenal photographs. It can be as simple as coming to the photo session with a sense of humor, ready to have fun. The camera will readily pick up the chemistry and nuances between two people who are comfortable with each other and enjoying each other’s company. Having an open mind can also lead to pleasantly surprising results. There have been many occasions where a couple enthusiastically agreed to try our ideas and suggestions, often going above and beyond.

In one of our wedding, we suggested getting a photograph of the couple in a gondola while it was raining. The couple needed to remain in the gondola for a few minutes as we worked to set up the right angle for the shot. Normally, this is not a big deal, but the rain was pouring on this cold winter day and the wedding party was having fun in the warm restaurant. Had the couple not been open to trying something new, this photograph would not have been taken, and they wouldn’t have gotten countless comments in Facebook from friends and family who were amazed over how well it turned out.

Preparation – Match the color and style of the clothes for the people being photographed. Some women would shop at Nordstrom for designer dresses for the shoot; afterward, if they liked the dresses, they kept it. . . or if they didn’t, they returned it. Water and some energy bars would be helpful for a day-long session. For a day at the beach, bring a towel, a coat if it will be cold, and a change of clothes just in case you would like to get photographs close to the water and accidentally get wet. Bring comfortable walking shoes for your outdoor shoot; you could put on your nice dress shoes after you finish hiking to the ideal location. Accessories such as handbags and jewelry (earrings, necklaces) to match the dresses will enhance the look.

Props are also welcome for the shoot. One couple told us a beautiful story of him chasing her on her bicycle, so for their session, we suggested that they bring their bike and a kite. The result is a photo that tells the story of this forever-youthful, fun-loving relationship.

Makeup and Hair Styling – If you are having our makeup artist/hair stylist do your hair and makeup, be sure to bring magazine cutouts of the styles you would like. This makeup and hair styling session can be used to save yourself the normal cost of a trial session. Exfoliate your face and lips the night before and apply a good moisturizer and lip balm. Let the moisturizer sink in (20-30 minutes). Do not wash your hair on the day of the session. Come in with dry hair.

There is also an option to have our Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist come along for the full day session so that she can change your makeup and hair style in between. On top of that, she will be able to retouch the makeup and fix your hair. There has been so many times where strong wind messes up the hairdo halfway through the session. Without our hair stylist present, it would have been a hairy session. Ask our makeup artist/hair stylist about that option if you are interested to maintain the beautiful look throughout the day.

Expectations – Yes, we can certainly postpone a session due to rain, not a problem at all. Most people think that they’ll only get great photographs on a sunny day. On the contrary, some of the most stunning photographs are taken on cloudy, foggy, and rainy days.

Rain is actually the least concern (unless it’s heavy rain). Wind and temperature could wreak more havoc than rain. A strong wind will make short work of damaging your carefully styled hair. Most brides-to-be would opt to get our makeup artist/hair stylist to go along for the shoot to ensure that their beautiful hairdo will last the entire day.

Locations – Select locations that are close to each other so that you won’t spend hours on the road. It’ll ensure you get more photographs as well. Do you like nature or architecture? Every season has its beauty. Spring: Fragile cherry blossoms bursting in bloom. Summer: Blue skies, white clouds, and green leaves and grass. Autumn: Falling leaves aglow in red, orange, and yellow. Winter – White snow and the quiet, dignified beauty of stark tree branches. If you are unsure of where you would like your engagement session to be, we would be happy to offer suggestions based on your interest during your consultation session.

Dates – We normally recommend selecting a weekday rather than a weekend for an engagement session. Weekdays tend to have less crowds and offer better parking on select locations (beaches, parks, museums, etc). Also, less crowds means less discomfort and awkwardness from passersby gawking at you during your shoot.

Engagement session photo shoots can be as unique as the couple, so with a little planning and preparation, you can customize your package to get the most use out of it, all the while spending an enjoyable day in the company of your significant other. Photos from the engagement could be used for Save-the-Date postcards, shower invitations, picture canvases or light-up frames to decorate the home, wedding guest albums, reception slideshows, or simply as a digital memento to commemorate those days leading up to your wedding, helping you remember the feeling of being that much in love.