7 Tricks that your wedding photographer won’t tell you about the engagement session

‘Tis the season for family and holiday cheer! What better way to celebrate the holidays then getting engaged!? Yay, he proposed! The ring is puuuuuuuuuurfect!

Ring bling

Ring bling

You’re off to get a mani because you’re going to be flashin’ that bling to all your besties. Once the dust settles from all of the new and exciting-ness of being engaged, and you’ve decided on a date for the BIG day, AND then you’ve picked your photographer, you will soon be scheduling you’re engagement session.

But, oh no, what do I wear? Are my fiancé and I supposed to coordinate? What about the hair situation? Don’t we look like goobers kissing? Ahhhhhh!

Ok, first of all, let me just preface this post by saying, “Relax, I LOVE engagement shoots, and you should too!” Here’s why. I love the casual feel of them, and the honest-to-God love that y’all have for each other in them. I’m very sentimental when it comes to couples getting married. Ah, just so cute!  The kisses and love are still fresh with the “we just got engaged” hoorays. The wedding plans aren’t stressful yet, and your joining families haven’t decided they hate each other…at this point. Life is gooooooood, and all of that goodness shows through your pictures. Also, the engagement session is like the guinea pig session before the big day. You do NOT want the first time your photographer meets you to be on the day of your wedding. I mean, do what you gotta do, but that is definitely not ideal. The awkwardness shows through the pictures, and even having one little session or a nice chat with each other before hand helps ease that tension.

If you are super nervous for your engagement session, I’m just going to give you some tips on what to wear and how an engagement session with us typically goes.

First of all. If we schedule the engagement shoot over email and the first time we meet is for the actual shoot, I will probably ask you some questions on the style you are interested in. I am not one of those photographers who gets really offended when you show them pictures someone else has taken that you really like. There are definitely different styles of photography. Yen Studios does all different kinds, so if you have particular tastes, you should voice these so we know what to expect from you and vice versa. Of course, that being said, if you like a style that you see zero examples of on our website, you probably shouldn’t hire us (And that goes for any other photographer you’re looking at). We may not be a good fit for what you are looking for.

For the session, if you have an idea for a pose, show us! We won’t copy it, but we will definitely create our own version of it that communicates the same thing. People, Pinterest was created for a reason! Use it. Oh, and you also will want to think about your save the dates. Are you going to use a picture from this session? Do you know the layout and design? Not a huge deal, but it’s something to think about and let us know IF you know.

When you arrive, if we are shooting at and around the studio area, we will spend about 10 minutes or so just chilling – chatting about wedding plans, outfit choices, ideas for poses, ideal locations, etc. Maybe even time for a beer. This helps loosen you up. Everyone is really nervous at first, but the engagement shoot is about having a good time!

Go Grizz

Go Grizz!

We will shoot at a couple of locations that we previously discussed, and then I recommend a clothes change. I would recommend doing two different types of outfits, like one pretty casual and the other fancy or snappy casual. Or one southern, and the other glitzy. One that is completely your personality to a T, and the other is something fun or random or your personality dressed up! Haha

D3X_0501

See how much fun they are having!?

This topic leads me into the what to wear section. Bring as many outfits as you want to. Literally, we have a clothes rack! You can hang everything up, we can look through it, and then make a decision. Pick out your outfits the night before, or give yourself some time to find the perfect “we’re engaged” outfit. Don’t leave it till the last minute when you’re all busy and stressed with x, y, and z stuff that keeps randomly popping up. And this means for the guys too, ladies. They will leave this till you are walking out the door, “Uh, what did you want me to wear again, hun?”

1. Something you’re comfortable in. If it’s tight, and you feel like it’s not highlighting the best areas of your body and you have to suck in when I take the pictures, don’t wear it. Give yourself the freedom to move and laugh and not constantly worrying about the weight you haven’t lost yet. Also, if there’s something you hate showing, then cover it up! ie. “Ew, I don’t like my arms.” Wear a sweater!!

2. No bras showing! This is a pet peeve of mine, and you’ll be bummed when you see the pictures too. The first thing you look at is your face, the second thing, you will zero in on your bra strap. It’s not exact science, but close…So bring a strapless or test out the bra you plan to use before hand. Make sure a strap doesn’t randomly pop out all the time.

Love the twirl

Love the twirl

3. Make-up touch ups. I will make you kiss each other…often! Your lipstick will come off. 🙂 Bring some extra for touch ups.

I know this may make you feel uncomfortable to be kissing each other a lot in (a) public (b) in front of me. Obviously I want you guys to be comfortable, but do you really want to be worried about what everyone thinks on your wedding day? That is your day! And you shouldn’t be embarrassed to kiss your new spouse. If you get in the habit of kissing each other in front of a camera now, just think of how happy and kissy-filled your wedding pictures will look. Better to practice now, and be ready on the wedding day than to be all shy and awkward on the day that counts. It also helps to practice kissing each other the day before and take a selfie of it so you know where to position your head. It sounds stupid, but you don’t get a theatrical and photogenic kiss by luck. 😉

Kissy Pic

Kissy Pic

4. Semi coordination with the outfits. In my opinion, you can coordinate with each other, but not too much. That looks gooberish. What I mean by that is you can both wear spring colors or whatever season. The man should probably wear like a polo or nice button-up with shorts or khakis or jeans. It’s obviously very “whatever” for them. Girls, y’all can wear skirts, dresses, rompers, shorts, jeans…whatever you want. Colors can semi coordinate, as in don’t clash. For a more extensive What to wear, feel free to reference my guide here.

Love their spring/summer colors!

Love their spring/summer colors!

5. Bring props if you feel like it! Again, I’m not one of those photographers who thinks it’s silly to bring props. Especially if it’s for the save the date, or whatever else. You bring it, we will incorporate it. Plus props are great to include in the ring shot photos.

6. Shoes. Yes your shoes will be in the picture. Bring the ones that are cute and stylish, yet semi comfortable because we will be walking around a bit moving locations. And bring a few pairs just to be safe. It may require some additional shopping.

7. Clean your bling. Clean the ring before the shoot if you can find time to do it. It really makes it pop in the couples shots, and it does wonders for the ring shot as well!

Clean your ring!

Clean your ring!

Here’s a bonus trick!

8. If it’s cold or chilly outside, bring nicer outerwear (pea coats and scarfs). It makes for better outdoor pictures that can be classy! If it’s raining, you can bring a swanky umbrella or rainboots…

Umbrella shot

Umbrella Shot

Ok, did I miss anything?? If so, let me know.

I hope this helps in your engagement session frenzy!! Remember to keep Yen Studios in mind for your big day! 😀

xoxo

madison

Are your headshots costing you that corner office?

Why you need a Headshot!

Ok, all you business people out there. I want to give you a news flash on your first impressions. Back in the olden days, people often thought they could tell a personality by their handshake. “I was a little wigged out by how strong this lady’s grip was. She must be a bit controlling.” Or what about, “His handshake was like a dead fish. I bet he’s a spineless jellyfish.” Harsh, right? But people absolutely think this way when they meet you. The handshake is still a great a way to determine a personality, BUT what if they are not meeting you in person? These days, with job recruiting and business dealings being online, you may not even GET a chance to shake someone’s hand. So how are you making your first impression? And how can you differentiate yourself in a sea of others in the online world?

Imagine your headshot as the “new handshake” for online.

Think of how often you use: Facebook, LinkedIn, dating sites, Google+. The social media platforms are endless, and your profile picture SAYS something about you. If your picture is either an iphone #selfie or a picture of you with someone else that you cropped them out, what do you think that communicates to future whatevers (boss, significant others, clients)? (Cough. Yen Studios can help with this dilemma. Email me to set up an appointment!! Cough.)

So now that we have established why you need a good headshot and you have already set up your appointment 🙂 , we now come to the age-old question of what do I wear and what do I bring??

First of all, we offer two kinds of headshots: the Corporate head shots, which I like to call the “One and done’s;” and then the professional headshot package (I don’t really have a cool name for that one). Think of corporate headshots as schoolday pictures for adults, and the professional headshot package as senior portraits for adults. And no, I’m not kidding you. These two types of headshots require different outfits.

Corporate headshots are offered on a white, grey, or blue background. They are very simple and to the point – great for corporations. This is most likely the kind you will want if your employer asks you to get one or if you are on the prowl for a new job.

For these headshots, I recommend business professional dress. That means a suit, guys! You don’t have to wear a tie if that’s not your thing, but you definitely need a button up with a suit jacket that fits. You can wear any color button up and jacket as long as it doesn’t detract from your face. If it’s too loud, choose something else. And it needs to be ironed or wrinkle-free. Ladies, you can also wear a button up, a blouse, or a dress with a jacket. Sweaters will suffice too. Typically for a biz professional outfit, people should not wear sleeveless shirts without a jacket, but that’s up to you. Bring a few jewelry pieces for that extra pizazz, including earrings and possibly a statement necklace. It really does make a difference. (Again, not too loud though.) Also, note that your legs will not be in the picture, so your pants do not have to match, but it may get you in the “money making/let’s get down to business” zone if you’re rocking a powersuit.

My best advice for the corporate headshots are to pretend you are going on a job interview. With that mentality, that is what this headshot can do for you – open doors for job interviews. It shows people you mean business and that you can dress up and be the star player you are. Employers will be drooling over it, too. Here’s some examples of a corporate headshot.

White background

Notice her jacket and necklace

Grey background

Notice his shirt color, no tie.

Blue background

Notice his tie. A nice touch, but certainly not required.

For the professional headshot package that we offer, you will not only get a corporate headshot, but you also get casual shots. These shots are great for a more casual feel, and it says to the viewer, “yeah, this person looks like they can be fun AND professional.” 😉 I love these sessions because you can really express yourself through the clothes you bring, the poses you do, and the locations we choose together. It adds life to your profile and differentiates you from the rest of the pack. In addition to checking out my list below, refer back to one of my earlier articles on the DO’S AND DON’TS! There are some great tips on there and minor overlap.

For these photo sessions, you will want to bring:

1. Many outfit options. It’s better to be over-prepared with great options than stuck with only one that you may not be happy with. Don’t forget to coordinate shoes. And if it’s chilly, bring a nice jacket. We MAY do some outdoor shots, and a nice jacket is definitely a breath of fresh air. (ha – get it?? Outside, fresh air…nevermind.) For outfits, here’s what I’m talking. 1 business professional outfit. 2-3 swanky outfits. (Something that you would wear to go out on a date or to a semi-nice party, aka snappy casual.)  1-2 casual outfit with jeans, but still a semi-nice shirt/blouse or polo. Like I said, bring a couple of different tops/options that you can rotate out of if something isn’t working.

Professional Shots

Professional Shots

Love this sweater combo.

Professional Shots

This shot definitely shows that he’s the boss with his suit jacket and awesome meeting room.

Professional Shots

See the jacket??

Notice the necklace. Love the setting here.

Notice the necklace. Love the setting here.

2. Things that make you like YOU. If you wear glasses everyday, and people will probably not recognize you without them, then wear your glasses! We can do some without glasses, too. This goes for necklaces, certain jackets, colors, boots…cowboy boots. 😉

3. Clothes that you are comfortable in. This point is more concerning bringing clothes that are a peace of mind. If you think you have big arms, bring a jacket, or a sweater, or something with sleeves. If you don’t like your legs then wear pants, or a long skirt, or tights. You get my point. Do NOT bring things that you recognize makes you look fat. (If you have to ask, don’t wear it). I’m sorry to say this, but the camera will mercilessly add 5-10 lbs to you. Something that may make you look big, can be 1 of two things. One is something that is too tight and unforgiving on your body. Folks, just be honest with yourself here. It’s ok. No judgement from me or my team! The other is something that is too loose and flowy (things with a lot of fabric). These could look great in person, but the camera will capture those times when your flowy maxi creates a nonexistent baby bump on even the skinniest of ladies…

4. Touch up stuff. I’m talking bring the make-up bag. You will want to freshen up your lipstick. Bring a hairbrush just in case. And when/if you get all sweaty bring some powder for your nose and forehead. The shininess will show through and trust me when I say you will be glowing, not in the best way either. Also, a few hairpins are nice if you want to change your hairdo midway through.

5. Check the bra, ladies. Don’t wear a top+bra combo that won’t cooperate. What I mean is: if your bra strap pops out once, it will inevitably pop out again. And again. And again. No, I don’t want to spend hours retouching your 65 photos or however many you choose to retouch out your bra strap. You may not think of it before you come to the shoot, but it will be the first thing that you see when you get back the pictures. Wear a different bra or maybe a different top.

So, do you feel like you are all ready for your headshot? Yes? Good! Let me know if there is anything I can add to this list or more questions to answer! And remember to keep Yen Studios in mind for your first impressions!

xoxo

Madison

madison@yenstudios.com