I met Malinda at the Riverlodge Bridal Fair in January. She booked her wedding soon after. Malinda decided she wanted to shoot her engagement session in Trinidad on the beach. I had so much fun with this couple! We met at College Cove in Trinidad where we frolicked on the beaches, climbed on top of sharp rocks and had fun playing around on the beach. It was a beautiful day with barely any wind. As the time for sunset neared, we hustled up the grueling incline trail from College Cove and got to Trinidad State Beach as the sun was beginning it’s descent into the horizon. We ended up with an epic sunset. This was one of my favorite engagement sessions, and I can’t wait to shoot their Beau Pre Golf Course later this month!
Engagement photo shoots are on the rise and have become a huge trend in the wedding industry. I love them because it gives me a chance to get to know the couples I am working with, to see how they interact in front of the camera, and help couples feel comfortable in front of the camera (because you will have hundreds of photographs taken of you on your big day). Let’s also not forget that these photos also double as great presents, which could be made into photo books for your wedding guests to sign, and great to have on display on your big day!
Engagement sessions will typically last about 1-2 hours. I can help recommend a location or you can choose a place that has significant meaning to you both as a couple. This could be anything from where you first met, the spot of the very first real date you had or a place where you shared an unforgettable moment of joy and laughter together!
I love the creative side that unfolds between couples when they want to make this experience unique and special! Let’s get outside and let your personalities out to play!
Below are a few tips on not just how to take great photos, but how to have a fun engagement shoot!
Trust your Photographer… Feeling comfortable with your photographer is important. This is our chance to get to know each other better. The more I can learn about you, the easier and more comfortable it will be during your shoot.
Your Outfit is Important… Feeling confident and comfortable is one of the most important parts of an engagement photo session. If you feel great about what you are wearing and how you look, it makes posing in front of the camera so much easier! If you are not the type to wear high heels or not really a “dress” person, then don’t feel obligated to make drastic changes. Stick to clothes that make you feel beautiful and bring out the best in you. A pair of wranglers, boots and a button up plaid shirt can do just as much as a cute summery dress dancing in the soft breeze.
Hair and Makeup… Leave this to the professionals. The wardrobe can be left totally up to you but the hair and makeup, I highly recommend seeking a professional. Professional hair stylists and makeup artists have the experience and knowledge in understanding colors, tones and what will look good on camera. They know about lighting and angles through the lens.
Location, Location, Location… As I stated above, the place you choose to have your photos taken is so important! If you want the story of who you are as a couple to truly be told, select a location that truly means something to you both! If you are a power couple that loves hiking in redwood country, maybe the perfect location would be at one of the many trails you have hiked at Humboldt Redwoods State Park! Or maybe you are the couple that loves long walks on the beaches of Shelter Cove. What I love even more than these traditional places are unique ideas that are truly special to you and your fiance. I have some fun and unique engagement sessions coming up and I can’t wait to show them off!
Create Movement… Many people think posing in front of the camera means you have to be still like statues. It’s actually just the opposite. Cameras nowadays have the ability to capture images at a fast rate, so moving doesn’t mean a blurry image. Creating movement gives me a chance to capture an image that is flattering & unique. Movement also creates little details in images that would never appear had you been standing still. For example, your hair might look as if it is being teased in the soft breeze at just the right angle, as your fiancé holds your hand twirling you as if you were dancing. The small details movement creates might just be what makes a photo pop!
Lose Yourself… As a professional photographer my main job is to capture unforgettable photos of you. The best way to do that is for you to forget I am there. Take a moment to embrace your surroundings and partner. Think about what you love about your partner, the joy he/she brings to the relationship and all the memories that make you laugh. Walk hand in hand, talking, laughing, hugging, kissing and enjoy this moment of being together. The more relaxed, comfortable and affectionate you can be with one another, the better experience you will have.
Have fun and make the most of your engagement photo shoot. After all, “Life’s not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
I arrived at Miranda’s Rescue in Fortuna, California at 3:30 to begin shooting the details and getting ready shots for Tyler and Mackenzie’s night time wedding. I spent about an hour bouncing back and forth between Mackenzie getting ready with her girls and Tyler hanging with the boys. Mackenzie’s Mom Kathy, the wedding coordinator for this wedding was very organized. The entire wedding party was ready to go for formal pictures right on time which makes the whole day flow much smoother! We snapped some fun shots with Tyler and his groomsmen and then shot Mackenzie and her bridal party separately. Tyler and Mackenzie had opted not to do a “first look”, but Mackenzie did a first look with her dad and it was beautiful!
The ceremony was slated to start at 6:30 pm. There was a light haze in their air from the California wildfires, but that did not put a damper on their evening. The ceremony went smoothly and they added a special touch as their dog was the ring bearer. The look on Tyler’s face as he watched Mackenzie walk down the aisle was priceless.
They celebrated with friends and family under the twinkle lights and there were even a a few fireworks.
Throughout your four years of high school many pictures are taken, capturing fun filled moments you will remember for years to come. Out of all the snapshots you will take and memories you will make, there’s one kodak moment that will stand out more than the rest, one that is so meaningful, it will last a lifetime. Your senior portraits.
Senior portraits are treasured photos taken by a professional photographer, they capture the pure teenage innocence and freshness, as it’s poised on the brink of adulthood, ready to enter college or begin a career. Because senior portraits capture such a precious moment in your life, you will want to knock this photo session out of the park! Here are some helpful tips on how to dress for your spring senior session!
Plan on bringing more than one outfit.
You should arrange to bring at least 3-4 outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors, not just your favorite hue. When choosing which outfits you want to bring, include different styles, such as casual, semi-formal, formal or outdoors. By having a variety of styles this will give you an opportunity to get creative and allow your personality to shine through!
Professional photographers have a great eye for color and lighting, so don’t be afraid to bring an array of different hues. Having a variety helps see what colors of your outfits stand out the most, depending on the location of your photo shoot. For example, if you are planning on having your photos taken in some of Humboldt County’s Redwood forests, wearing an outfit with a deep purple hue in contrast with some green redwood sorrel in the background can make for an exceptionally beautifully vibrant photo!
Remember to bring accessories for all of your outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents. Since several full-body images are also taken, make sure to check your socks and shoes! You will want the right shoes for the appropriate outfit and also want to make sure your socks match! You never know, that full body shot might end up being your absolute favorite pose.
Check your clothing prior to the photo shoot to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded, and be sure to transport your outfits (you can wear one when you arrive), on hangers to prevent unnecessary wrinkles.
Visual simplicity with your clothing is important.
It’s important to not bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo. You want your face, eyes and true expression to be the focal point, not the words on your shirt.
Color is important.
Solid colors are highly recommended for most or all outfits of choice. For outside pictures, think of spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green, watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting. Again, depending on the lighting and where your desired location is for your photo shoot, colors may vary.. Bringing a variety of different hues will help you and your photographer make the best selection of an outfit, for each destination location and photo op!
Help accentuate your best features with your clothing.
If you have a more slender build, spaghetti straps and short sleeves will accentuate that feature. Turtleneck tops tend to look best on people with longer necks. If you have more of a round or square shaped face, square-neck tops will look great! Thinner faces tend to look great with rounded-neck tops.
Be selective with the jewelry.
Try to avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry. You want the photograph to accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry. Also, Jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.
Apply natural makeup but with a little flare to it.
I know it can be tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken but this could very well make you look like a complete stranger in your senior portraits. Be sure to apply some of your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to keep “who you are” conveyed in your photos. Adding a little additional makeup to dress things up and compliment who you are, is also okay and can really tell the story of “who you are” to “who you are becoming”. Just try to find the balance of keeping your true self in your photos.
Be comfortable and confident.
Last but not least, be comfortable and confident on the day of your shoot! Your outfits should reflect who you are and your style. Don’t be afraid to be bold! Feeling good about yourself is key to an amazing photo session! When we feel great about who we are, that is the energy that gets put out into the universe! Positive, happy, confident, feel good energy gets portrayed in photographs through your smile, your body position and poses. Let your personality unfold and create snap-shots you will look back on and smile for a lifetime!