*As seen on Your Life Arizona!*

At CLP, we love engagement sessions! What a wonderful way to get comfortable behind the camera before your big day! We believe that when it comes to engagement sessions, a little preparation goes a long way, so here are our top 4 tips for planning a fun and romantic engagement session that you will be sure to enjoy.

Research – The first thing we suggest is to do is a little bit of research in order to get some inspiration for your own session. And while you’re at it, make it fun! Grab a glass of wine with your honey, get snuggly on the couch and head on over to pinterest.com. Make a board of engagement photos that catch your eye – look for outfit ideas and overall vibes you like. If there are particular poses you love, make sure to make note of them. Do you prefer more of a natural desert landscape or urban feel? Are the cozy in-home sessions calling your name? Share your findings with your photographer so together you can plan an engagement session that feels natural to you and your fiancé!

Clothing – If you think about ONE thing before your session, think about this. Do not wait until the last minute to figure out what you are going to wear. As you begin selecting outfits, one of the most important things to consider is how the outfit fits. Keep in mind clothes that are too tight or too big become very obvious in still-frame photos. Before you decide on clothing, look at your Pinterest photos and try and see if there is an overall feeling to the photos you liked. For example, if you like soft and elegant photos you may want to pick neutral and pastel colored clothing with soft, flowy, or lacy fabric. Or if you liked more bold and spunky photos, you may want to choose clothing that has pops of colors or add in fun accessories, but be sure to avoid clothing with big logos or distracting graphic prints. Many of my clients like to bring one formal outfit and one casual outfit to add variety to their session. Choose outfits that complement each other – a color scheme of three colors tends to work really well. *In the end choose outfits you feel comfortable and confident in.* This is probably not the time to try a bold new style you’ve never rocked before. At the same time, it is a good opportunity to take a step-up from your everyday look. Remember to iron your clothes the night before if needed and set aside accessories so they won’t get forgotten in the rush out of the house. Make sure you consider shoes for each person as well – they are often overlooked or forgotten about. Lastly, don’t forget to think about bra straps and underwear lines. Remember, these are still photos, so you will have all the time in the world to stare at the little details that may end up driving you nuts! Most importantly, try not to stress over it too much, this process can be as a simple or as complicated as you make it!

Hair and Makeup – This is a special day and these images will be cherished for a long time – it’s important to invest the extra time and money into looking and feeling your best. Schedule a hair and makeup appointment instead of having to worry about doing it all yourself. The last thing you want is to be messing with your hair 5 minutes before you have to leave and feeling like you still don’t love it. Save yourself the stress and put it in the hands of a trusted professional who understands what it means to be photo-ready. When you head out to shoot, don’t forget to bring your lipstick or gloss so you can reapply as needed. Remind your fellas to take care of their grooming as well, facial hair, etc. My hubby has thick curly hair that drys beautifully all on it’s own, but I always have to remind him to shower early so his hair has time to get dry and fluffy before the shoot starts. If a hair cut will be needed, don’t schedule it for the day-of or day before – it takes hair a week or so to look a bit more natural after a fresh cut (especially for people with shorter hair) – get hair cuts done at least a week in advance if you think they will be necessary.

Let your photographer work their magic – Yes you did your research and know the shots you really want to capture, and hopefully your photographer has studied them to understand you better – but keep in mind, no two sessions end-up alike. As photographers, our goal is to capture YOUR unique relationship and personalities, not those models you found on the internet. So stay open-minded that although you found images that you love, yours will have their very-own vibe. Your photographer, of course, will be leading you through the entire process from posing to shot ideas, but true professionals tend do this casually, so don’t over-think it and trust that we know what we are doing. It is always our goal to keep our clients comfortable and having fun, as we know that is when we get the best imagery. Our goal is to capture real, authentic smiles and interactions. So, relax, have fun and let your relationship shine through. Remember you are doing this with your best friend. Allow us to capture that love by releasing the thoughts that are holding you back. Push your shy and nervous feelings aside and just go with it! You won’t be disappointed!

At CLP, we’re confident you’ll leave your engagement session feeling more connected than ever! So with that, we have one more suggestion to ensure it’s a day you’ll never forget. Schedule a romantic dinner for after your shoot! You will already be dressed and ready for a night out so make a reservation at one of your fave spots beforehand – It will be the perfect ending to a great day!