Engagement Session

Style Guide

I’m so excited about your engagement session! These photos aren’t just about getting images for your save the date cards. This is my way to get to know the two of you before your big day!   We’ll test out some of my favorite poses - and get you both comfortable in front of the camera! This helps make your wedding day photos go a whole lot smoother.  

I’ve created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos, and by the time you’ve read through this, you'll have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

The first step is to choose a location! This is the one main aspect that you can really make it unique to the two of you!  Do you have a favorite spot?  Where did you meet?  Where did he propose?  A favorite hobby you do together?  Also, consider what fits your style!?  Downtown urban, relaxed in the meadow, or splashing in the river.   I have a whole list of places I have shot at if you need help with ideas!   Want to do something new, then let's get out of town!  I love to travel!  

Remember - If we've settled on a location out in nature (i.e. woods, river, beach, etc.), be sure to come prepared for that specific location. If we're heading out in the woods, be sure to bring bug spray and even shoes you don't mind getting dirty.

Time

There is only 1 sunset per day, and I always aim to capture that!  The dreamy sun glow makes my heart so happy!  There is no time limit to your session, so we will gauge how much time is needed based on locations and outfit changes! I typically begin all engagement sessions 60 to 90 minutes before sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest.  

 

Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking time off work or have evening plans afterward.

TIP:  If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing only one, arrive in that. 

Styling tips for her

Speaking of outfits!  I am more than happy to help choose yours!  Here are some tips I've learned over the years

1. Say yes to the dress!  How often do we get to wear dresses?  This is the perfect excuse to wear one!

2. Get your nails done!  They will be showing alongside that beautiful ring!

3. Don't forget the accessories!  Especially if you can incorporate special ones like the earings he got you for Valentine's Day!

4.  Rock those heels girl.  They make your legs look BOMB!  But bring flats with for when we move from spot to spot.

5. GO PRO.  Need another reason to spoil yourself?  Get your hair and makeup done girl!  Feel fabulous.  Look fab!

styling tips for him

1. A fresh haircut is a must! 

2. Think details! Ties, bowties, cool socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit

3. Avoid hats, logo brands, small pattern is usually best over larger print patterns.

4. Compliment her outfit with your outfit!  Don't worry she can help you with that

5. Suit up!  Either a full suit or nice pants and dress  shirt looks very classy 

COORDINATING

LOOKS

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your fiance’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family. So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your color palette. Most of our brides choose their dress first, and then put together their fiance’s outfit based on that.

things to consider

PETS & KIDS:  Abso-frickin-lutely!  Bring them!  They are apart of your life and your love story.  I would be honored to have them!

PROPS: Always welcome to bring them!  Blankets to wrap up in!  A special sign, anything you can dream of!  

TURN AROUND TIME: Sneek Peek 24 hours.  Full gallery in2 weeks.

SAVE THE DATES: These should usually be sent out around 8-9 months, the very latest, 6 months prior to your wedding.  To get these in the mail in time, plan your session at least 1 month out from send date.

WEATHER: If possible, let's avoid re-scheduling. We'll stay in touch leading up to your session and make this decision together the day leading up to and sometimes the day of.  Overcast makes for wonderful lighting!  But we will reschedule if it it raining at sunset time.

WHat to Expect

Remember what our goal is here: to create natural, fun images that represent you as a couple.  I use a posing method called "unposed"  Basically I will direct you two into a moment together, and the more you go for it the more you engage with one another, the more that love shines in your photos!  We will do weird, silly things, but it will all make sense once you see the two of you having the best time ever in your photos! 

Throughout the session, we may take a few minutes to pause, drink some water, relax and chat. We are not going to just shoot constantly for 90 minutes straight. I want to get to know you and I want you to get to know me. I want to know what makes you laugh, what you like to do for fun and what you love about each other. Feel free to ask me questions too. The more comfortable we are with each other, the better your pictures will be and, most importantly, I won't be  a stranger showing up with a camera in your face on your wedding day.  

CHecklist

Set date, time and location with Jess

Review guide for style tips 

Schedule hair and makeup appointments 

Choose your outfits 

Get your nails done 

Clean your ring 

Pick a fun post-session date night spot

Pack a bag with: 

Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots

(Optional) Outfit two (including shoes and accessories) 

Touch-up makeup

Water bottle (for warmer sessions) 

Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)

DATE NIGHT

Don't forget to plan a dinner date! You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? I know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together. You deserve it! 

Quad Cities // Davenport//  bettendorf // Moline //  Rock Island

and beyond