Congrats on your engagement!
You're engaged! So now what? Well, first of all, congrats again on your engagement and let's celebrate with some engagement photos of you and your soon-to-be spouse. Engagement sessions are a great ice breaker in getting to know one another and for you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It's a great time to celebrate and to have some gorgeous photos to hang up on your (or mom's) walls in non-wedding attire. There's a greater opportunity to express yourself and to include other important family members (hint: woof woof) in your photos than what you can do on your wedding day.
How much are engagement sessions?
If your wedding package doesn't include one, engagement sessions begin at $350 and have three packages to choose from. Sessions start at a one hour session, multiple outfits, online gallery, high-resolution images, and digital rights to print, as well as an online store to purchase professional quality prints.
Can you see sample galleries?
Sure! If a client hasn't requested to remove the model release portion or if there isn't sensitive information within the galleries, you're welcome to view galleries on my blog or on the gallery page. Only password protected galleries cannot be accessed unless the client has given you permission and the code to access it.
What should you wear?
This is totally up to you, but I always recommend to have at least 2 to 3 outfits. If you don't plan on bringing an outfit to change into, wear layers so that we can still get a few different looks without having to worry about changing. Speak of changing-- where would you change? Many couples tend to change in their cars or in an open public restroom. If we are in an open field or in a more wooded area, it's easy to change in a car without having to worry about anyone seeing you, and if we are in the city-- it's a great time to grab a cup of coffee or a snack at a coffeeshop and pop in the restroom really quick if public restrooms aren't available.
In terms of what to wear, consider wearing a more dressy outfit and then a more casual outfit it you're going with two looks. Engagement photos are about you and it's also a great time to have some fun! Why not rent a dress off of rent the runway and get a little dolled up? I'm a fan of all things sparkly, shiny and gorgeous, so feel free to go Black-Tie or let's color coordinated in a simple plain (but neat and clean) outfit. It's best to color coordinate instead of matching. Come dressed in the less fancy outfit as it'll take a little bit to get warmed up to having your photos taken!
Should you get hair/makeup done?
This is totally up to you! Just remember that your makeup should be a tad bit heavier than your every day look but not as heavy as "stage makeup." You could also coordinate having your hair and/or makeup trials done prior to your engagement photos as a way to combine the two, but if you need recommendations for hair, my absolute favorite is Simply Captivating Salon or feel free to utilize your regular salon. For makeup, my recommendations are: Shannon (Shade Makeup Artistry), LeeAnn (At Home Beauty), Dessa Marie Artistry and Annie (Pretty Pretty Pittsburgh).
What about the weather?
I live in Pittsburgh. I totally get it. I'm used to photographing in every type of weather condition, so I'm not afraid to photograph in full sun or in the rain. But, as a person who has naturally curly/frizzy hair, it's understandable to reschedule if the weather isn't ideal for you. I allow one reschedule to try to aim towards a better weather day. I know you want your engagement photos to be the best possible and I want you to have the best engagement photos possible, so if we don't think it'll be ideal weather conditions, feel free to drop me an email and we can reschedule and hope for a better weather day!
Location, Location, Location!
I personally prefer to photograph in the city or surround county parks. As someone who grew up in rural central Pennsylvania, I moved to the city for several reasons. One of them was that I love the aesthetic vibes of the urban area! I'm in love with the ornate buildings, neon signs, and the dynamic personalities of the architecture. Pittsburgh is a gorgeous city with many beautiful sub-cultural areas within it that it's easy to choose different areas that are close by. Our green areas are also incredible little gems hidden throughout the city, ie- Mellon Park in Shadyside, Mellon Square downtown, Point State Park, or Allegheny Commons Park. I find areas like these more fun to explore, but I'm also willing to push my boundaries and go for a hike in the woods or to roam a field of tall grass, too.
Time of day and year are also factors that need to be considered when planning locations. While some parks are better in the evening for the gorgeous views of sunset, other parks are better in the morning to showcase the skyline or get the best views. Downtown sessions should be done earlier as the sun hides behind the tall buildings quicker, while a sunset at Point State Park is truly magical. I've photographed at dozens of locations throughout the Western Pennsylvania region, that I'm knowledgeable enough to know what works and what won't depending on time of day and location.
If you have a spot or two in mind, I'd be happy to offer my professional opinion on it, or I'd be happy to throw out a few location ideas depending on the vibe you'd like to go with!