Photography Prep Guide

I believe in a good mix of photojournalism and guided poses throughout the engagement session and wedding day, but here is what to expect and tips for everything to run smoothly.

Knowing what you look like in front of the camera is like getting ready without a mirror. This is why I guide you through every pose and offer direction throughout the portrait process.

The Process

We all want to show off our best features.

Love your eyes?

Lean your head slightly towards the camera and tilt your chin slightly down so that your eyes look more open.

Love your hair?

Make sure it's blown-out or nicely styled and stays more in front of your shoulder than behind.

Love your shoulders?

Don't be afraid to throw a little sass and do some cute over the shoulder poses.

Want to show off your waistline?

Make sure your hands aren't ever flat by yoursides. Bring your arms and elbows ever so slightly away from your waistline so the camera can clearly see it.

Other tricks we will use during the session:

Keep your chin up!

Stand slightly at an angle, versus straight toward the camera. This shows off the body's curves and is more flattering than just standing facing the camera directly.

Movement movement movement! Be prepared for lots of action to bring out those natural emotions.

And don't worry- I will be guiding you through every pose and prompt throughout the session.

Engagement Session

Bring Props

If you play guitar or your first date was a picnic in the park, let's add that into the session! Props and themes can help tell a story in your gallery and can also be a helpful tool for more natural posing and images.


Choose a place that has some type of meaning to you. A college campus where you met, the downtown of the first city you two lived in together, any place with a connection to your story.


I always recommend neutrals, as certain locations can have contrasting colors and neutrals pretty much never clash with the backdrop. Avoid too many prints, especially stripes and plaid, as those can look wonky on camera. Also keep in mind that colors do reflect onto your face (color casting).

We can also do an outfit change- so if you want to do casual/dressy and then a more formal look, let's do it! (Most of my clients do end up changing in their cars, just FYI)

Hair and Makeup

When we look good, we feel good! That's why I am all for hair and makeup for a portrait session. The confidence a fresh blowout or professional face of makeup can add is totally worth it.

Wedding Day

First Look

I love first looks! Not only does the groom let his guard down and really let those real emotions shine, since there aren't 100+ people watching him, it also allows us to capture most or all portraits (given the timeline allows) before the ceremony. This allows more time for bride and groom portraits post ceremony and can be especially helpful during the winter months when the sun sets early. It also allows you to spend more time with your significant other on wedding day- the most important benefit! Most of my couples opt to do a first look.

Sunset Photos

I also love to sneak the couple away during sunset for some soft light sunset photos. I promise not to take longer than 10-15 minutes capturing these, and I also promise they will be worth it!

On Time

Please know that I will work my hardest and try my best to keep things flowing on time on your wedding day (and I am quite good at this!), however, if I am in charge of making sure hair and makeup is on time plus keeping tabs on the groomsmen's status at a different location, it can take away from what you are paying me to do- capture all the moments. Having a planner or coordinator keep everyone on task is so so very helpful to your vendors during those hectic hours before the ceremony.

And most importantly, be mindful of sunset time. Only allowing a little bit of time for portraits before the sun goes down can be quite difficult and sometimes impossible.

Photo List

I capture all the things on wedding day and have a timeline and list that I work off of in order to not disrupt the flow of the day and not make things feel forced, but if you have any can't miss shots just let me know! I will be happy to add them to the list.

You can find a typical wedding day's shot list here

Detail Items

Please have all wedding day details in a box on wedding day, this way I don't have to disrupt you or your bridesmaids as you are getting ready and I can immediately get to work as soon as I arrive! These details include:

Shoes (bride and groom)




Any jewelry

Dress plus hanger

I do have a collection of ring boxes in an array of colors, but if you prefer that I use yours that is not a problem.

Have fun!

Lastly, don't forget that wedding day isn't just about the photos. Obviously I am here for ALL THE PICS you want to take, but I also want you to enjoy your day and spend time with your friends and family that are there to celebrate your union.