L Hewitt Photo »

Preparing For Your Portrait Session | Engagement Session Tips | Best D.C. Wedding Photographer

You have a photoshoot coming up, but how do you prepare? Here are some helpful tips to make sure your photos are stunning and you have fun!

At least a month before the shoot:

At this point, we discuss the feel you want to go with for your photo shoot. Most of my clients have enjoyed doing activities or other adventures over just selecting a pretty place. We can focus on just one thing if you already know what you are excited by, or we can play with a few different things, playing with them to see how they look or mixing them together. Once we have figured out what you want your shoot to look like, then we can figure out where and when to do it. Sometimes we will put together a Pinterest board for inspiration, to help you hone your vision. (We never replicate anything on Pinterest, as I respect other artists and would never want to just copy their work. Your photos will be uniquely yours!) And I’m going to throw all kinds of ideas at you, so come with an open mind! Sometimes engagement sessions are more spur of the moment and we do not do this sort of planning. Those adventures can be equally as fun.

L Hewitt Photography Cromwell Valley State Park Engagement Couples Session Maryland Leah Huete Destination Wedding Photographer-11

Some things to consider:

1. Outfits : You are going to want to figure out what to wear for your shoot. Some people opt to shop for outfits for their shoots, typically from places like Amazon, Anthropologie, Style We, Free People, Madewell, and Rent the Runway and these will be dependent on the theme and location. It is important that you feel delighted and at home in your clothes. You can select one or two outfits. Some people just bring a bunch of different things and we figure it out when we get there. Usually, people change in the car or in local cafes, etc. I love working with outfits that are a little more dramatic — flowing skirts and bold accessories to make things interesting. For the guys, nothing can go wrong with a nice white button up and a pair of slacks, which you can dress up or down depending on your location and theme. Colorful shoes, hats, sunglasses, and fun jewelry always turn out well in photos. Try to avoid too much black unless you’re wearing a tux and a gown, and avoid big prints that clash with each other. The two of you want to compliment each other, not match.  

2. Hair & Makeup: I suggest that ladies get their hair and makeup done to look their very best for the camera, though that depends on the look you want. Some people opt to do wedding day trials on the day of the engagement shoot, but bear in mind — it might not turn out the way you like it. Some folks want a more natural look, or prefer to do their own makeup so that they feel more like themselves. All of these options are equally valid. 

3. Timing & Location: Engagement sessions typically last 1-2 hours. It’s best to visit no more than two locations (as traveling from place to place can disrupt the flow of the shoot). When to do it depends on whether you want golden, romantic light, interesting geometric light, evening light twinkle, the volume of people around at certain times of the day, whether it’s indoors, as well as location hours (ie: museums close at certain times). Knowing what you want for the kind of feeling of your shoot will help determine when and where to do it.

4.  Preparing Yourselves: Make sure you’re both on the same page about what engagement pictures are like — there will be some posing and some canoodling and probably out in public! Take a look at some of the photos on my website and get to know what you like in terms of posing or no posing, setting, light, etc and make sure to talk to me about what you come up with! You may want to practice some posing in the mirror in advance because sometimes what looks best feels weird when you’re asked to do it! It’s my job to help you look your best and try to make candids of the two of you, as well as pieces of composed art too. You may want to look at some engagement images here on the site to help you get ready.  


L-Hewitt-Photography-Copyright-Leah-Huete-Destination-Wedding-Photographer-1-15 (1)

A few days before the shoot:

We will have a meeting to discuss the final wheres and whens — typically this is just a phone call and it’s a great time to discuss what photos you love, what sort of feeling you want (playful, romantic, sexy, natural, epic and dramatic, magical light, vintage vibes, etc) It is important to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water the days leading up to your shoot. Do not forget to buy your accessories!

What to expect on the day of:

I will give you some basic tips about posture and posing when we start, which, if you are getting married, will also be good pointers for the wedding day. Don’t worry about posing or making things perfect. I’m looking for the beauty in imperfection –motion, glances, little nuance in body language — the natural moments just after I pose you or tell you a dumb joke. (The picture below is a good example!) An engagement session is equal parts improvisation and posing. Mistakes are going to happen (hopefully we have fun when we’re doing them!), so embrace them and just have fun. It’s really important to relax and go with the flow. If you spend your time thinking about if you’re doing right, it’ll show! You’ve hired me for good reason, so now is time to trust that I will be your yoda and guide you true. I love it when clients have shot ideas that they want to try and get excited and involved. The goal of the shoot is to play, to experiment, and see what works with the light. So don’t be too nervous. It is almost like acting. If it helps, you can pick a character or a mood for yourself and we will play with that and have fun!

l hewitt engagement3
L Hewitt Photography Copyright Leah Huete Destination Wedding Photographer Baltimore Washington DC New York-1-3



About the Photographer

Welcome! I’m Leah, and I capture stray photons and tell stories with my camera. I believe in kindness. I love quirky movies like Amelie, Delicatessen, & most everything Wes Anderson has ever put on the screen. I love exploring. Find out more about me….

instagram facebook twitter pinterest | Contact

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *