Timing

While California doesn't offer as much changing of the seasons, it will have a change in lighting * hello day light savings*. One key factor to consider when choosing your location is the time of year you want your session as well as the time of day. Fall and winter may come with less crowds, empty beaches and less traffic but it also comes with shorter days. Spring in California is a perfect choice if you are romanticizing the idea of fresh wildflowers and grassy fields. Summer allows you warmer weather, later nights and dips in the ocean but can also boast more tourists. If you are wanting an outdoor session, I always book around the sun! 1-2 hours before sunset can offer that golden hour warm, romantic lighting ideal for an engagement session. When shooting at the beach, closer to sunset is an option as I can shoot for longer into blue hour. Shooting in other locations may be earlier depening on when the sun will dip behind a mountain or nearby buildings.

Booking

I always advise my couples to book a minimum of 3 months in advance and to choose a weekday. I offer sessions Monday-Friday and while I do not mind working the occasional weekend, crowds can be heavier, especially if we are shooting in a popular tourist destination like Laguna Beach or San Diego. Booking your session early will help ensure you are getting the date you want! Late Summer and early fall are my busiest for couples sessions so make sure to reach out in early summer to secure your dates!

Location

Some of my couples have a location in mind prior to booking with me, while others are dependent on my expertise of where to go. After booking I always send out an engagement questionnaire. This helps me get to know my couples a bit better! Finding out where you met, your shared interests, where your first date was, maybe you love the beach or maybe you both have a love for art and want to shoot at a gallery in LA. These are all things I take into consideration when choosing a location that suits your relationship the best! What photography style catches your attention the most? Do you like an editorial style? Museums can offer a minimal backdrop for this kind of shoot. Maybe you want to capture a day in your normal life like a walk around your neighborhood or making dinner together. Whether you want to rent a vintage car and chase the sunset down PCH or explore the desert in Joshua Tree. I promise we will find the perfect location for you! Dependent on the location you choose, some places will requie a permit to shoot there.

Outfits

Are you looking into booking a shorter shoot? These packages include one outfit choice where as an hour or full day session will have time for multiple outfit changes. My number one suggestion is to ALWAYS wear something that you are comfortable in. Trying on your outfits before the time of your shoot is a crucial part in making sure you feel your best! How does your outfit look alone? How do your choices look when paired together? Aside from location, I believe your outfits highly influence the outcome of your photos. Make sure to coordinate outfits without matching. Here are a few other things to ask yourselves when choosing outfits; does it match the location of our session? If I saw someone wearing this walking down the street would I like it? Do the shoes I chose pair well with the clothing choice? Most importantly, do I feel confident and comfortable? For longer sessions, you have a bit more freedom to bring outfit choices! Do you want to jump in the water after? Bring a bathing suit! If the first look of your shoot is more laid back, let your second outfit be a bit more formal! For higher end, editorial style sessions there are so many great resources for dress and suit rentals!


Outfit Tips

  • Always bring a comfortable pair of shoes to walk in if you are wearing heels or dress shoes for your session.

  • Make sure your outfit is free of wrinkles and stains! Steaming is a great way to reduce the chance of wrinkles while inspecting the clothing before trying on can help to ensure you dont see any stains on it.

  • When selecting your outfits, make sure you like how it looks from all angles, front, back and the side.

The Day Of Your Session


Being on time is probably the most important part here! I always recommend getting there 10-15 minutes early to do that last minute hair and make up check, change into your outfits if you drove there in something else. Being rushed is not a fun way to start off your shoot so allow yourself a little extra time!


Clean your ring! For enagagement sessions, there is always a mixture of detail shots and shots from further way! There is nothing worse than getting your photos back and seeing a dirty ring!


Get your nails done! Touching on the subject above, your ring and hands will play a big role in this session! Getting a manicure the day before or the morning of is ALWAYS a good idea!


If getting your hair done, I recommend to get it done the evening before or the morning of! Some hair types with curls can need a day to set and not get frizzy while more fine hair may need to be done the morning of. Hear me out, I know everyone has different types and textures of hair but if your hair looking good is something that is important to you, get it done! You will not regret it! Same goes for makeup, if it is something you keep thinking about, invest in a great makeup artist the day of. Dont forget to bring a few items so you can touch up before the shoot!

Calm Your Nerves

I get it! Standing and posing in front of a camera can feel TOTALLY unnatural! Not many people feel comfortable in front of a camera and that is totally normal! I will be there every step of the way to help guide you through prompts. My end goal is to capture you two being you! Being affectionate during a shoot can totally feel overwhelming and intimidating but think of it as me documenting your date night! Use it as an opportunity to have a practice session leading up to your wedding day! There are also some locations that offer a bit more privacy if we need it because I understand PDA is not everyones love language! Being a documentary style photographer means I will be directing you through prompts and suggestions, I promise I won't just leave you there asking to smile directly at me! Think of it like your favorite rom com, setting up scenes, constantly in motion. MOVING IS YOUR FRIEND. For one prompt, I might ask you to tell her a secret, the next I might ask you to tell each other jokes, the key is to stay consistenly moving. Pushing eachother in an out, playing a game of tag or swaying back and forth are all going to be part of capturing the kind of photos you want. Stay in the moment and really embrace where you are at and don't forget to breathe! Being silly with your partner is highly encouraged! It will create more organic photos. If you are wanting more serious, editorial style photos, YOU HAVE TO BRING THE VIBE. A serious face can go just as far as a smile. Use your engagement shoot as just another date night, have a sweet sit down dinner before or go grab your favorite cocktail!

Props

I highly enocurage the use of props during engagement sessions! Are we going to the beach? Bring a cute towel, a picnic basket or even a surfboard! Things like books, sunglasses or even renting a vintage car can help elevate the look of your session and help make it more memorable!