This Is Going To Be amazing
HELLO AND WELCOME!! I â€™m so darn excited and honored to work with you! This guide is intended to give you perspective, knowledge and reassurance. It contains tips, advice and recommendations for what to do, what not to do, and what to expect from me during your sessions and on your wedding day! I have photographed over 5,000 weddings* and I am confident that my years of acquired knowledge in wedding science can really be of benefit to you. My motto:
KEEP CALM AND
GET MARRIED *may be an exaggeration
Engagement sessions are really just about celebrating your love and life together. It’s a chance to capture moments that tell your story, embrace individuality, showcase creativity, and illustrate the love you share. My sessions are laid back and stylish with a lot of adventure. The result is photos to share who you are with the ones you love and hopefully a few gems to hang as art on your walls. Aside from having photos of the two of you, this session is when we really get to know each other. Both you, me, and the camera.
And for wedding clients, it’s the perfect way for us to learn a lot about each other’s personalities; it’s amazing how much I learn about how couples interact with each other just hanging out for a few hours taking photos. After the session, I’m always open to any feedback you may have in case we need to change anything up for the wedding day portraits. Some couples prefer less kissing photos, sometimes the sessions lead people to finding their “good
side,” whatever the case may be. It’s great practice for the wedding day photos as well – it goes so much quicker and smoother if we’re all comfortable and if we know what to expect of each other.
I’m able to schedule your session Monday through Thursdays with the occasional weekend and ideally we’ll be shooting in the evening or early morning. The best light is at sunrise & 2-3 hours before sunset! As you can imagine my clients usually choose evening, but I am more than happy to get up early and do a sunrise session! As early as a sunrise session sounds (and totally is), I promise, the light is perfect. Sometimes there’s an early morning fog, and if it’s a mid-summer session, it’s a perfect way to beat the heat. While it’s not always possible to schedule on a week day morning or evening, the sidewalks are always a little more cleared out, parks are
usually emptier, and we can schedule further out in advanced if you’re willing to plan for a weekday! If you don’t have a deadline for your photos and we’ll just be taking some awesome photos and hanging out, feel free to simply choose the time of year for your session depending on what you’d love to incorporate! Ice cream cones and flowing dresses work well on warm days, bundled plaid layers are best in autumn, and beach and campfire sessions are perfect for warm summer nights.
WEDDING DEADLINES: Save the Dates are pre-invitations usually sent out at least 4 months before the wedding. Since the average edit time for engagements is 4 weeks, I recommend scheduling your session at least five months out from your wedding day for Save the Date purposes. When ordering a guest book or an engagement album to display at the wedding, I recommend scheduling the session at least two months before the wedding so I’ll have 4 weeks to edit, two weeks to design, and two weeks to order the guest book or album.
It’s important that you choose a unique location that’s reflective of both of you. Think about things that inspire you; consider places that have might have sentimental meaning to you or anything that’s fun or different about your hobbies, careers, or passions you may want to incorporate. Make it personal. Avoid monuments and landmarks. The best locations are a mix of quirky and obscure.
Get together and brainstorm anything that describes both of you; if you’re both coffee fanatics, maybe think about including your favorite local cafe in your session. If your style is more modern and minimal, you may want to pick a city block with modern store fronts, a building or restaurant with modern flair, a modern art museum, or a parking garage with geometric architecture,
an industrial setting, for example. If you’re both foodies, a colorful outdoor market or a picnic may be an option. If you’re both constantly found with your nose buried in books, a bookstore, library, or a study might be right for you. If you’re both earth lovers who want to spend your session in the sun, in the grass, in flowing clothing, pack a picnic or grab
some bikes and we’ll make it happen. Think about the colors and style of any potential locations and how you can compliment them with your outfits. If it helps to include props (or pets!) to help show who you are and what makes you different, absolutely bring them along. Keep in mind that sometimes the
best locations are sometimes in the most unusual places (Empty attics, abandoned lots, your Grandma’s house (no that is not a joke!) These are just a few ideas to help you get started choosing a location. Our shoot doesn’t have to be deep and conceptual, but it helps if you love where we are. And of you have a mood, concept, or a theme you want to incorporate,
feel free to talk to me about what you have in mind and we can work together on executing your ideas. I’m always up for helping to location scouting to find the perfect spot for you! I love to travel! What to shoot in a session that isn’t local? Contact me for travel info!
Light for your E session as well as your wedding day is everything. Photography is nothing without light and you probably were drawn to my work because of how I use it. It is important to schedule your E session in the morning or evening (see above about when to schedule your session!) and that I take you away for 15-20 mins right at sunset on your wedding day. Not only will this result in your most favorite images from the day, but it will give you time away from your guests to just take it all in. Just the two of you. After some cocktails. After your vows have been spoken. When itâ€™s time to just let loose and just be together.
Like the location, your outfits should also be a reflection of you. You’ll want to keep the location in mind when you’re planning your session wardrobe. I’ve put together an inspiration board to help show some items that work well in photos here: For Engagements/portraits: http:// www.pinterest.com/amandamarie81/portrait-style-inspiration/ I’ve included a few additional tips and color and pattern combinations on individual pins on the Pinboard that I felt work really well, too! Primary and secondary colors play a huge part in my photography. A touch of red, yellow, or blue can make any ensemble pop and help you stand out from the background. Even adding a pair of red or yellow shoes, tights, or a bright blue tie will transform your outfits. Take this as your excuse to buy that dress from Free People you’ve been eyeing and to break out the shoes you have been waiting to wear. And if your shoes are a little more daring, bring along a pair of flats so you can walk around with ease.
is great, but see if he’s comfortable in a chambray shirt, a cardigan or a tie, and have him roll his sleeves up for part of the session for something a little more casual (or bring a blazer for a more dressed up look). If he’s a hat guy, bring along a fedora, but please leave baseball hats at home! Complimenting accessories are important as they’re a perfect way to bring your outfits together. Think about colors that go well together, but please try to avoid matching. Dress as though you are attending the same event; if one of you is dressed for a date at a coffee shop or if you’re planning to go barefoot in a field, match each other accordingly. For guys, avoid baggy button down shirts, light denim, polos, tennis shoes and sneakers, and logo shirts. There are always exceptions to the rules, but one rule I must insist on - if your shirt has more tattoos than you do, please leave it at home. Also, try to avoid any clothing that may show unintentionally visible bra straps, tags, or semi-transparent clothing that could reveal undergarments. Those things are extremely hard to edit out!
Try including some accessories – a simple necklace, floppy rimmed hat, bright socks, a pop-of-color belt, a scarf, a set of bracelets, or add some layers that make your look just a little more stylish. And guys can (and should) accessorize too!
During the session, plan on only carrying the bare minimum – if you can, leave purses, bags, cell phones, etc in your car or I can carry them for you. This will help me to get more of documentary photos of you and your love and you won’t regret having something unwanted in the photo.
For guys, a fitted button up shirt
Remember - confidence is every-
thing in photographs. What you choose to wear should be something you feel comfortable in, something that compliments your physical features, your individuality, something you can move in, and something that makes you feel amazing. Just remember this session is special. You should dress as if it is a special occasion. These photos are going to be extremely meaningful to you for years and years and years to come :) for ladies. I often recommend scheduling the make up trials on the same day as the shoot – I’ll say it, being dolled up makes you feel a little more ready to be photographed. My favorite photos are always simple eye make up with dark lashes, so feel free to give your lashes, brows, and eye make up a little extra attention before the session. Don’t forget nail polish or if you prefer bare nails and you’re worried about your nails during ring shots, consider treating yourself to a mani. Lastly, rules were meant to be broken. I truly trust your personal style and I know I’ll love what you choose, but I encourage bringing along an extra outfit or two for each of you in case one gets dirty, if we have time to change during the session; or if you’d just like a second opinion before we start the session. If you have any questions as you’re planning for your session, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Little pieces of Advice *
get ready as close together as possible. The reduction in travel time will mean hundreds more moments captured. *Want more time to celebrate later? Do a first look and get those family and wedding party shots out of the way. I can’t recommend it enough. *Order an album while they are still 20% off. Too many beautiful images are still sitting on hard drives and it breaks my heart that some of my clients still to this doy to not have a family heirloom album for their children to hold in their hands. *”What was once white WILL get dirty” I recommend to let loose, drop your train and let’s head to a field or forest to make sure we have the most amazing backdrop. The dress will come clean. You only have one day for photos. **At this day and age, computers are at our fingertips. Save yourself hundreds and do an email RSVP or an E Save the Date!
More pieces of Advice * Try to stay clear of spray tanning. (and tanning beds are bad for you too:) I know you might think you’re pale, but you’re not ;) Spray tans will make you look orange in the photos, I promise. And not to mention it makes it exteremely hard to edit. *On a tanning note, tan lines are also very hard to edit out, so please tan strapless if you’re wearing a strapless dress! *Wear comfy shoes. Ladies I know you love a good pair of heels, but the reality is, I want you to be able to walk! As for men....I can’t stress how often those plastic rented shoes ruin a groom or groomsmen on the wedding day. Let them wear their own shoes, just say simple black or brown. Chances are they already have a pair. *And the obvious. HAVE FUN. This time of your life is supposed to be exciting, not stressful! So if things don’t go as planned, just hug a friend or kiss your new spouse and remember they are there for YOU. Live in the moment!
VENDORS V EE N N DO OR R SS I II LOVE L V D LO OV VE E
Working with vendors who have a prior relationship can greatly benefit you and the outcome of your day! Here is a list of a few I know are trusted and work marvelously with others!
*Generation Now Djs (MN)
* Maven Events (MN)
*Green Gable Gardens (OR)
*DJ Zimmie (OR)
* AE Creative (OR)
* Ali Briskey (OR)
* Whitney Werts Events
*Whimsey Design (MN)
Kirstie Wright (OR)
Beauty Lounge Minneapolis (MN)
* Maven (MN)
The Vintage Type (MN)
MN = Minnesota
OR = Oregon
A&Be Bridal (MN) Che Bella (MN) L’ Atelier Coutoure (MN) The White Room (MN) AniA (OR) The English Dept (OR) BHLDN (online)
WHERE TO GET READY The getting ready photos are some of my most favorite photos of all time. This time, about an hour before either your ceremony or before you see eachother should be quiet and calm. Get rid of any chaos. Children, tons of friends stopping by. This is your time to relax and primp and you should have no added stress. Simply ask friends or family that you would like alone time with your girls and guys standing up with you as well as family or anyone important you’d like there. Besides - the guests shouldn’t see the couple until they walk down the aisle!
As for places. Light, light light. This is so important. Consider renting a super cute airbnb house or get ready at your house or a friends house. Your parents house probably has tons of meaning to you so that is always another option and makes the images so much more documentary/storytelling. If you are out of town and unable to get an airbnb, try to choose a hotel that has good light and character. Ask the hotel if they have a suite or a coner room with lots of natural light. You won’t be sorry. I will admit that it is very difficult to make a Holiday Inn or LaQuinta pretty!
This book was written to give a few tips to help plan for our session together as well as give a few helpful tips in your wedding planning proccess. It is in no way a rule book - Itâ€™s just a few pointers to help guide you in the right direction to make sure youâ€™re ready for the camera. When it gets right down to it, this is YOUR day, your session. Make it personal, make it about you... ... and have fun - because YOU ARE IN LOVE! I cannot wait to celebrate this exciting time in your life with you! I am so grateful you chose for me to document it and look forward to getting to know the both of you in the coming months! xoxo,
A welcome to my clients!