THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION
STYLE GUIDE a luxu ry ex p eri en ce
THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION
STYLE GUIDE t a b l e o f c o n te n t s
WHAT EVERY BRIDE NEEDS TO KNOW
HOW TO CHOOSE A DATE & TIME
SELECTING THE RIGHT LOCATION
STYLING YOUR SESSION
11 STYLE TIPS: FOR HER 13 WHAT TO WEAR 19 COORDINATING COLORS & LOOKS 23 FLATTERING YOUR FEATURES 25 ACCESSORIZING 27 HAIR & MAKEUP 31 THE FINAL TOUCH 33 FASHION TIPS: FOR HIM 43 IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS 45 PREPPING YOUR MAN 46 THAT’S WHAT HE SAID 47 AFTER THE SESSION 48 ONE FINAL NOTE 49 ENGAGEMENT SESSION CHECKLIST
BRIDE needs to
KNOW THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION IS ONE OF OUR favorite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of our cameras before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless and comfortable. Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You’re going to be married for over fifty years, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. We’re so excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiances. We created this guide for you, and packed it with all our best secrets for getting the best out of your engagement experience, so let’s dive right in!
choosing time & date WE’RE NATURAL LIGHT SPECIALISTS BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT natural light, from the sun and its reflections, creates photographs that feel fresh, timeless and true to you as a couple. We begin all engagement sessions two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. Then, just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking time off work or have evening plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, please plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early. We’re only able to shoot when natural light is still in the sky, so we’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together before the sun goes down. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing only one, arrive in that. ENGAGEMENT STYLE GUIDE | 5
QUICK TIP: Our weekends fill up first and far in advance. You can get a Fast Pass to the front of the line by scheduling mid-week.Â
SELECTING THE RIGHT
LOCATION THE LOCATION OF YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION IS UP TO YOU! The first thing to decide is whether you’d like to feature nature or the city in your session. Like you see throughout this guide, most of our couples want to showcase the natural beauty of Utah and the gorgeous highlights of Salt Lake City to give their out-of-town guests a fun preview of what to expect when they travel to the Rocky Mountains. We especially love shooting in northern Utah because it’s so unique and the light is divine. There are also other great options around the state, and we’re always up for exploring a new spot together.
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think outside the box THIS IS THE TIME TO THINK outside the box! We encourage you to brainstorm unique locations that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your personal or professional network, can secure permission to a location that would otherwise be off-limits, like a beautiful garden nursery, private estate, country club or cabin. Maybe it’s a family ranch, upscale hotel or even an airplane hangar. The sky is literally the limit! Spend a few minutes thinking about
surprised with what you come up with. Plus, if something seems out of reach, just remember: you never know until you ask! Our couples have secured permission to some pretty amazing places in the past. If you get stuck or need inspiration, check out the engagement section of our blog and keep browsing through this guide. We have some great go-to locations around town that we can always hit, too. Just let us know which location types you love, and whether you’d like to feature nature or the city, and we
it and checking around. You’ll be
will go from there!
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STYLING your session
WANT YOUR ENGAGEMENT IMAGES TO LOOK MORE EDITORIAL? Bring a little extra something with you! A freshly-picked bouquet for you to hold, or fresh flowers to put on something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, picnic basket, is a fun way bring a little extra romance to everyday objects. Whether itâ€™s larger items like classic cars, canoes, or smaller ones like blankets, hats, or antique sleds even incorporating just one extra styled item could be a fun way to make your session more unique.
FOR HER because youâ€™ve been waiting your whole life for this
DRESS IT UP HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT rocking a sequined gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new permanent piece to your collection, one idea
is to use the website Rent the Runway for your engagement photos because you don’t have to spend a lot to feel like a million bucks. Plus, you can send the outfits back when the session is over. If that’s not your thing, an engagement session is a great excuse to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into your closet!
There’s no such thing as too dressed up.
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say yes TO THE
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LONG , F LOW Y DRES SES AND SKIRT S LO OK AMAZING ON CA ME R A BE CAUSE t he y br i ng e x t ra move me nt to t he photos. E sp e ci a l ly w hen juxt ap os e d w it h natu re, l i ke t he mou nt ains , f ields, g rass, or des er t. Cute, shor ter-lengt h dress es photo g r aph b e aut if u l ly as wel l. D ress es and sk ir ts tend to lo ok most stunning on c ame r a b e c aus e t he y re a l ly f l atte r t he fema le b o dy â€” w hich is prob ably w hy t he re d c ar p e t is a lways f u l l of s o many dress es and not ver y many p antsuits!Â We re c om me nd avoiding p ant s and shor ts for your s ession, and s ay ing yes to a dress or t wo ! JESSIE & DALLIN | 16
one or two? it’s up to you! MOST OF OUR BRIDES WHO CHOOSE TWO outfits will bring one “wow” dress, and then another shorter sun dress or cute outfit with pants for a more casual “us on a date” feel. But if you want to bring two “wow” dresses and forgo the more casual look altogether, give yourself permission to do it! The camera loves runwayesque apparel and so do we! Remember, though, you don’t have to bring two looks if it’s too stressful or you’d rather just stick to one fabulous look. If you go for just one outfit, aim for a classy dress rather than casual pants. Just one outfit that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love paired with another you’re not very excited about. So, one or two? It’s really up to you!
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choosing colors WHEN CHOOSING COLORS FOR YOUR OUTFITS we re c o m m e nd s e lect ing light e r t one s and m ore mu t e d s h a d e s . By avoid ing u lt ra-bright , bold col ors , i t w i ll h e lp bring a ll t he a t t e nt ion t o your f a ces a n d le t t h e eye focu s on t he way you fe e l a bou t e a c h o t h e r. T he cam e ra love s shad e s of s of t p i n k a nd m u t e d b lu e s, m ixe d wit h sophis t ica t e d l i g ht ne u t r a ls li ke he at he r gray, cre a m s , gold , l ea th e r b row n a nd whit e . Tha t sof t e r color p ale t t e f i t s b e a u t i f u lly i n t o alm ost a ll na t u ra l ou t d oor env i ro n m e n t s , a nd e sp e cially com p le m e nt s t he mou n t a i ns a n d f i e ld s.
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THE LOOKS AS YOU’RE COORDINATING your outfit with your fiance’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family. So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your color palette. Most of our brides choose their dress first, and then put together their fiance’s outfit based on that. That’s why we have a section for each of you.
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flattering your features IN OUR EXPERIENCE, EVERY WOMAN, REGARDLESS of her shape has an area of her body that she’s selfconscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.
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THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SLEEVES c re ate an awe s ome slimming e f fe c t on all ar ms , s o b e on t he lo okout for an opt i on w it h a longe r le ngt h sle e ve. You c ou l d a ls o br ing a c ute j a cket, bl a ze r or c ardigan a long , to o. Sk inny st r ap s or st raple ss dre ss e s have t he opposite e f fe c t on ar ms on c amera , s o we re c omme nd avoiding t hos e w he ne ve r p o ssible if you r go a l is a s et of sl i m me r- lo ok ing ar ms.
HE E LS E LONGATE WOME Nâ€™S L EGS ma k ing t hem lo ok fabu lous. C lo s e dto es he els in p ar t ic u l ar lo ok g re at on c amera b e c aus e t he y c ar r y out t he line of your leg a l l t he way dow n to your to e. If your to es are show i ng in a p e ep-to e he el, you m ig ht want to s che du le a p e dic ure b efore you r s ession s o you donâ€™t reg ret lett i ng your fe et show. Thes e litt le t r i ck s ma ke a l l t he dif ference!
Bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later!
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PAIR I NG A N ACCE SS ORY OR TWO WITH YOU R ou tf i t c a n re a lly h e lp bring s om e ext ra d im e ns ion t o you r i m a ge s . B i g s t a te m e nt ne ckla ce s bring a lot of p op to t h e p h o t o s , while t he sm a lle r, d e licat e one s a re n o t a s n o t i c e a b l e on ca m e ra. Be lt s, brace le t s a n d e a r r i n g s b r i n g gre at vis ua l int e re s t , so choose on e or t wo t h a t d o nâ€™t com pe t e for a t t e nt ion. Fre sh f l or a ls i n a c row n o r b ou qu e t ca n be a re a lly rom a nt ic t ou ch a s we ll.
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HAIR & MAKEUP PROFESSIONAL HAIR & MAKEUP IS ON TOP OF MOST OF our brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. From lash extensions to blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of our brides feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, especially when it comes to false lashes, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and our brides always love the final result. If you need a recommendation for hair and makeup, we work with the best in the business and have a great go-to team! They’re sweet as pie, talented as heck, unbelievable professionals and wonderful people. You’ll LOVE them! Just let us know and we’ll send you their information. We know they’ll take good care of you! JESSIE & DALLIN | 28
CONFIDENCE. Itâ€™s always the best accessory.
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A LITTLE EXTRA POLISH Donâ€™t forg et , you r ring will be c e nte r sta ge , so giv e y o u r s elf permission t o g et it c le a ne d a nd your na il s done , too!
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skip the spray tan ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT SEEM counter-intuitive, we recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph
orange even when it’s applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most be autiful ly and natural ly.
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FOR HIM because dapper and debonair never go out of style
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AS LONG AS HE’S GOT THAT
SUIT & TIE F ROM JA M E S BON D TO DON DR A PE R , M E N look most st r i k i ng i n a wel l-t a i lored su it . I f he doe sn’t h ave one, now’s t he p er fec t t i me to i nve st i n somet h i ng he’ l l we a r for t he re st of h i s l i fe! The b e st pa r t ? It’s a lot le s s ex p en sive t h a n you m ig ht t h i n k ! W h i le c u stom su it s c a n cost t hou s a nd s of dol l a r s , some of t he most wel l-k now n br a nd s h ave of f-t he -r ac k su it s i n t hei r store s for a f r ac t ion of t he pr ice. Sol id sh ade s of g r ay or n av y a re a st rong complement to most women’s out f it s , where a s pi n st r ip e s or pl a id pat ter n s tend to d i st r ac t t he e ye.
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THEREâ€™S NO SUBSTITUTE for a
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MIX IT UP A GR E AT IDE A I S TO M I X A SU I T C OAT, bl a zer, or sp or t c o at w it h a di f fe re nt p ant color. It a d ds s ome e x t r a v isu a l i nte re st , and c an b e more f u n t han we ar i ng t wo f u l l su its in a row. Weâ€™re bi g f ans of t his f re sh t a ke on a t imeless cl ass i c .
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layered looks NEXT TIME YOU
by a store like J. Crew, or
are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so
outside, trust us when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both
another layer will
extra dimension and visual interest
to your photos.
up the level of any look. If the temperature permits, he
adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
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IT’S ALL IN LONG PANTS AND CLOSED-TOED SHOES ARE THE MOST sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on the face you fell in love with. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home, too. Suit pants, dress pants or colored pants work best, especially when paired with closed-toe shoes. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and colored pants.
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THE DETAILS TIES, BOWTIES, POCKET SQUARES, COLORED SOCKS, BELTS, TIE clips, suspenders, vests, and watches are sharp complements to any suit. If you bring two suits to the session, you can start with a traditional necktie and belt, then switch to suspenders and a bow tie for your second look. If two suits are too stressful, no problem! One look will do the trick! You can still mix and match accessories to complement both of her dresses without doing a full change during the session. So, either way, you win.
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PREP YOUR MAN MOST MEN AREN’T OVERLY EXCITED TO TAKE PHOTOS FOR two hours, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to educate and empower your guy. Tell him why you chose us and our style of photography. Show him a couple of your favorite sessions that we’ve done, explain why you love them and express to him how much it means to you. Trust us, once he knows it’s important, he’ll light up the camera for you! The most common thing we hear from guys before engagement sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t think they’ll be good at it. By the time we’re done, though, they can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had!
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that’s what HE said “Working with Jessie and Dallin was possibly the best photography experience my wife and I have ever had. They were so professional and fun to work with. They found the perfect location for us to take pictures. The end result was a beautiful shoot.” - GARRETT E
“Jessie and Dallin are very friendly and outgoing and so easy to get along with! I recommend them 100%. The pictures turned out great and they can turn any location into a masterpiece.”
“Jessie and Dallin did a marvelous job with my wife and I for our couples pictures! They were positive the whole time, they were able to use fun examples which kept us feeling comfortable and happy to be there during our photo shoot with them. They were patient and took the time to make sure that we understood their directions for all of the different poses. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for brilliant results and a fun time doing it!” -MARK
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after the session DON’T FORGET TO PLAN A dinner date! You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? We know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together. You deserve it!
PHOTO DELIVERY TIMELINE
s ocial media sneak
blog post w ith
online galler y w ith
peek w ith one of
s ome highlights of
all of your f inal,
our favor ite photos
our time together
retouched, highres olution images
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one f inal note WE KNOW WE JUST GAVE YOU A LOT TO THINK ABOUT. WE created this guide to help make your engagement session experience something youâ€™ll look back fondly on for years and years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select wonâ€™t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your future marriage is the most important thing to us, and we want your engagement session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it.
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ENGAGEMENT SESSION CHECKLIST SET DATE, TIME AND LOCATION WITH J&D REVIEW GUIDE FOR STYLE TIPS SCHEDULE HAIR AND MAKEUP APPOINTMENTS CHOOSE YOUR OUTFITS GET YOUR NAILS DONE CLEAN YOUR RING PACK A BAG WITH:
Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots
Outfit two (including shoes and accessories)
Water bottle (for warmer sessions)
Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
PICK A FUN POST-SESSION DATE NIGHT SPOT
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we canâ€™t wait to
SEE YOU SOON!
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