What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos
One of the questions I get asked most often as a photographer is, "what should we wear for our session?!?" Trust me, I totally get it. Sometimes it's hard enough just to pick an outfit for yourself... let alone coordinate an outfit with your partner as well... anddd find something you're both comfortable with. The struggle is real. While I've never considered myself to be well versed in the fashion department, I love helping couples pick out outfits for their engagement sessions - I promise it's actually much easier than you may think! Tip #1 I always like to encourage couples to choose at least two outfits for their engagement session - one casual outfit, and one that's a bit dressier. For some couples, this means jeans and a nice t-shirt or blouse for one outfit, and a sundress and a button up for the second. Or you can opt for something even dressier by going with a full suit or a gown. By no means do you HAVE to bring two outfits, nor do you have to limit yourself to two! I've found that having the second outfit option provides you with a range of photos that you can use for save the dates, social media, thank you cards, prints around the house, or even prints to use at your wedding or engagement party! Tip #2 Make sure to wear something that you feel both comfortable and confident in! This is crucial. When we don't feel comfortable or confident in what we're wearing, it shows, especially in photos. Plus, these are your engagement photos - they're a big deal! So go for it, wear your favorite outfit or the dress you've been dying to wear for months now! If you're struggling to find something nice to wear in your wardrobe, splurge a little on a new outfit that makes you feel gorgeous. Make a date out of it! Drop by the mall and try on a bunch of outfits and have a mini fashion show for each other, or order everything online and have the fashion show at home! Either way, you deserve to feel confident and comfortable in your engagement photos! Tip #3 This ties into the previous tip, and it may be a no-brainer, but make sure to show off your style! AKA, be you. I joke about this on my website and on social media, but I mean it when I say, if you want to show up for your engagement session and completely nerd out, go for it! If you and your significant other do cosplay together and you want one of your outfits to be your cosplays, DO IT! (Peep this adorable engagement photo I took in 2015 that perfectly represents this exact statement) Any time you get photos done, they should be a representation of you. Your engagement photos are no different. I can't stress this enough. I love being able to see the uniqueness in each of the couples that I work with. Please don't feel like you have to show up dressed like the Pinterest-worthy engaged couples you see online if that's not you. Every love story is unique - because every love story is made up of unique people. Own it. Now that we've covered the most important bases, these next tips will get into the nitty gritty of it all... Tip #4 Neutrals and earth tones are your best friends - especially when taking photos in nature. However, the location can play heavily into what colors will work best, so it's always a good idea to keep location in mind when choosing solid colored outfits. The colors you choose can have an impact on the overall vibe of the photos. I will say it’s best to avoid super bright colors at all costs – so definitely keep the neon green shirt at home. 😉 When coordinating with your partner, trying to match their colors to the exact hue isn't necessary. Instead, try to find colors that compliment each other. Think of the color wheel that we learned about in art classes! Tip #5 When working with patterns, make sure to balance out patterns and solid colors. For example, if one individual opts for a pattern shirt or dress, the other should opt for a solid that matches a color within the pattern. I would not recommend trying to match two heavily patterned outfits (plaid shirt, floral dress). Above all else, your engagement photographer honestly just wants you to be yourself, to have fun, and to document your one-of-a-kind love story. That's what it's all about. And we will be here every step of the way to help make your dream engagement shoot a reality. 😊 Are you ready to book your engagement session?! Shoot me a message via the contact form on my website and we can start planning your session today!
Amelia: Fall Maternity Session
After working with Amelia over the summer, I was so excited to be able to shoot her maternity photos. Amelia is absolutely amazing to work with from her soft voice, to her beautiful personality. She truly radiates from the inside out, so you could expect nothing less when it came to the maternity photos. I have never seen a pregnancy glow so strong. It was stunning. I'm so excited for Amelia's journey into motherhood, and I can't wait to see pictures of her little guy once he arrives. He's already got some pretty cool parents.
Raquel + Taylor: Fall Mini Session
Raquel and Taylor met at JURY DUTY. I thought that was one of the coolest "how did you meet" stories I've ever heard. It's not every day you get sucked into Jury Duty, let alone meet the love of your life there. Raquel and Taylor were so sweet together too. I absolutely loved being able to work with them, and snap a few pictures for their upcoming anniversary.
Felicia + Jason: Engagement Session at Hartwood Mansion
On October 25th, I had the opportunity to shoot my sister in laws engagement photos at the Hartwood Mansion in Pittsburgh. Let me just say, that location was something out of a fairytale. And Jason and Felicia definitely took it to the next level. Everything about the aesthetics of this session screamed Happily Ever After, and I'm so thankful to have been able to have this opportunity to capture such a special time in my sister in law's life.
Alicia + Anthony: Engagement Session at Hickory Run State Park
Alicia and Anthony were an absolute blast to work with, and I cannot wait to capture their wedding next October! Anthony was able to get a genuine laugh out of Alicia with ease. These two were so perfectly in sync, and incredibly adorable together - and their pup was the perfect addition to their session. ALSO. Can we just take a moment to appreciate all of fall's beauty in these images as well?? I can't get over how colorful Hickory Run State Park was. It was like something out of a dream. It was definitely the icing on top of the cake for these two lovebird's engagement session!
Aixia + William: Intimate Cape May Wedding
Aixia and William tied the knot on October 10th at Sunset Beach in Cape May, NJ surrounded by their closest family, and it was absolutely stunning. These two were so adorable together, and their love for one another was radiating. Covid may have changed so many plans this year, but Aixia and William made the best of it, and their intimate wedding was beautiful. I'm so thankful to have been able to capture a few moments from their special day!
An Open Letter to My Clients
When I first picked up a camera back in 2011, I honestly didn't think it would go anywhere. I was always told that to be a photographer, you have to be ALL about photography. That was just a known thing - if you weren't 100% ride or die with photography, you weren't a photographer. So I had myself convinced I was not, nor would I ever be, a photographer. At the time, I was an art major at Millersville University who loved all things art, even if I wasn't good at all the things (I sucked at photography, I'll be honest with you guys). I wanted nothing more than to create works of art, even if no one noticed or cared. Art made my soul happy in a way that nothing else had. It's a difficult feeling to put into words, but I finally felt free for the first time in my life. I longed to go to an actual art school. I wanted to study art 24/7 while in college. I didn't want to learn about statistics, english literature, or human biology. I wanted to constantly be making art - that was my life's goal. But I never thought I was good enough to go to one of the big art schools, despite what others had told me, and I honestly didn't have the money. During my time at Millersville, I learned a lot of hard truths about myself, and about the life I would live as an artist. It was terrifying. I realized how insanely objective art could be, and how cruel critiques could be. I felt the judgement of everyone who always expected me to be this certain type of person, and because I didn't fit the description, I wasn't a true artist. I guess for some reason I was never weird enough in the "right" ways. Whatever the fuck that means. Most people know this, but for those who don't, I actually dropped out of Millersville, multiple times. I made just about every excuse in the book as to why I wasn't cut out for college, and how I was never going to be good enough to be an artist, and how I just didn't fit the persona of an artist. Looking back, I can say that I'm so incredibly thankful for withdrawing from college so many times. If I hadn't, I wouldn't be where I am today. And as much as it made me feel like a failure at the time, withdrawing from college allowed me to realize that photography WAS my life's calling after all, even if I wasn't a ride or die photography nerd. What I learned over the years was, I didn't need to be a total photography nerd to realize that photography made sense for who I was, and what I liked, and how my mind worked... I've always had a thing for tall mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and gorgeous views. I spent all of my early college years exploring every crevice of Lancaster County, and a few surrounding counties. I loved going on long drives and being able to take in the landscapes that surrounded me. I found the beauty in what most would call the mundane. I had a strong desire to travel - to see all of the amazing landscapes that exist in this world. And at the same time, as weird as it is for an introvert to say, I actually loved learning about other people's stories - what made them who they were, on a deeper level. Don't get me wrong, people still scare the shit out of me when I first meet them, but when I'm behind my camera, it's like the secret extrovert in me comes out, and I just want to learn everything about the people I'm photographing. And what's sad is it took me nearly ten years behind my camera to realize that those were the thing that truly made me a photographer. It wasn't knowing the inner workings of every camera on the market... it was the passion for people, for nature, for exploration. It was my curiosity, and my strong desire to show the authentic side of life. It was my creativity, and it was my flaws. It was my ability to connect with people on a deeper level (let's face it, small talk is for suckers). You see, the one thing that bothers me the most in this world is being told who I need to be, or what I need to do in order to be successful. And it took me 28 years to realize that success looks different for everyone. What's considered successful for me is VASTLY different from what you may consider successful. We were all born with our own challenges, our own set of talents, our own set of passions, and our own idea of what success looks like. And that's a beautiful fucking thing. If we were all the same, this world would be so boring. And if we all based our success metrics on having a lot of money and being married with children, this world would be fucked. For me, being a successful photographer doesn't mean hyper focusing on one area of photography and plastering my social media feeds with that one thing. Being a successful photographer to me means that I get to fulfill a need, for myself and for other people, regardless of the subject matter. It means that I get to bring about an emotion, I get to tell a story, I get to capture beauty, I get to create memories that last a life time, I get to inspire people, I get to make a difference in someone's life... the list goes on. What I mean by that is... I want to photograph gorgeous landscapes in a way that I can remember what the air felt like at the top of the mountain, or the sense of accomplishment I felt after hiking for six hours. I want to remember how how it felt to share that moment with my husband, or with my best friend. I want to be able to capture the shear beauty of a flower blooming at the beginning of spring, because it reminds me of springtime at my grandma's house, and it keeps that spirit of being young and curious in my heart, even after I've grown old. I want to photograph the couple that goofs around the entire session, because I know that being in love with your best friend can make you feel like a little kid all over again. I want to photograph the super romantic couple that makes love look like a fairytale, because I know that love is such a powerful thing, and when it's real, it feels like you're living a fairytale every single day of your life. I want to photograph every type of love, because I know that true love is so rare and so beautiful, but also so unique, and it should be documented in a way that's fitting for the couple, even if it means scaling the side of a mountain or something. I'm always up for an adventure. I want to photograph intimate weddings and elopements in crazy locations because I have adventure in my soul, and I know that it's tough trying to pull together money for a "big beautiful wedding", and I want you to know that even elopements can be absolutely breathtaking. Whether it's your backyard, or at the top of a mountain, I want to capture your wedding in a way that depicts the strong love you have for your partner. I want to photograph my friend's miracle baby, because stories where God makes the impossible possible choke me up, and you don't know how insanely blessed and honored I feel to be able to photograph a miracle like that. I want to capture all of the insane action moments at an airsoft event where I'm literally rolling around in the grass trying to avoid getting shot, while also trying to make my friends look totally badass (even though, in reality, we're all just a bunch of nerds... but in a cool way). I also want to capture those special moments where a father and son duo can just escape to an airsoft event for the weekend, because we all know those moments don't last forever, and kids grow up so fast. I want to photograph women in a way that allows them to feel beautiful in their own skin, because I know that society's beauty standards can be damaging, and people can be absolutely horrible, and the world needs to be able to see what REAL beauty looks like. I want to share the stories of women who have scars, internal and external, because after years of feeling like I had to hate everything about who I was because of my past, I've come to learn that scars are just a part of our story - and they're absolutely beautiful if you choose to see them that way. HELL, I want EVERYONE to leave my session feeling good about who they are - male or female. Because this life can be cruel, and no one deserves to feel like shit about who they are and what makes them human. I want to learn to take amazing food photos, because my friend is trying to start up a vegan bake shop, and I want to be able to support her in any way that I can because dreams are important, and if I can use my passions to support my friends dreams, then dammit I'm going to do it. I want all of my friends, my clients, and random strangers on the internet to know that I care about your dreams, even if they seem crazy. If I can help support them with my photography, I will. I want to photograph families, at any stage, because I know that life moves so damn fast, and sometimes it's challenging once kids get older and go off to school, and then start families of their own. Growing up, my parents and grandparents took a LOT of pictures of my brother and I, and honestly I'm so glad that they did. I think photographs help you to remember moments that you wouldn't otherwise. Family photos are so crucial, and I want to be able to give people the opportunity to create those memories. I want to take amazing professional headshots for my friend's business ventures, or to help a friend, client, family member, etc. land that dream job they've been waiting their whole life for. Honestly, the list goes on. But the point I'm trying to make is, I don't want to be chained down to one thing in order to be a successful photographer. I'm going to find success my own way, because success looks totally different for me than it does for every other person out there. But my promise to you, my client, is if you suggest a type of session I've never done before, I'm going to be completely up front and honest about it, heck I'll even give you suggestions for photographers that are skilled in that area. But if you want me to be the photographer, without a doubt, I'm going to give it my all. I'm going to find ways to make that session unique and special to YOU. To be completely honest, I'll probably end up doing a bunch of research looking for locations, and trying to find ideas to fit your needs. Because at the end of the day, you're the most important part of my business. You're the one that's bringing my dreams to life. Your memories, your families, your passions, your dreams, your quirks, your favorite places, your favorite foods, your special once-in-a-lifetime moments... they all matter so much to me. I love being able to make connections, and I love finding people who are adventurous and curious about life. I love those who keep their inner child spirit alive. I love laughing with you during my session, and learning about all of the things that make you who you are. I love meeting people who are passionate, funny, awkward, and a little bit nerdy. And at the end of the day, I just love being able to chase this crazy dream of mine, no matter what.
Coral + Kyle: Engagement Session at Ricketts Glen
These two were something out of a fairytale for their summer engagement session at Ricketts Glen State Park in PA. They were seriously troopers too! The second we got to the main waterfall, it started POURING, but we continued on with the shoot, and what happened was truly magical.
Caroline: Sunflower Portraits at Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market
This summer, Caroline and I explored the fields of sunflowers at Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market in York, PA. Let me tell you, this girl knows her stuff when it comes to sunflowers, and she looked absolutely gorgeous as she danced among them. She was definitely one with the sunflowers. While there, we also got to snag a few pics with the zinnia's in bloom as well. It was the perfect session to end the summer season.
The Dharia Family: Cape May Portrait Session
Back in August, I had the opportunity to capture this adorable little family at Cape May, NJ while they were on their family vacation. As many others have experienced, Covid-19 had changed their plans this summer, but they were able to get away for a week at one of their favorite beaches. They were truly a bundle of joy, and their daughter had the most adorable smile I've ever seen! We were even able to snag a few pictures with just Mommy and Daddy as well, and they turned out so sweet! I absolutely loved getting to meet and capture a few special moments with the Dharia family this summer.
Chaz Senior Session: Landis Woods
This summer, I had the opportunity to capture Chaz's senior photos at Landis Woods Park in Neffsville! Chaz is a senior at Manheim Township. He is a huge golf fan as well, and I absolutely loved being able to incorporate those details into his session. Here's to Chaz's final year of high school, and best wishes on his future endeavors!
Katelyn: Tinkerbell Session at Middle Creek
This summer, I had the opportunity to work with a friend of mine who brings to life the characters that she cosplays as - and let me tell you, after this session I was convinced that Katelyn IS Tinkerbell. I've known Katelyn for years, and this is the second time I've photographed one of her cosplays, and I hope to photograph more in the future. Not only are her outfits completely on par with the character, but Katelyn herself is amazing at taking on the character's personality. Katelyn also runs Happily Ever After Events, where she dresses up as various princesses and attends children's parties and local events in the Central Pennsylvania area. She also has options for virtual visits as well (because we all know covid has caused some party conflicts this year). I highly recommend choosing Katelyn for your next party or event. She has one of the kindest spirits, and she has a way of bringing these characters to life (like I stated above, she has you believing that she truly is the characters that she takes on).