THE JM JOURNAL

Wedding photography that captures your love and once in a lifetime moments.  Come along to read more on weddings and my family.
 Based in Central Pennsylvania. Available for travel.

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THE JOURNAL

Engagement Session Style Guide

Congratulations on your engagement! I’m so honored to be your photographer and can’t wait until your engagement session. These photos aren’t just about getting images for your “Save the Date Cards.” They’ll be a timeless treasure, as I capture your love in a more natural, relaxed setting. My goal is to help you feel comfortable and have fun while I create images you will cherish for a lifetime. We’ll also get to know each other a little better before your big day. We’ll test out some poses and I’ll get to know your personalities a little more, which will make your wedding day photos be smooth and fun! Your only job is to be yourself, enjoy your fiancé and let me take the photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!


What to Wear?

Don’t be afraid to dress up! I definitely recommend this! Have fun with your clothes and make it a special date! I suggest one dressy outfit for most of your images, and, if you’d like, a second more casual outfit. If you’re planning a casual outfit, I recommend wearing that first. Save the dressy one for when the light is prettiest.

Fashion Tips for Her

Say Yes to the Dress!  Long, flowy dresses and skirts look stunning on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Even a romantic gown looks amazing. Dressier outfits contrast in a perfect way with nature, which is where most engagement sessions take place. You can also rock a dressy outfit on a city street or in front of historical buildings. Dresses and skirts seem to flatter females best—which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses. There is so much to do with a gorgeous flowy dress. You can wave it as he’s kissing you or spinning you around. They have great twirl factor and add romance to the photos when he dips you or picks you up in the air. Also, scarves, bold necklaces and fun shoes are always fun! There’s no such thing as being too dressed up for your engagement session. You may want to just stay casual, and that’s okay too. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and beautiful. 

*Ladies, in choosing your outfit, be mindful of things like straps peaking out, lines showing through and see-through material. Since there are so many fun images with walking and twirling, making sure your clothing is secure is super helpful.  We’ll be taking pictures at many angles, so light sometime shines through where you would rather it didn’t.

Style Tips for Him

I personally think men look awesome in a well-tailored suit, but that may not be your thing. Long pants and dressy shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks. Dark or light colored, they look great paired with a long sleeve button-up dress shirt. Add a form fitting jacket, and “Step aside, James Bond.”  We can definitely do some images without the jacket, especially for the more casual shots. If you’re doing both dressy and casual, you can just roll up your sleeves for the more casual photos, if you don’t feel like changing. Guys, try to stick with solid neutral colors and let her bring the “Wow!”to your images.

Choosing Your Colors

When choosing colors for your outfit, I recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your face and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves pastels, like shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like light gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments and works well with the light and airy photography style.

The main thing is to make sure your outfits coordinate. Keep in mind that your outfit will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily match. You could each wear a dominant color but stay within a similar color palette family. For instance, if she is wearing a blush dress, light blue earrings and nude heels, then he could wear tan pants paired with brown leather shoes and a navy blue jacket.

Go Pro | Hair + Makeup

These are two things on most bride’s checklists. Choose a hair and makeup look to appropriately compliment your engagement shoot stlye. If you’re going completely dressy, glam it up! Getting your hair professionally done is always fun and if you can, get an appointment with your wedding day stylist. You can experiment for your big day and your stylist will be prepared for exactly what you are expecting. A blown out style always looks great in photos! Just make sure to bring any styling aids or makeup you may need to touch up between shots. Looking good on camera doesn’t require a makeup artist, but professional tips do help. If you’re interested, Lin and Jirsa, a wedding photography team have a great website for tips. (Click here)

Show Off that Ring!

During the session, I’ll be getting some ring shots. I’ll get a shot of the ring on it’s own and also on your hand. Your ring will be center stage, so give yourself permission to get it cleaned and your nails done, too! Get your ring so shiny that everyone can see that he did an amazing job picking out the perfect ring for you.

Props for Days

If you want your engagement images to look a little more editiorial, consider bringing a little something extra with you. A freshly picked bouquet, cozy blanket or coffee mugs from your favorite coffee shop add personality to a photo. I’ve had couples bring all kinds of props along. One of my favorites was when Chuck and Alicia brought along an American flag. Chuck is in the military so this was an extra special thing for him. Feel free to dream a little bit and decide what feels right for you. Some couples even bring their favorite sports team shirts. Props aren’t a must, but some couples enjoy them. Others stick with just their regular outfits and that’s great too. The most important thing you need to bring is love and laughter, I’ll take care of the rest!

A few last thoughts…

Once we have your engagement session scheduled, I’ll meet you at the location you’ve chosen.  When we first arrive, I really enjoy talking for a couple of minutes and hearing how your life and wedding planning are going.  I’ll also give you a brief tutorial in posing.  It’s all  pretty simple and after 10-15 mins, my couples are totally relaxed and having fun!  Most of my couples, especially guys, say at the end of the session, “That was a lot more fun and much easier than I thought!”  So be assured…your session will be great and we’ll have a wonderful time together!  

Lastly, don’t forget to plan a dinner date for afterward. 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.

I hope these tips are a big help to you!!  I’m so honored and excited to work with you both and I can’t wait to share this special time with you!!

 

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THE JOURNAL

I am thankful to each and every couple who invites me to document their love story. Each precious moment of wedding happiness is important to me. 

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