Seattle engagement photo sessions are very popular with my clients and easy to accomplish if you adhere to the following rules.
1. Choose a location or set of locations that have meaning to you. It's really easy for clients to say, " I want to shoot in Pike Place, or Kerry Park," But if you've never been to Pike Place or you only like Kerry Park because your coworker suggested it then it's time to dig a little deeper. Seattle is an amazing city with great sights, food, sounds, etc. Ask yourself, "what about this spot do I like? How does it reflect our story as a couple? Is there some personal connection? Or am I just playing tourist?" A great example of this is Noelle and Kane's engagement session. We shot in the Columbia City neighborhood where they live. Most of our photos happened on the street just outside their apartment. We did this because they said that they always wanted to remember their first home together. The great thing about an engagement photo session is that it tells your story. Your love story is unique and making your photos different and personal is my job! Once you have the location you are ready to pick a time.
2. Each location for a Seattle engagement photo session will have a different time when it's best to shoot there. For example, if you want to shoot on the beach at Golden Gardens it's best on a weekday about one hour before sunset in the winter. Yes. Winter. The sky will actually be more dramatic during this season and there are fewer people on the beach and in the park as a whole. Pike Place market is best after the market has closed for the night and the sun is down. Then you can photograph under the lights of the long hallways without a crowd. Pike Place is actually a great location for a night shoot! Shooting midday is probably the worst time for any location but you can get away with it when photographing in Pioneer Square; just stick to alleys and buildings on the shady side of the street. With a location and time of day set, you can get to the most important decision: what to wear.
3. It's good to have 3-5 (you read that right) outfits. Prime numbers work best when putting several images together in a collage and will give you lots of variety. I would suggest the following:
1-2 Dressy outfits (suit and dress)
1-2 Dressy casual (mix nice jeans with a dress shirt or a skirt and blouse)
1 Casual outfit
Please avoid t-shirts with words on them (unless they are personalized), mixing busy patterns, or lots of bright colors as these pull focus from facial expressions. Bonus points if you have a skirt or shirt that looks good blowing in the wind. Also, scarves, jackets, hats, jewelry, etc are wonderful ways to dress up an outfit or turn one outfit into two without needing to change.
4. Hair and Makeup. In the immortal words of Donna from Parks and Rec, "Treat Yo Self!" If you are planning a trial run with your stylist this is a great time to do it. Guys, you're included in this. Get a pro shave or beard trim and facial. Don't forget a haircut and manicure! Your hands WILL be in photos and it makes for a better image if your hands don't look like you were just installing a carburetor.
5. Once your session is done you'll need to do some homework. You are going to have beautiful engagement photos, that's a given. For some, this is the first time they will have good photos of themselves with their partner, so take some time to think about what you are going to do besides posting them on your Instagram. I'm not hating on social media. I love watching clients get a million raves on their photos from friends and family but that excitement has a short lifespan. However, a physical print to put on your desk at work, hang in your hall at home, or send as a save-the-date has a much greater value long-term. I know that every time I walk into my living room and see photos of my husband and me together, I get some warm-fuzzy feelings, and we've been married 17 years! If you don't know where to start, check out my product videos on my youtube channel. I'll have physical samples for you to see when you come to our ordering appointment.
6. Speaking of, if you haven't already don't forget to schedule your ordering appointment for one to two weeks after your session so you can see your photos and order the wall art or album you've been dreaming of!