The Couple Session Prep Guide —

(AKA, “How to rock your session 101”)


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Here’s the thing:

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, feels awkward getting their photo taken (well okay, maybe not models, but you get the point). Most of us aren’t used to having a camera in our faces during intimate moments with our partner - I get that. But I can promise you that if you trust me and remember a few of these tips, that we’ll get some really awesome, genuine and authentic imagery out of our session together.


Please take the time to read the below info before we meet up. And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions!

xo,
Jenna

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FEEL FAB, LOOK AWESOME

(Outfit stuff)

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What to wear: (The DOs)

So here’s the thing, it’s YOUR session and honestly you can wear whatever you’d like! With that said, some pieces of clothing or clothing combos (listed to the right) really distract the viewer from focusing on the two of you, or what’s happening in the photo. So, a few suggestions include things like:

  • Neutrals ((grey, tan, off white/black) and/or solids — these are timeless combos and go with EVERYTHING. Plus, if you decide to print images to hang up at home (do it!!), you won’t have to worry about colors clashing. Avoid super bright neon-type colors, as those can be distracting too — think burgundy, mauve, pale pink, light or dark blues, tan, rust, olive green, etc).

  • Be comfortable — please don’t show up to the session wearing something totally out of your comfort zone. I want you to feel great, because that means you’ll feel more like yourself in your images.

  • More than one option — as time allows, feel free to change during our session! Most couples only change once, but it’s totally up to you during the time that we have together.

  • Dresses — If you’re not a dress person, that’s totally fine (I’m not!) but they DO look pretty fab in photos - so if you can rock one, I suggest bringing it along!

  • Hats? Yes, sure - accessorize it up! But be warned that I’ll probably ask you to take them off for quite a few images if you’re looking directly at the camera, as hats with brims often block the light on your face.

What not to wear: (The I politely suggest you avoids)

  • Wearing a Pattern? Cool, but I suggest only ONE of you wears a pattern (unless you’re SUPER good at matching them), and the other person wears a coordinating color. (This couple rocked the two patterns in the image below, but consider yourselves warned that this can be tricky :-p)

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  • Words — I’d avoid them, mostly since they distract from how cute the two of you are <3

  • Feel free to ignore my advice — For real, because I also want you to take a step back, forget all of the rules and the Pinterest pressures for a second, and bring an outfit that feels like YOU — what’s your go to? What makes you feel stinkin’ awesome?! Bring that outfit, too.

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Still need ideas? Here’s a link to a quick 5 minute Pinterest board I made — or, try searching “couple engagement session outfit ideas” on Google or Pinterest - PLENTY of material there <3

 
 
 
 

The Other Details

(Session prep, hair, makeup, etc.)

 
 
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Hair and makeup and other prep

Okay ladies and gents - if you’re into hair and makeup, this is for you. If you’re not? Totally cool - NO PRESSURE, be yourselves, and skip this section ;)

Butttt if you are planning to have a hair and makeup trial done before your big day, then this is totally the time to schedule it. Give yourself a couple of hours buffer when scheduling the appointment before our session together. This way if anything runs late, you won't feel stressed or frazzled worrying about time and we won't miss some potential perfect light.

Note: Booking a hair/makeup artist? In my experience these appointments can run late from time to time — it’s wise to schedule your appointment for a minimum of 2 hours prior to your shoot. Just to be safe.

 
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THINGS TO BRING:

  • Lipstick/lipgloss - whatever you have on, in case you need to reapply.

  • Lint Roller - use one before the session, or bring one along for those pesky dog hairs that follow us everywhere.

  • A snack? If you’re going to get hangry during our 1.5 hours together, do us all a favor and bring something to tide you over.

  • Comfortable shoes - my sessions often include a fair bit of walking around, so please feel free to bring cute shoes, but I recommend bringing a comfy pair, too.

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Still nervous? Don’t you even worry - I’ve got you! I have all sorts of corny jokes and silly prompts up my sleeve to keep the two of you moving and laughing during the entire session. Honestly? The pressure is off because most of the session will be driven by my creative direction and a few prompts here and there (I just like to give you a few ideas of what you can do to help a girl out).

  • Need an example? I’ll say something like “Hey so-and-so, I want you to snuggle into so-and-so a bit, and then whisper your favorite…vegetable into their ear…in your sexiest voice possible.” Did that make you smile a little bit? Perfect, that’s what we’re going for ;)

The Feels

(How to get really awesome images)

Nothing creates beautiful imagery more than genuine, real emotion — so no matter what happens the day of your session, I’m going to ask you to dig deep and:

  • Be with each other. Try as hard as humanly possible to pretend that I’m not 3 feet away stalking you with my camera all up in your face. The more you can be real with each other (laugh, giggle, be goofy together, say inappropriate things, snuggle, make funny faces, give her or him soft kisses on the forehead, dance, holding hands, whisper in each other’s ear, etc), the more you’ll get images that reflect the REAL you. And keep moving! Your hand, your gaze, your hair, your smile — all of these details are worth capturing and help to tell your story.

  • For the candid shots: Look, I’ll be honest here — not many REALLY amazing candid photos happen without a little direction. So, with that said — I’m going to need a lot of emotion from you, lots of smiles, lots of interaction between the two of you. Heck, we’re at a session celebrating your LOVE for one another - so get on with it and love each other in front of the camera. I even dare you to kiss without me asking you to ;) Candid shots are great - as you’ve noticed they are one of my FAVORITE things to capture, and I will definitely take more of these during our session than you will realize, so trust the process...and me :)

  • Be you. It’s so hard not to pressure ourselves into being like all of the other cutesy couples all over social media these days. Don’t want a ring shot? You don’t have to have one! No kissing photos? Cool, we’ll skip right over those. Let me know what feels real to you, and we’ll capture just that.

  • Love yourself a little. This is a time for you to enjoy with the person you love — so stop the self-loathing. You. Are. Awesome. And. Beautiful. Stop being so hard on yourself. I won’t allow it during our time together ;) So, down a glass of prosecco if needed and focus on those parts of yourself that you do love.

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The What Ifs

(Weather, rescheduling details, etc.)

  • Weather - If I don’t think the light is looking good for your session time (Cloudy can be great! Heavy rain? Icy winter day? Not as great.), I will reach out the day of your session to reschedule if needed. Since these sessions can often be rescheduled (unlike weddings), I highly recommend doing so in order to get the best light possible for your session.

  • Be on Time - Please be on time for your session. I allow a 15 minute grace period (and things happen, I get that), but any longer and we’ll need to reschedule. Time is money, friends.

  • Need to reschedule? If something comes up and you need to reschedule your session, please let me know ASAP. You may reschedule your session one time non-weather related no additional fee. Rescheduling more than once due to non-weather related circumstances will require a $100 deposit.

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Your Pup(s)

Your furry friend is a part of your family, I totally get that — if you’d like to bring them to the session, awesome! But, please:

  • Let me know ahead of time. Some locations don’t allow dogs.

  • Bring a friend. Preferably one that knows your dog well — that way they can 1) help get your dog’s attention for photos and 2) watch your dog while I take photos of just the two of you.

  • Bring treats/a toy/both. Just bring something to get your pup’s attention — lots of new things are going on at a photo session, so the faster we can grab their attention the better.

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Location, location, location

Honestly? We can take cool photos of the two of you just about anywhere — this is more for you to decide what you’d like in the background of those images. A few links are listed below for ideas at a few of the listed locations. Have a look, and then choose your favorite option in the form below!

Shelburne Farms:

(Sunny Session 1) (Sunny Session 2)
Overcast Session
Winter Session

Trapp Family Lodge

Moss Glen Falls

Cozy at Home/in Home Session

Lone Rock Point - Burlington, VT

Backroad Adventures (let’s drive and see what we find):

(Example 1) (Example 2)

Mountaintop/Hike

Red Rocks Park - Burlington, VT

Please complete the form below

Name *
Name
Location Options (Pick your fave) *
***Please see links above this form for examples of sessions from each location***
 

How long will it take to receive my gallery?

As long as it’s cool with the two of you, I’ll share a few sneak peaks from our session on Insta/FB the next morning. The full gallery will be delivered to you via an email link 2-4 weeks after your session.

You’ll have the option to download “web sized” images from your gallery — I highly suggest you use those sizes for social media. Uploading a high resolution (aka LARGE) file to those sites will warp them a bit and make them look funny. Nobody wants that :) Oh, and while we’re chatting about it — feel free to tag my business in a few shares. This goes SUCH a long way in helping me reach new clients. I appreciate it beyond words.


How many images will I get?

So much of this depends on what happens during the session, but you’ll get at least 40 high resolution images in your final gallery (often more because I can’t help myself).


Andddddd, that’s a wrap!

Still have questions? Please feel free to reach out at any time.

See you soon! - Jenna