The best portrait sessions take a great deal of planning and preparation. This is why I meet with all clients either in person or over FaceTime prior to the session for a pre-session consultation.
Here is a quick checklist for what to bring to your engagement portrait session.
Multiple changes of cloth. A combination of casual and formal is recommended. Also a combination of both lights and darks is recommended. Try bringing multiple styles and things which showcase your interests and personality! Anything you wear while performing your hobbies can be great to add to your session as well. Examples would be hats, cowboy boots, athletic wear, etc. Avoid clothing with stripes, loud patterns, or colors. Also avoid large distracting text. Make sure all clothing is clean, fits well, and is not wrinkled. Baggy clothing usually doesn’t look flattering. Also bring some clothing you don’t mind getting dirty so we can do poses on the ground or in water.
For women having hair and make-up done prior to the shoot is highly recommended. I personally advice against spray tans. For men without a full beard shaving any stubble or five of clock shadow is also recommended. I can’t photoshop out stubble easily. Also make sure nails and hair are trimmed they way you would like them to be photographed.
I like my engagement portrait sessions to be more personal than just the standard head shot. Bringing various props is one way to make your images more personal. Bringing things you use everyday or items that relate to your hobbies and interests can be a great addition. Cars are also a great addition to couples photo shoots. Make sure the car has been washed before hand. Anything sentimental to your relationship could potentially look great in your portrait session.
I love photographing pets and they can look great in your engagement portrait shoot as well! Many times we will photograph in multiple locations and we save the pet images for some of the last images of the shoot after we get done at the main location.