This is my journal on documenting love, finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

This is my journal on documenting love,
finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

HELLO, I'm JENNIFER! welcome to MY blog!








How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

Filed in: What to Expect

You’re getting married! You’ve announced your engagement, picked a wedding date, and booked your photographer (hopefully it’s JSP!), and now you’re wondering “what’s next?”. If you ARE a JSP bride, you’ll be getting a welcome package including a handy-dandy “What to Expect” guide that is packed full with tips for making the most of your wedding photography experience. But I thought I would share all of this juicy information with my blog followers too. So, get ready for this new series of “What to Expect” tips and info for your wedding photography! Let’s get started…

Typically, the first step with your wedding photographer is going to be your engagement session. There are always a lot of questions surrounding these sessions because most of the time it’s the first professional portraits you’ve had since high school yearbook photos! Not to worry, here’s a list of frequently asked questions to help you figure things out.

Engagement Session FAQ:

Q: When should we schedule our engagement session?
A: Try to schedule your session as early as possible. Since weekends are reserved for weddings, I photograph sessions Monday through Thursday evenings, starting around two hours before sunset. Remember, if you want to use your photos for invitations, Save the Date cards, or a guest book, you’ll need to factor that into scheduling as well.

Q: How should we decide on locations for our session?
A: I suggest choosing a location that means something to you, like where he proposed, or if you met on campus at school, or if your Grandparents have a beautiful farm we could use. If you’re still stumped, refer to the list of recommendations below to get started and ask me for help. I do location-scouting all the time!

Q: What should we expect?
A: Engagement sessions are very laid back and all about us getting to know each other better. We’ll walk around and I’ll stop when I see interesting spots with beautiful light. I use fluid posing techniques, so don’t worry about “not knowing what to do”. It also helps if you interact the way you normally would: cuddle, laugh, dance, and be silly or snuggly. To be honest, everybody usually starts out feeling a bit self-conscious (especially the guys!) but by the end of the session, you’ll be a natural. I promise!

Q: We’re still a little nervous about not knowing what to do. Any help?
A: Bring some props to make your session one-of-a-kind. It will also help to get you more comfortable in front of the camera and take your mind off of what’s happening. Here’s some ideas to get your started:
– a homemade sign with your wedding date, or “Thank You”, or “Save the Date”
– instruments you play (as long as they are portable!)
– anything related to a hobby you share
– a romantic picnic lunch or champagne for toasting
– a fuzzy blanket to snuggle up with
– memorabilia and jerseys from your favorite sports teams
– something unique to your relationship or thats special to YOU!

Q: What should we wear?
A: I always tell my clients to stick to your own personal style, but rev it up a notch. Your outfits should coordinate in style AND color without being too matchy-matchy. Also, think about the locations we will be shooting in and let that be an inspiration. For example, wear a pretty sundress if we’re going to be in an open field compared to a bolder outfit for shooting at an urban location. Here’s a little more advice on what NOT to wear:
– Matching outfits. You don’t dress the same on any other day, so you shouldn’t now.
– Solid white or black shirts with jeans or khakis. That’s just plain boring.
– Shirts with thick stripes or big logos (unless its a sports jersey for a theme outfit)
– Girls: mini skirts, tube tops, and midriff shirts. No, no, no.
– Guys: no shorts with flip flops. It doesn’t looked polished in photos.

Q: Can we bring more than one outfit?
A: Yes, of course! Bringing a mix of dressy and casual outfits is encouraged so you can change according to the locations.

Speaking of locations, here’s a list of some ideas that might help to get you inspired:
– Going to the place where he proposed or somewhere with sentimental value
– Incorporating where or what you did on your first date
– Going fishing: poles, tackle box, blanket, glass bottle Cokes, jumping in water
– Going to a place that supplies props such as: farmer’s market, record store, library, coffee shop, antique shop, wine tasting
– Going apple picking: baskets, straw hats, apple cider
– Cooking in the kitchen together
– Having a drink at your favorite bar: moody lights, barstools, wine glasses
– Going to a local carnival: fair rides, cotton candy, game prizes, balloons
– Snuggled up on the couch at home: board games, hot cocoa, fireplace
– Take a walk outside: your dog, picnic, bikes, flying a kite
– Rolling in the hay at a family farm: old truck, quilt, haybales, cowboy boots
– Walking on the beach: bathing suits, beach balls, parasols, floppy hat
– Walk through a museum: dressy attire
– Activites: disco bowling, rollerskating, iceskating, hot air balloon ride, canoeing In the rain (or right after it rained): umbrella, rainboots, splashing

And here’s some photo examples to help you visualize too. Stay tuned for the next part of this series which has even MORE tips on prepping for sessions. If you have any questions that I didn’t cover, please feel free to leave comments below. I’m happy to answer!!

Amanda and Jeremy wanted to have their pictures taken near the water. We used the Clemson sailing club and got some awesome pictures of them jumping in the lake too! Session location: downtown Clemson and the sailing club


Anna and Alex showcase a great example of their outfits going together without being overly matchy-matchy. Session location: Campbell’s Covered Bridge


For their engagement session, Brenley and Richard brought some of their favorite snacks. You can also see they had a great variety in their two outfits. Session location: Greenbrier Farms


Emily and George brought their adorable puppy to include in their portraits and a sweet homemade sign to get photos for their Save-The-Date cards. They also chose great outfits to fit in with the colors of fall. Session location: Paris Mountain State Park


We had Hilary and Adam’s session in the fall, so they brought a blanket and baskets of apples and pumpkins to use. LOVED it! Session location: Campbell’s Covered Bridge


Blaine and Katie did a great job picking two different outfits for their outdoor session. Session location: Hagood Mill


Lindsey and Matt chose to do their session at the lake, where they love to spend their free time. Session location: private lake house


Melissa and Daniel found love at USC, so we thought it was the perfect location for their session. They even brought textbooks for props! Session location: SC State House and USC Horseshoe


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  1. […] So, today I have a few more tips and tricks to prepping for your photo sessions. Some of these might seem obvious, but if it helps one person then it’s worth mentioning! If you’re new to this “What to Expect” series, check out the first post here. […]

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