2016 Connect Retreat Photo Shoots!!

Last week in my recap post, I mentioned briefly about the photo swaps that were done at the Connect Retreat. Well today you are in for a treat! I had the pleasure and honor of shooting both of these amazing couples portraits and I'm so excited to show them of today! 

First, I have to say, the WinShape Retreat Center is pretty much a photographer's dream. Everywhere you look is SO beautiful and the contrast between the red roofs, the white walls with brown trim and the green grass and trees seriously had me like, woah. I was so blessed to have been able to do some shooting there!

First up was Kristy & Vic! I've known these two for a while and even met up with them briefly when they visited NYC a while back. I was so excited to see them again! We talked before hand about swapping photos so we met up a little before dinner to do a photo swap around the campus! Love them! 

Up next was Mary-Claire and Paul! This cutie couple was in our small group and needed some updated photos of the two of them! These two have EIGHT kids and I would say that deserves some celebration!! So blessed to capture two people who are such a great example of a Godly marriage! 

Prepping for your CWP Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are probably one of my favorite types of sessions to photograph.

Actually, scratch that...they are my favorite. Hands down. 

Spending time with couples who are about to commit their lives to each other and are marinating in last few days and months before "the big day" is simply so much fun. There isn't the same pressure of the wedding day and it's just you, your camera and two people in love documenting the start of something amazing. 

So you may be thinking, "Well, Cinnamon, that is great that you are super jazzed about it, but we are nervous!! We haven't been professionally photographed in.....well, a REALLY long time, if ever!" 

First, this is TOTALLY normal. Its always nerve wracking to be in front of a camera. I actually enjoy having my picture taken and I get sweaty nervous as well. I find is the best way to really cut back on some of those nerves before the session is to be prepared! The better prepared you are for the session and the more you know about what to expect, everything will run much smoother and hey, we might even have a little bit (or even a LOT) of fun!! 

What to wear to my engagement session | North NJ Wedding Photographer

1 // Scheduling

Depending on how far out you book for the wedding, we will want to schedule the engagement session around 4-6 months prior to the wedding, especially if you might want to use some of the images for your save the date cards! 

This could change of course depending on season etc...but it's a good rule of thumb to have a little bit of time in between the engagement session and the wedding. 

Also depending on the season and time of year, a weekday will usually be when we schedule the session. Scheduling on weekends can be a challenge during wedding season and if the session is during the time of year when the sun doesn't set until 7pm or later, usually a weekday will work best for everyone involved. 

We will also schedule the session to start 2 hours prior to the sun setting on that day. I will let you know the exact time once we get the date on the books. This will give us ample time for changes, potentially traveling to different locations etc...The best photos always have the best light and these last two hours prior to the sun setting will guarantee the best possible images. 

Morris County Engagement Photographer | North NJ Wedding Photographer

2 // Location

Choosing a location for your engagement session can be so overwhelming with so many amazing choices! In order to narrow it down, I have a few suggestions. 

  • Consider the "feel" you want for the photos. Rustic? Outdoor? Urban? Beach? 
  • Do the two of you have any special or memorable places that you share that might be a good option? 
  • Do you have access to any sort of private or exclusive locations that would add a unique element to the session? 

If all of that still doesn't help, just let me know and we can narrow down a fabulous location together! 

Princeton engagement photo session | North NJ Wedding Photographer

3 // What to wear

Hands down the hardest thing to figure out, amiright

The good news is, you don't have to pick just ONE outfit. I encourage all of my couples to do at least one outfit change during the session. That way you get a little more variety in your photos and can have a dressier look and also a more casual look. 

I also recommend outfits that compliment each other without being too "matchy matchy", and staying away from loud or busy prints is always a good idea. YOU are the focus of the photo, not your hawaiian print top! ;-) 

For Her

  • Its important to be comfortable, while at the same time choosing an outfit that is flattering. 
  • Heels elongate the legs 
  • Accessories are a fun addition, scarves, hats, statement necklaces, cardigans etc...
  • Don't forget the nails! We will likely do some ring/hand shots, so make sure those nails are free from chipped polish

For Him

  • Long pants and closed toed shoes are a sure fire way to look "comfortable, yet put together"
  • Consider one button down for dressier and a short sleeve or polo top for more casual
  • Make sure hair/facial hair is trimmed and/or natural for the session. (ie...if you normally wear a full beard, don't shave it all off the day before the session!) 

Use these guidelines to direct you into choosing an outfit that is still true to who you are but will be the most flattering on camera. You will look back at these photos for YEARS to come, so keep that in mind when making your final choices! 

What to wear for your engagement photo session | North NJ Wedding Photographer

4 // Post session 

After the session, go out and have a fun night out!! You'll be dressed up and feelin the love from the session so go out and enjoy an evening out of just the two of you! I'll be getting you a sneak peek of the session on social media within a few days and then a blog post dedicated to the two of you within a few weeks after the session. This will tide you over until you get your gallery of images. ;-)

Hopefully, you now feel a little more prepared for your session and the excitement is taking over for some of those nerves. I promise we will have a fun and relaxed time and you will come away with precious memories from this awesomely fun time of being engaged!