As a supporter of couples doing their own thing, I find that hair and makeup for your engagement session can be seen as a “nice to have”. And honestly? I could go either way. It really depends on what you are doing for your engagement session…but I am getting ahead of myself!
What’s Your Style?
I have had brides that love and wear makeup daily and it makes them feel comfortable in their skin. Then I have brides who are uncomfortable in makeup and are minimalistic. Both are 100% ok. I fall more into camp B, I wear eyeliner and eye shadow with lip gloss, but you throw foundation or mascara at me? Then I get uncomfortable. And don’t even get me started on contouring! But other women, that’s their jam!! If you are passionate about makeup and want to not worry about that aspect of getting ready for your engagement session, then I say do it. Get professional hair and makeup done. You will feel pampered and confident.
What are you Doing at your Session?
Another thing to consider is what you are doing for your engagement session. Are you doing something a little out of the ordinary? Possibly incorporating nerdy things, costumes or a zombie theme? If so, then this changes the equation a bit. In that case, I definitely say hair and makeup are required, and probably in the theme of what you are doing. On the other hand, most couples don’t add theatrics to their session, and so if you are taking a stroll through the park, beach or studio, then refer back to the above paragraph, and go with your comfort level.
Ability vs Budget
Now say you aren’t into too much makeup, like me. But you also want to look good for the photos, and know you don’t have the best ability at doing hair and makeup. So now you are back to thinking about bringing in a professional. And I don’t want to say that all women who aren’t comfortable wearing makeup all the time don’t have the ability, I am truthfully talking about myself. When I go to put on foundation I feel like I never know how much is enough, if I have applied on evenly, etc. So I would fall into the camp that, if I felt I wanted to have foundation and a more polished look for my photos, I would definitely involve a hair and makeup professional.
My brides also fall into the camp where they aren’t sure they want to invest in $100 for hair and makeup for an hour session. It’s an investment for sure. I have brides who are awesome at doing their own hair and makeup and would prefer to conserve costs by doing it themselves.
My Professional Perspective
I would never want to make anyone do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. That being said, I can see the difference in photos when a professional is involved. The makeup doesn’t make you look fake, it just highlights your features and makes you look like a more polished version of yourself. The hair and makeup you do for an engagement session isn’t meant to look like what you would do for your wedding. It’s more natural, not as heavy, and it lights up the camera. In the end, it’s completely up to you!
Love my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@swishnclick.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!
One of my favorite things as a branding photographer is to capture products small businesses have poured their heart and soul into. Sprinkle Pop is one of the most fun Houston companies I have paired with. I found her through my friend Jennifer, and it was instant love. Her sprinkles are colorful and whimsical. They inspire bakers to create amazing things! Also, she made a Canadian mix two summers ago and I might have bought more than I needed!
Liz, the brains behind Sprinkle Pop, hired me to capture her Halloween and Christmas setups. She brought in cakes, cookies, cake balls and her festive sprinkles. We did lots of setups and they showed off the fun additions Liz puts in her sprinkle mixes to make them unique. A personal favorite of mine were the snowmen and spiders. I want to have a favorite setup, but when I look at them again, it’s impossible. You can see how Sprinkle Pop inspires bakers.
After you look through these images, I would love to know which setup is your favorite!
Houston is a pretty big place, so finding a spot to do your engagement session can be overwhelming! I have compiled a list of my favorite spots around Houston to help everyone with this arduous task. And honestly? Don’t feel like you have to find the most exciting or best spot ever. Truth be told, I have put couples in a ditch because the area around them looked great! I kid you not! What is most important is showing off the love between the two of you!
The first thing you need to think about is your love story. Where did you meet? Get engaged? What do you love to do together? Any of these answers can help you find a spot for your engagement session. Is there a spot in Houston you have your heart set on? I encourage doing it where you will most happy.
There are a ton of parks in the Houston area. Also, a lot of them are now charging fees. Centennial Gardens? Fee. Arboretum? Fee. Japanese Garden in Hermann Park? No professional photography is permitted there. Disappointing, right? But, there are other parks that are just as beautiful and are free. Eleanor Tinsley Park has the skyline of Houston behind it, and it’s on Buffalo Bayou, which is perfect. Discovery Green has a wealth of spots, and is a short walk to downtown, where you can do some urban looking pictures. Sam Houston Park, Helen’s Park, Fernland Historical Park are all awesome options! Most couples choose parks because they like the greenery in the photos, they might love a bridge or water feature as well. You can set up a picnic or sit on a bench. Plus there are usually places you can get changed in if you want to do more than one outfit. (more…)
There is truly not much I love more than a baby cake smash! When the mom contacted me she warned me: “he’s never had cake or icing in his life, will this still work?”. I asked her if he disliked getting messy or sticky, because that’s truly the indicator of whether a cake smash will be a success. If the baby isn’t into getting messy, the shoot will be a challenge. But, if they are cool with it, all they need is that one taste and then it turns into cake smash magic!
This session was simple but perfect. Because it was super hot outside, we decided to do it in my studio. The mom brought a white iced cake, dressed her son in rad Jimi Hendrix top. Being freshly one, he wasn’t so into his shoes, so those came off early! He also wasn’t 100% sure about the cake, but once he knew what was happening, he got in there! My favorite images of him are when he isn’t sure about what’s happening. That baby side-eye is everything!!
What to wear for any session is a hot button issue for all my clients. I was such a popular topic that last year I invested in a stylist to help me work with portrait clients. Her advice was so helpful that I have taken some of her advice and applied it to engagement session clients. So where do you start with clothing?
Tips for the Women
Have you pondered rocking a sequined gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had a real reason to get that outfit? Guess what!! This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new item to your collection, a lot of my brides love Rent the Runway for their engagement photos because you don’t have to spend a lot to feel like beautiful. Plus, you can send the outfits back when the session is over. Other brides love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent item for their closet!
The Case for a Dress…or two
Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when captured with nature whether it’s greenery or the beach. Shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully too! Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter a woman’s figure, and they make you feel super confident! I recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress.