Now that you are Engaged: Finding Your Engagement Session Style

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How to Find Your Engagement Style

This is one of those things you really don’t need to be stressed about. The key is to look inward and to consider your current life habits, hobbies and interests. From there, you’ll be able to find your engagement session style and incorporate it into your photographs seamlessly.


  1. Think about your respective, and shared, hobbies and passions. For example, do you both love music? Or is cooking every night something you always do together? Maybe you love to go swing dancing. 

  2. Your respective professions can definitely contribute to your e-session style. Is he a firefighter? A scientist? A farmer? Is she a chef? A kindergarten teacher? A geologist? Whatever the case may be, incorporate your professional lives into your photographs. Maybe it’s as simple as a chalkboard, a hay bale, or a chef’s hat. 

  3. Are you into sports? Show some team spirit in your photographs with jerseys, sports equipment or something similar. 

  4. What’s your favorite kind of music? Are you both country lovers? Maybe you’re more into the classical music scene. Don’t be afraid to dress the part.

  5. Where do you feel like you’re really in your element? Is it outdoors at your favorite park? In the museum perusing the art? Or maybe you love the buzz of a colorful city.

  6. What always makes you two laugh or have fun? Maybe it’s a board game, or a visit to the fair or circus.  

Before you Graduate: Let Us Capture Your Graduation!

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Graduation Services Available

Did you know that SmartShot Photography offers graduation services? That’s right! We will come to your graduation and photograph the whole event for you! We’ll be there for the speeches, to watch you walk across the stage and capture that moment you reach for your well-deserved diploma. We’ll even stick around after and take photos of you with your friends and family members! We also offer a mini album for you to store all of these cherished memories in. 


You can purchase this service a la carte, or we can add it on to your senior package. For pricing and booking information, please contact us at smartshot757@gmail.com. 

Now that you are Engaged: The Importance of Timing your Engagement Session

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Perfect Timing for Your Engagement Session

When planning your engagement session, you want to get the timing just right and there are many factors to consider during this process. We’re here to help! Here’s a list of things you need to take into consideration when picking a session date:

  1. If you are going to display your engagement photos at your wedding, and you are doing outside portraits, try to plan your engagement session in the season that you are having your wedding. This way, it matches your wedding décor. 

  2. Keep in mind that whenever you are planning your portraits is probably a busy season for photographers. Be sure to book early so you can get a good spot. You also need to remember that if you’re doing outdoor photos, you have to cater to the weather. Sometimes the weather is crazy and we have to reschedule. We’ve had clients have to reschedule four times before due to rain, etc. Be sure to book a backup date in case your first one gets rained out.

  3. Remember that you and/or your fiancé may need to take some time off of work for the session. We may not have any availability when you’re available because, even though we try to be accommodating, we don’t shoot every day or may already be booked on your day off. 

  4. Book early enough to use your photos for Save the Date cards, etc. Don’t forget about editing, printing, and mailing times. Allow enough time for the whole process and still have them to your guests on time.

  5. If you’re doing a slideshow at your wedding and want to use your engagement photos in it, don’t wait until a month before your wedding to take your engagement photos and then stress and worry as you try to hurry to get them back and into the presentation. You have to allow editing time in your schedule.

Before you Graduate: Beauty and Fashion Tips and Tricks for Your Senior Portrait 

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Fashion, Hair and Makeup Tips and Advice


Obviously, you want to look like the best version of yourself on your session day. After all, all these photos will be seen by your friends, family and peers for many years to come. Here are a few tips and tricks where beauty and fashion are concerned. 

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  1. Keep crazy accessories to a minimum. For example, if you want to wear those funky cat eye sunglasses, go for it, but plan don’t let them compete with a super splashy print, giant earrings and a headscarf. A wise person once said: always take off the last thing you put on. 

  2. Makeup reads differently on camera than it does in real life. If you book with us, you’ll be in the informed hands of a makeup artist who knows just what to do. 

  3. Think about all the details: nails, hair, teeth, skin. Use a whitening toothpaste in the weeks leading up to your session, really look after your skin and don’t pick (we do offer free blemish touch up, though), and get a manicure the day before. If you’re wearing open toes, spring for the pedi, too. 

  4. Practice your hairstyle in advance and take a few selfies to see how it photographs. Try to keep your true essence and don’t wear a hairstyle that’s “not you.” For example, if you wear bangs on the regular, don’t pin them up on your photo shoot. If you always wear your hair down, keep it down on your session day. 

  5. Don’t make any major changes in the weeks leading up to your session. No faux tans that have the potential to convert you to oompa loompa status, don’t go from black to bleach blonde, no major haircuts that could incite tears, etc. 

Before you Graduate: Choosing the Right Accessories for Your Senior Portraits

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Accessories Make or Break Your Outfit

You’ve got your outfit planned, know exactly what you’re doing with your hair, and have already spoken to the makeup artist about that wicked cat eye. Now it’s time to consider your accessories, which can make or break your outfit. Here are four things to keep in mind.  

  1. Don’t let the accessories wear you. Too big or too zany can overwhelm your face and body, taking away from the overall image. This is about you. 

  2. Choose accessories that mean something to you. Maybe you want to wear a ring your mother gave you, or those earrings that always earn you compliments. 

  3. Try not to choose anything that’s heavily ornamented. In a few years, ultra trendy items can look really, really dated. Funky and fun are A-OK, of course, but be thoughtful in your decisions. 

  4. Make sure your accessories all work well with your outfit. For example, a thin belt may flatter your figure more than a thick belt. And those dangly earrings may look best with your hair up while the studs look good with your hair down. 

  5. Get a second, and third, opinion. Wear everything you plan to put on for your session day and ask for someone else’s advice. Take some pictures, even, and ask your friends and family if they have any suggestions. 


How to Prepare for Your Autumn Session

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Autumn is one of the most popular months of the year for portrait sessions. After all, nature is doing its thing with all those vibrant colors, plus you get a chance to really play up your wardrobe with accessories in the crisp weather.

1. Make use of accessories and clothing that play up the "autumn" feeling. For example, opt for leather boots, cable knit scarves and comfy cardigans look amazing on the whole family and can really bring a picture to life. Tip: neutrals do really well in the fall against all that foliage. 

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2. Timing is everything. Start paying attention to that shift in weather as summer melts into fall. Once the leaves start changing, call up your photog and book a session. 

3. Location is everything. If it's autumn, you better believe we're playing outside in the gorgeous weather. I have a lot of locations to choose from that have particularly pretty backdrops. I'm also open to your suggestions. 

4. Plan for a mid-afternoon to early-evening session, when the light is just gorgeous. The days are shorter in the fall, so we need to plan accordingly to get that golden hour light.

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5. Play in the environment. Chances are there are leaves on the ground or a few buds lingering around. I may have you throw leaves up into the air or something similar. Remember, this shoot is all about capturing your family bond and having fun, so let loose and get into the season! 

6. Pack the necessities. It can get chilly in autumn, so you may want to bring some necessities on hand. I recommend a lip balm, moisturizer, warm packs for your hands, tissues, water, snacks for the little ones and, of course, warm apparel. 

7. Wear comfortable shoes and accessories. Since we're going to be outside, we'll probably do lots of walking. If those boots look amazing, but kill your feet, scratch them. If the scarf looks adorable on Timmy, but it's scratches his face and makes him unhappy, it's better to not even go that route.

Kendall + Shannika : Meet the Johnsons

Kendall + Shannika : Meet the Johnsons

The deal is sealed. Kendall and Shannika have wed!

Senior Portrait Week Is Here From August 20-26

Senior Portrait Week Is Here From August 20-26

This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to write for a good long while, and WELP, today’s the day! Today we’re kicking off an entire week celebrating SENIORS! Whether you’re graduating High School or University, look no further.

Senior Portrait Week

Senior Portrait Week

This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to write for a good long while, and WELP, today’s the day! Today we’re kicking off an entire week celebrating SENIORS! Whether you’re graduating High School or University, look no further.

Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Michael And Cyarra

Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Michael And Cyarra

A love to last forever

 

Michael and Cyarra couldn't be more perfect for each other. These two said I do on a crisp fall November evening in front of God, friends and family...

Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Mario And Portia

Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Mario And Portia

The Yancey's love wins! Together for ever! It was the absolute pleasure of Reggie and I to capture this beautiful day with such a perfect for each other couple.

Fred + LaQuiesha: A Love to Last

Fred + LaQuiesha: A Love to Last

This love is one to last! Stephen, affectionately known by his friends and family as Fred, met LaQuiesha...

 

Lamar and Quanetra Wedding Blog Post

Lamar and Quanetra Wedding Blog Post

A truly elegant and unique union took place this weekend in the historic town of Suffolk, Virginia.  With all of their closest friends and family present, this couple said I do. There was not a dry eye in the house as the couple exchanged their handwritten and heartfelt vows.

Carey & Tiffeny Engagement Shoot

Carey & Tiffeny Engagement Shoot

Love was always cooking between these two from day one! Plenty of FISH brought them together. Carey professed Tiffeny as his RIB and he wasn't a CHICKEN about it.

Mario & Portia

Mario & Portia

A love without a limit, that's what Mario and Portia share. With mutually friends in common, the met at a house party which ended up being the first brick to their house of love...

Exclusive Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Brandon & Gabrielle Wedding Day

Exclusive Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Brandon & Gabrielle Wedding Day

The happiest day of their lives, Brandon and Gabrielle committed themselves to one another on Saturday August 13th, 2016 before God, their friends and dearest family. Although Gabrielle's father, the late Clifton Martin was not physically with us, his spirit and presence was still felt as his love shined down on his "Toots" on her wedding day...

 

 

Exclusive Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Dereck & Shay Wedding Day

Exclusive Wedding Day Sneak Peek: Dereck & Shay Wedding Day

Nestled on the illustrious campus of Hampton University, Dereck and Shaquaia said I do with all of their closest friends and family present. 

Draped in a gorgeous one of kind custom made wedding gown Shaquaia was ready to say recite her vows and marry the man of her dreams. Dereck looked daper in his 3 piece suit with bow tie and matching loafers but his smile outshined it all. He grinned from ear to ear as he eagerly awaited the arrival of his best friend and mate for life. 

Jordan & Casey

Jordan & Casey

Smitten by Jordan's big brown eyes and stellar integrity, Casey is counting the days until I do. Jordan is reveling in anticipation to marry the woman of his dreams that has the most positive and bubbly personality he has ever seen.