Hampton Roads Engagement Photography

Now that you are Engaged: PDA is OK!

PDA in Your Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are about love and romance and the chemistry between the engaged couple eagerly awaiting their wedding. It’s only natural that with love comes PDA. That’s right, folks: public displays of affection. 

Now that you are Engaged: 6 ideas for preparing the perfect engagement session

Ideas for Planning Your Engagement Session

If you want your pictures to really showcase your love story, we have some ideas to help you plan the perfect engagement session. Let us help you prepare for your session by sending us over the answers to the following questions:

Now that you are Engaged: Engagement Series: Incorporating your hobbies into your e-session

Incorporating Hobbies 

Things to remember when trying to come up with a ‘theme’ for your engagement session:

Clothing – If you are super into sports, you can dress up in your favorite team’s jerseys or other team swag.

Props – Bringing props is going to be the easiest way to incorporate your hobbies into your session.

Location – Another way that you can incorporate your interests is to think about locations that have significance to you.

Wedding Series: The Benefits of having an Unplugged Wedding

Hampton, VA, Historic Post Office Wedding

Hampton, VA, Historic Post Office Wedding

What is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding is where you ask your guests to turn off their phones, cameras, tablets, and other mobile devices during your ceremony. 


What are the benefits?

  • There are many benefits to having an unplugged wedding. 

  • When guests use their own cameras, there are many ways that this affects the photography that you’re actually paying for. Guests oftentimes are taking photos at the same time we are, and their flashes interfere with our cameras, leaving you blown out completely (and unsalvageable) or having weird shadows or lighting throughout the photos. 

  • Guest cameras can leave a red or green dot from their focusing mechanisms. These will show up in our images. 

  • If guests don’t turn off the noise on their cameras, they could be very loud when taking the photos. This can be very distracting to you and your guests. 

  • Speaking of distracting – let’s talk about iPads and other tablets used to take photos. They are HUGE and are very distracting. If we are taking a wide photo of your ceremony, your eyes go straight to the tablet and completely ignore the beautiful couple exchanging vows. 

  • Guests will often get in the aisle or stand in front of the professional photographers, blocking their shot. Sometimes, it’s too late for us to be able to get them to move, and we certainly don’t want to upset your guests by making them move. 

  • During family formals, guests will often stand around photographers to get shots of their own, which can create harsh lighting if they use their flash. Even if they don’t use their flash, it causes the group to constantly be looking around, leaving wandering eyes. It’s hard for the photographer to get a good photo with everyone looking at the camera when there are multiple people taking photos around you. 

  • Most importantly, if your guests are taking photos, they are not fully able to enjoy the moment. They are absent and distracted by their picture taking and posting. 

Tamika & Boochie, Historic Post Office Wedding

Tamika & Boochie, Historic Post Office Wedding

We highly recommend having your wedding unplugged, but respect your wishes if you choose not to. If you have any questions concerning this or how to unplug your wedding, feel free to contact us and we can chat.

Now that you are Engaged: 5 Tips for Hott Engagement Photos

1G8A3041 (1).jpg

How to Get Hott Engagement Photos

Getting ready for your engagement session? If you need some extra tips, check out this list we created just for you!

1. Dress for the season. Think about the season as you prepare for your e-session. If it’s summer, make sure to dress appropriately so you and your fiancé aren’t getting sweat stains and red faces during the session. If it’s in winter, wear bright colors so you don’t blend into the snow. Just be aware of these things so you are comfortable and your photos will look the best they can be.

2. Choosing the best session time. In the morning and later in the evening are the best times for a session because of the amazing ‘golden hour’ lighting. If you have a session at noon, there is going to be harsh lighting and your photos will ultimately suffer. 

3. Be prepared. Make a list of everything you need for your session – brush, lipstick, extra clothes, accessories, etc. Put them in the car and be ready to go. Along with that, get directions and a GPS, or your handy dandy smart phone, and program in the address of the session. You don’t want to get lost and cause unnecessary stress. Leave with plenty of time to spare.

4. Be excited. This is also part of being prepared. If you’re excited, it can’t help but rub off on your fiancé. He or she loves you and gets excited when you’re excited. Your significant other can’t help but get excited, too. So build up the hype and let him or her know how important this is to you and how fun it will be.

5. Relax. Do not, I repeat, do not, stress out about this. This is supposed to be fun. I know you're worried about what you're going to look like, if the weather is going to cooperate, etc., but the more you stress, the more likely you’ll read stiff or uncomfortable on camera. The more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be. Do what you can to prepare for the session and leave the rest up to me. That’s what I’m here for, so just take a breath and relax. Hey, maybe this is a prime excuse to spring for that massage?

Now that you are Engaged: How to coordinate outfits to get the best look in your photos

1G8A0123-2.jpg

How to Coordinate Outfits for Your Engagement Session

Not sure what to wear to your engagement session? We’re here to help! You should bring two to three outfits to your session so we can get a variety of different looks for you. We suggest the following:


  • Bring a ‘Dressy’ Outfit

It’s not every day you get to get all dressed up with your sweetheart and take photos together. Use this session as an excuse to really go all out and get fancied up! I’m not saying you have to wear a gown and tux (unless you want to), but maybe a dress or skirt for you, and a suit or nice slacks and a button up shirt for your fiancé. This outfit will be great for save the date cards, or the announcement in your local newspaper.


  • Go Casual

We also suggest you bring a more casual outfit. This outfit is ideal for your more fun, relaxed photos. Tailored jeans and a nice shirt are always a great choice, especially if we are going to be walking around in nature a lot. Make sure to bring shoes specifically for this outfit, too.


  • Coordination is Key

The most important thing to remember is to coordinate. You don’t want to be matchy-matchy, but you want to coordinate. Choose similar colors and styles that photograph well together. For example, you don’t want to wear jeans if your fiancé is wearing a suit and tie in the same photo. Also remember to dress for the location. For example, if you are doing a natural, rustic or vintage session, you’ll want to stay away from bright colors and opt for neutrals instead. 


  • Things to Avoid

- Logos, unless we’re doing a sports session and you’re wearing jerseys, etc.

- Patterns – Try to stick with solid colors or minimal patterns. Plaid shirts are fine as long as your fiancé isn’t wearing stripes or polka dots. It’s a good rule of thumb to only have one partner wearing a pattern at a time. 

- Fluorescent colors – These don’t photograph well and also can cast bright color tones on your skin.


If you have any further questions or want to discuss your outfits, you can contact us at smartshot757@gmail.com