engagement session

Sunset Williamsburg Engagement Session | John + Lauren

Sunset Williamsburg Engagement Session | John + Lauren

Summer is definitely my favorite time of year, but there’s something about the golden light of winter that makes me LOVE chilly engagement session days. For John and Lauren, Williamsburg was the perfect place to celebrate their upcoming marriage - they are both Christmas-obsessed, and the whole area is decorated to the nines! Wreaths on the doors, bows on the streetlights, and Christmas trees along the path…even though it was the last day of November, it felt like Christmas Eve and got me so excited for the month ahead.

As I spent time with them, I noticed that they both have the best smiles - hers is a light-up the face, all-over kind of a smile, whereas his is quiet and reserved mostly for his bride to be. They are gracious and kind, both with each other and with everyone around them, which was easy to notice as we walked along the streets and interacted with everyone visiting Colonial Williamsburg to take advantage of all the beauty…

Cory & Mae // Downtown Staunton Engagement Photographer

How do you begin a post about your closest friend and your older sister getting married? I suppose I will start with thankfulness - that my sister is getting married, that Cory came into Mae's life, and that I get to be a part of the whole thing. A couple weekends ago, I visited Mae with plans to take all of their engagement pictures. Halfway through dinner that evening, though, it started to rain harder than I've seen in a long time. We laughed it off, thinking we would just have to take pictures the next day.

But then, the rain stopped. The clouds stayed overhead, but as the sun continued to set, the colors became more beautiful and vibrant with each passing minute. So for one hour, we spent time together laughing, talking, taking pictures, and witnessing something beautiful. Trust me - we'll get more later! But these are a good start :)

Cory and Mae are perfect for each other. From the sweet way she has to stand on her very tippy toes to kiss him, to the gentle way he bends down to hold her and kiss her back, they just fit together. Mae is kind, beautiful, and gracious, and Cory is steadfast, gentle, and thoughtful. Together, they are constantly making each other laugh and peppering in as many kisses as they can in the meantime.

As I look back over the first set of their engagement pictures and wipe away the little tears from my eyes, I continue to realize that God made these two for each other, and God made Cory for our family. I love you both so much, and I'm so thankful to be your photographer, sister, and friend!

Coral lace dress and beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
Coral lace dress and  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A sweet kiss during  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia (black and white)
Laughter during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A couple with a big height difference at a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
Giant willow tree at a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
Giant willow tree at a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A sweet embrace at a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia (black and white)
Kissing by a bridge at a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A sweet couple laughs during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A sweet embrace during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A huge tree in nature during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
Walking hand in hand during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia
A polka dot umbrella hides a couple kissing during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia (black and white)
An engaged couple walks with a polka dot umbrella during a  beautiful engagement pictures in Downtown Staunton, Virginia

What to Wear to Your Session // Business

This summer has been a season full of engagements and family portraits! I am so grateful to have met so many new people and reconnected with others while meeting their family. A question that has come up over and over this summer is, "What should we wear to our session?" So I thought I'd answer that in a blog post, for everyone who is nervous about getting professional pictures taken for the first time!

The answer will really depend on the person, but I am a big fan of wearing complimentary - but not matching - outfits. Choose one or two colors to highlight, and pattern your choices around that. If you just love navy and coral, then great! Don't go out and buy the same navy colored shirt and coral shorts for everyone in the shoot, though. Find pieces that will connect you and the people in the photos with you. That might mean a navy shirt and coral pants for you, and a navy shirt with a coral logo and khaki shorts for your husband.

What to wear for family portraits or pictures

Or, you could mix up the colors with jewelry. If you want everyone wearing navy, let them choose what piece of their clothing is that color. You could wear a navy necklace while your husband wears a dark blue polo. You will compliment each other without being too matchy-matchy, and it will look great in pictures!

I would also recommend picking ONE piece as the fun, highlighted part of your outfit, and no more! If you are wearing a busy dress with a floral print, then choose a solid cardigan and tan shoes, for example. You want to stay away from a large print on top and another pattern on the bottom. This will cause the focus to be on your outfit instead of you! The same goes for jewelry/watches, etc...don't over-accessorize! A matching bracelet and necklace is cute. A large, beaded necklace, bracelet, earrings, and heavily decorated shoes will end up distracting from your pictures more than adding to them.

What to wear for engagement pictures or portraits

Another idea is to coordinate your outfit with your wedding/Christmas card colors, so when you send out cards or save the dates, everything matches! Also, be sure that you are either both dressy or both somewhat casual - it would look funny for one person to be in a collared shirt and tie, while the other is in jeans and a loose sweater. In these cases, it's helpful to pick out your outfits a few nights before the shoot, rather than the day of!

The most important thing is this - be comfortable, and be yourself. I am absolutely a huge fan of getting cute, fun outfits to wear, but if you're wearing an outfit you will never put back on again, you'll think of that every time you look at your pictures! Find something that you would want to wear over and over again, and you probably will. The point of pictures is to showcase who YOU are, not who someone else is or what they would wear. So have fun with it!

If you're still a little stuck, check out my Pinterest board for even more ideas!

What to wear during your engagement pictures