This is a time in your life that goes by so quickly! I'm excited to capture these moments and join in on your grand adventure with you! Your engagement session is all about you and your honey - so let's make it your own. This style guide is simply a general outline for what to think about as you plan + help prepare you for your session so take as many or as little of the tips and ideas you find here to guide you!
It's all about Timing
I love to play with light and the dreamiest colors and shadows happen early morning/nearing sunset. I encourage all of my couples to choose one of these times so that we can catch the epic changes of the sky and make memories in the midst of natures magic. Keep in mind the season you're taking your engagements -- winter in Colorado can mean pink noses at sunrise but summer means skipping the crowds and the afternoon showers. Sunsets can be stunning but can also be crowded at popular spots as most areas are more apt to evening goers vs early risers.
+ Do make sure to plan a buffer when getting ready and make sure to show up a few minutes early if possible. If you show up late we'll lose light and session time!
Location, Location, Location
Location is up to you! Here are a few helpful ideas that may inspire you, and if you need a suggestion I'm happy to provide one of my secret nooks. I have a vast knowledge of the Western States, their National Parks, and less traveled trails to choose from! Actually, just scroll to the bottom for a list of spots I have traveled to and LOVE photographing at!
+ Choose a location special to you: Have a favorite hike? Was your first kiss beneath a Yosemite waterfall? What's your usual date spot? Campsite? Coffee shop? Flower garden? Brewery? This can be anywhere you two love to hang out!
+ Involve activities you enjoy doing together: Mountain biking, Highlining, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Running, Climbing, Snowboarding, Kayaking, Dog Sledding, Base Jumping, Hiking, Camping, ect. This list could go on and on and on.
What to Wear
I'll keep this area light because there are really no rules here, just be yourselves. Wear what you feel comfortable/confident in and feel free to ask me any questions you might have about wardrobe. My best advice is to keep it simple and to wear what makes you feel good. That could be anything from hiking pants and a Patagonia Puffy to a Rent the Runway dress and heels. Both photograph beautifully!
+ Do YOU! If you’re more of a camping/outdoor couple then wear your favorite rugged threads, if you love fashion then amp up the style - this session is all about capturing your love and your story which means it should be chock full of your personalities.
+ For the ladies: when choosing an outfit, choose articles that flatter your figure plus accentuate features that you love about yourself.
+ For the men: help your lady out and let her help you. If she's going for a certain look, work to coordinate your colors/patterns.
+ Go for a look you'll love years down the road.
+ Make sure to pack appropriately for the location you choose and bring extra socks/shoes if we're hiking or if the weather isn't ideal!
Look and Feel Your Best
A few ideas that can help you prep and take away the stress of getting ready.
+Set your intentions - this may sound a bit aloof to some but I want to encourage you to intentionally choose your attitude for your day and your time together. It will make all the difference - especially if you’ve had a rough week leading up to your session. Choose to focus on each other and take time together away from everything else that requires your attention.
+ Get some shut eye! Make sure to rest up the night before and drink water to hydrate + have your skin love you the day of.
+ Eat before your session! You'll feel better and your body will be nourished, which leaves you more relaxed.
+ Reminding you again to wear what makes you feel good!
+ Splurge on hair and makeup -- plan your wedding hair and makeup trials the day of your session (you'll get to see what it looks like on camera before the wedding and it's sure to make getting ready easy!) I myself rarely wear anything beyond mascara, but a bit of makeup + lashes can even out skin tones, make your eyes pop, and have you feeling confident and sexy.
+ Guys: get a fresh cut and trim/style your beard. Roosters in Denver is like a man spa that provides beer/soda and warm eucalyptus towels + a scalp massage - this type of treat isn’t just for the ladies!
+ Clean your ring and underneath your fingernails or go get your nails did! Let's show off that ring!
Things to Bring
This is a list of a few things you may need or may want to have along the way. I will have a first aid kit and I’m certified in BLS/CPR/FIRST AID. This list all depends on the location you choose and is more specifically geared towards outdoor hiking engagements.
+YOUR DOG! But seriously they are always welcome and stoked to join.
+ Appropriate or extra shoes and socks if you plan on changing into something along the way. Going barefoot in a dress once you're up there? YES PLEASE!
+ WATER, Bug Spray, Sun Screen, Headlamp, Rain Jacket, Small Day Pack/Back Pack, ect. I usually have these items as well but do not forget your WATER or a filter if you prefer that.
+ Touch up makeup
What to Expect
This is the fun part! We'll walk/hike around, get to know one another, and I'll encourage you two to interact. You can expect me to prompt you to be present by giving you topics to share with one another. I'll also give bits of light direction to create active movement and interaction between you. I may also let you wander off while I walk around capturing authentic moments that are unguided and unposed. You'll find yourselves focused on each other while taking in the surroundings and the adventure you're on vs feeling awkward in front of my camera.
+After our time together you can expect sneak peeks within 72 hours and your photos within 2-6 weeks.
+Plan your session far enough in advance to where you have ample time to design and send out save the dates and wedding invitations so you aren't rushed.
Go on a Date!
You're dressed up, you feel good, go celebrate and have some fun together!
A Few of my Favorite Locations <3
(all of this beautiful state but specifically)
Blue Lakes near Quandary Mountain outside of Breckenridge, Colorado
Buffalo Mountain Trails near Silverthorne, Colorado
Loveland Pass near Keystone, Colorado
Off road trails in Marble, Colorado with views of the backside of the Maroon Bells Wilderness
Maroon Bells (Seriously, backpack here already. There is soooo much more to see beyond the lake and the iconic bells.)
Leadville, Colorado. All of its mining trails, epic views, and City on a Hill Coffee of course.
(seriously though, what's not to love?)
Gemini Bridges Arch near Moab, Utah
Climbing on Potash Road of Cane Creek Canyon in Moab, Utah
Castle Valley outside of Moab, Utah (Fischers Towers)
Indian Creek South of Moab, Utah in the Canyonlands District
Lake Powell with swimming, canyons, cliff jumping, secret coves, and more.
Zion National Park
Goblin Valley State Park
Capital Reef National Park
The towering beautiful rocks of Sedona, Arizona
Page, Arizona (also close to Lake Powell)
Havasupai near Seligman, Arizona (if you haven't made this hike a priority -- YOU NEED TO! 10 miles in and 10 miles out with stunning blue oasis-like waterfalls, wild horses, and tall canyon walls surrounding you it is an epic trek. 24 miles total is you hike to Beaver Falls.)
Phoenix and its tall Saguaro cacti
Grand Canyon National Park (there are endless choices here from North to South Rim, Havasupai and in between.
Big Sur / Pfeiffer Beach / Sykes Hot Springs
The Redwoods and the Community Forest in Arcata, California
San Onofre State Beach. The surf is amazing and the beach front is beautiful! You’re a short drive from San Clemente where Pedro’s Tacos sells delicious after surf food that you should absolutely get down on.
Emerald Bay on South Lake Tahoe, California
Lassen Volcanic National Park and Forest
Kings Canyon National Park
Death Valley National Park like wow. There is soooooo much to see in this massive park and I’ve been lucky enough to explore some of its wild volcanic backroads that lead to unreal sights. You basically travel to another planet here.
Palm Springs - a magical desert oasis
Smith Rock State Park and the Twin Sisters area - so much to climb, so much to hike, so much to see!
Mt Hood National Forest area (there is soooooo much to explore here and did I mention waterfalls?)
Oneonta Falls trail outside of Portland, Oregon. Kyote learned to swim here!
Cape Kiwanda Beach
The adorable seaside town of Astoria and the magical bridges that lead you to Washington
Crater Lake National Park especially early am - just pure magic. I slept in a parking lot due to road closures and awoke to the sun rising as the moon was setting. It made for the prettiest panorama over the snow covered crater.
North Cascades National Park (this whole drive is just amazing. You could literally pull off anywhere for magical backdrops, towering mountains, and waterfalls trickling down to aqua blue lakes.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (book a fire lookout if you can!)
Ruby Beach near Olympic National Park
Seattle (in and of itself just a beautiful city with lots of lush parks and local trails like Discovery Park)
+ Glacier National Park - don’t just drive through, plan to hike and backpack otherwise you miss 98% of the beauty of this place.
+Yellowstone National Park - I’ve gone twice and it never gets old. There is so much beauty here it’s unreal.
+Beartooth HWY between Yellowstone National Park and Red Lodge - one of the wildest mountain passes I’ve ever driven.
+The Tetons of Grand Teton National Park. I’ve never had a better view from a campstove breakfast. The land here is wild, and the Tetons can be viewed for miles and miles and miles as you drive the length from Yellowstone to Jackson.
+Colter Bay - I slept in the back of a pickup truck here, cuddled warmly in my sleeping bag before waking up to the most insane alpineglow from the sunrise over the lake. The sunshine made it’s way through the fog that lay thick on the surface; curling around boats that swayed slowly back and forth on the still surface.