couples photography

How to prepare for your Engagement Session by Elsie Barnes

EEEEEEEK!!!! You’re engaged! What a time to be alive! You’re officially a fiancé! So what next step? Well, call your mother obviously, and then tell your bestie she’s been promoted to maid of honor! But then what? Its time to share with the rest of the world, silly! And what better way to do so than by getting a professional engagement session. 


Here are some tips on how to prepare for your engagement session: 


Don’t forget to get your ring cleaned! We want to show it off!

Don’t forget to get your ring cleaned! We want to show it off!

Let me preface this by saying that this is the easiest part of your wedding planning. So NO stressing is allowed!


1.             As soon as you are proposed to, or propose, start searching for a photographer. The earlier the better. This allows you to ask friends and family for their favorite photographers, interview, budget and most of all announce your upcoming union. 

2.             Now that you have booked your photographer remember that this is about YOU! Yes you! Your silly inside jokes, the butterflies in your stomach, the people you are when you’re in your bubble. Grab a note pad and write down all of the things that make your relationship stand out from the crowd.

Do you have something that connects you as a couple? Ask your photographer to capture that detail.

Do you have something that connects you as a couple? Ask your photographer to capture that detail.

3.             Think of locations. Most photographers already have a list of favorite locations. But because this is about you, come up with a few ideas that will help bring your vision to life. For example, if you met at Target, consider it as a possible location. Or if you love Disney movies, consider have a Disney themed engagement session. I met my husband at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and I wish we would’ve done something themed around a car. 


4.             Next, what to wear! Outfits can vary depending on your style and what you would love to show off. Always choose well-fitting clothes, and colors that compliment your skin tones. If you’d like something glamorous, GO GLAM FAM! Seriously! But always remember that your outfits should be balanced. If the future bride wants to wear a sequined dress, let’s ensure the future groom doesn’t show up in khaki shorts and flip flops. 


5.             Hair and Makeup are always a plus, but not necessary. Many times, I have seen women who never get make up done, get it for their engagement session and feel insecure because of it. Remember this is about displaying who you are. This is also a great time to take your wedding makeup artist on a test run for before your wedding. 

Haven’t proposed yet? Consider hiring a photographer to capture that magical moment!

Haven’t proposed yet? Consider hiring a photographer to capture that magical moment!

6.             No fighting. Did you hear me? No fighting allowed. It’s so easy to bicker about nonsensical things when you have a timeline. I get it. But the morning of your session, remind yourself why you want to spend the rest of your life with this person. Is it their smile? Their honesty? The way they snort when they laugh? Focus on those things, I promise you it will make a world of difference when having your portraits taken. 

Its time

Its time

7.             Play. That’s sounds a bit demanding now doesn’t it? The truth is, it’s really hard to capture who you are as a couple if you just plan on posing stiffly. So instead, whisper in your partners ear, kiss their forehead, tickle, and dance like no one is watching. Your love and dynamic will shine through. And these are the images your future generations are going to treasure. 

8.             Speak up! If you feel that the poses, or location isn’t working for you, say so. Many couples aren’t comfortable with public display of affection. In those cases, try to choose locations that are isolated from crowds. This goes the same for couples who are very comfortable with the ooey gooey, these couples should also find locations away from stares and small children. 

9.             Ask your photographer if they offer any other services such as slide shows or save the dates. Many of us do and can save you a ton of time. This alone can help you stand out from your 3rd cousin removed save the dates. She got her’s from Walmart, yours will be custom. 

10.          Lastly, if your photographer doesn’t provide prints, print them yourself! Mpix is a great place to do so. Use them as part of your save the dates, as decor in your wedding, in your guestbook, as Thank You cards, Christmas cards, or decor for your new place. This moment is meant to be cherished, so have fun with it! 


Again, congratulations! This is the beginning of a wonderful adventure!

Ready to start planning your engagement session? Let’s chat!


F A L L by Elsie Barnes

If you are from the mainland, you fully understand that no matter which state you live in, you will have some sort of season change. Some states like Texas and Florida can have all four seasons in just one day, and other states like New York or Ohio, seem to have several variations of winter, and 2 weeks of summer. But when you live in Hawaii, the seasons don't change...AT ALL. 

So when I was approached by the McFarren family to incorporate fall in Hawaii, I knew I was up for the challenge. My goal was to incorporate everything that made fall cozy without drenching it in pumpkin spice. Sorry Starbuck, but some of us are just regular coffee kind of people. 


Enveloped in the orange hues of the sunset, and the tall grass of the westside mountain ranges, we trucked on to a pretty steep hill to capture our version of fall in Hawaii.


Between the military demands, a fresh surgery, kiddo's first haircut, and missing all things fall back home, the McFarren's needed a memory captured for this hectic time in their lives. They showed me that no matter what is going on in the world outside, their love for each other is all they need to continue in their happily ever after! 


It may not be chilly here, but we always find a reason to cuddle with the people we love most!


Its not too late to schedule your family portrait session before the holidays! Reach out to me at here, and lets get started on your happily ever after!