May 21, 2013

Short Stack: Prepping Clients for the Engagement Shoot

Good morning & Happy Pancake Day!!

On our way up to Nantucket yesterday, I was emailing with our bride Jamie, whose wedding we’ll be shooting up in Maine later this year, about scheduling their engagement shoot and what all they should do/bring. We’ve sent a lot of emails just like this to get our couples ready for their engagement shoots. And at this point, we’ve SHOT a lot of engagement shoots, so we’ve learned what really helps make for the best shoots. So a while back (sometime last year) we finally just put together an email signature of everything, so we could make sure we were getting all that same info to each of our couples.

Because what we realized is that if we were getting couples who were just showing up without putting a lot of thought into what to wear or bring, in part that was our fault for not at least planting that seed. We’re a lot more experienced in engagement shoots than they are, and as the experts it’s our job to help them out with some recommendations and a little inspiration. So in our email signature we address things like what to wear, what to bring, “golden hour” and what time to show up, leaving extra time for getting there, and the possibility of getting hair & makeup professionally done.

So for this Short Stack, I thought it would be helpful to go ahead and share the exact language of the email signature we put together to help get you guys started! Feel free to use/adjust as needed! :)

Hey {Bride}!

Oh that’s awesome! We’ll put you guys down for the 16th then! What we’ll do is have you guys meet us at our place before we head out, so we can help style everything. Here is our addy:

Justin & Mary Marantz
700 Nikon Lane
New Haven, CT D4D4D

Also, here are few of our tips for having the best shoot!

In general for clothes, gray, navy, light blues, cream and pink paired with brown leather make for the best pictures. Stay away from anything with patterns or colors too heavy in the red/orange range b/c they don’t register as well on camera. We recommend one “dressed up casual look” like a sundress & cardigan and one “fancy” look like a cocktail hour sort of dress. Would love to see {Groom} in a button down & vest/ blazer with dark jeans or gray pants. But above all we want these pictures to feel like you guys, so think of it as your style just dressed up a little. We’ve included a board for a little inspiration! And finally, think about a few of your favorite things that you could bring with you like wine, maps for travel, a picnic basket, desserts, books, records, etc. Just whatever feels like you!

What we’ll do is have you guys meet us at our place first with a few different options for outfits, and we can help you style it! To be able to get the best light (the hour leading up to sunset which right now is around 8pm) we’ll have you meet us at 6pm so we have plenty of time to style it before we have to head out. To get that golden, pretty light we do have to time it right….so be sure to leave extra time for traffic and hair emergencies in getting here! :) And finally, speaking of hair, my last tip is that {Bride}, you go ahead and get your hair & makeup professionally done on the day of the shoot. I know it’s an extra cost and more to think about, but in our experience it makes a HUGE difference in how the pictures turn out/how confident you feel during the shoot. And you can also use it as your makeup trial for the wedding day! Let me know if you need any recommendations for someone!

We can’t wait to see you guys!

PS: If you can find a horse to bring, that would be AWESOME! :) j/k!!

As always, we hope that was at least a little bit helpful to someone out there! And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment box! Or just say hi!

Happy Pancake Day, y’all!

  1. Alicia Sturdy

    LOVE THIS! And a horse is a must have for any shoot, (of course, of course).

  2. Minh Hussey

    Thank you Mary for sharing this, I actually never thought about having a "master template" before.

  3. Michelle

    Can’t believe you live on "Nikon" lane – that is so awesome :)

  4. Michelle

    Its early in Arizona – that’s not really your street address, lol…I get it :)

  5. Emily

    This is super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Kristin

    Love how specific you are!

  7. Carissa

    Thank you for sharing this!! You guys are so awesome.

  8. Karen Feder

    Thanks so much! This is so helpful and I simply can not wait to use this info with my next shoot in a couple weeks! Thank you!!

  9. Jason and Amy

    Another great pancake session! Thank you guys so much for taking the time to do stuff like this! We sometimes struggle with how to get our clients to dress in a camera pleasing way. This helps immensely!

  10. Adelaide Wedding Photographer

    Ohhh love this… Thanks so much for sharing :) Was just looking to do something like this.. Now I have some ideas… THANK YOU

  11. Cathy & Jeff

    Hey J&M! Thanks for another awesome pancake session! We just started sending a similar email to our clients, but love some of the wording you use about arriving with plenty of time and getting hair & makeup done. As always, thanks for being so willing to share and inspire :-)

  12. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing this email. I love the way you encourage clients to have their hair and make-up done. I tweaked this suggestion for my latest maternity client and now she’s treating herself to it. Yay! I know it’s going to make such a difference.

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