How to Prepare for your Engagement Photo Session & What to Wear - NYC Wedding Engagement Photography

It's the high-end of wedding season and with New Yorck City wedding engagement photography sessions still underway, couples are still inquiring how to prepare for their photo session. Whatever time of year, whether it's the Fall season with beautiful leaves hanging on before winter arrives, or the Holiday season with fun lights and decorations, or the spring and summer season, which is the most popular engagement booking dates, couples are always in need of guidance on how to prepare for their engagement photos. They also need help with determining what to wear for their first photo shoot and as photographers, it's important we help all our clients feel ready for this first part of their journey. The more couples are prepared, the more comfortable they will be in front of the camera and they'll easily see how this trial-run before their big wedding day can be a walk through the park!! Here are some points I've made a habit of letting clients know...and it can also apply to any photography session:
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1. Choose a location that best fits your personality and that has a place of meaning. Couples tend to me more comfortable in a surrounding they already know. However, many of my couples are from out of town so if they're not flying me or traveling me to a different location other than New York City, they come to me and I advise them a few locations that fits their personality and what they're looking for in a photo shoot.

2. I tell couples to dress however they feel is comfortable for them. Basically, whatever makes them feel good is best since we want a relaxed feel to their photos. If they want to dress up, they'll add the elegance and sexy factor to their photography session.


3. Let clients know to try not wearing busy patterns where one is wearing plaid, and the other is wearing stripes that just doesn't work. Fashion statements are everywhere, but not everyone understands how to put varying styles together. Most of the time I have my clients email me pictures of their outfits! If anything, letting clients know that bold colors are great for images is helpful enough.

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4. If they have already chosen their wedding colors, then they can incorporate that color into their outfits as little details (a scarf, a shirt color, a blazer, a belt, etc). I do ask them to try not to wear too much black or white, but if they choose to do so to make sure they have a strong accent piece to give a pop of color and have that separation from all the black or white.

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5. I have them think about wearing layers (from a nice jacket, to a sweater or cardigan that can be taken off...of course this depends on the season) so as the session progresses there can be a different look without changing an entire outfit.

6. I make sure clients view my website and get a feel for my style of shooting and what they can expect. I do let them know each photographer is different, so if there's a photo that inspires them, we can see if the inspiration can work in their session, but it's not going to look exactly like the picture.

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7. I let them know that if they have any props (signs, flowers, scrabble pieces, iPhones with pictures, umbrella, anything!) then they should bring it and we can try to incorporate it in our session.

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8. Make sure to tell them you'll be shooting close-ups of their rings so they should make sure to have their ring cleaned if possible, have clean and neat fingernails, or get a manicure. I let them know to bring lotion as well so their hands look fresh. If there are any other details important to them like a special bracelet or cuff links they've gifted each other, then they should let me know in advance so I can make sure to get those details as well.

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9. Clients can also bring lip gloss, chapstick, powder, tissues and walking shoes if necessary!

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10. Speaking of shoes, have them cleaned if there are a lot more scruff in them and remember socks do at times show up in full body pictures (sitting down) so make sure they match...yes there was an instance where it didn't really match and I had to work around it. It wasn't a big deal, but still a good point to let clients know.

11. One of the most important FYIs I let client know is that we will be shooting rain or shine except in hurricane/thunderstorm weather.  I let them know we will plan the shoot accordingly closer to the date and if it rains we'll plan to shoot closer to overhang areas or just have fun in the rain! Of course it's up to your business model how you want to handle your re-scheduling process.

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Additional Must-Know and how to prepare for your engagement sessions:

1. Ladies! Make sure you pay attention to your eye makeup since we do want your beautiful eyes to show. Eyeliner and good mascara are a must to help exemplify the windows to your soul. I love it when ladies smile with just their eyes in addition to real laughter and enjoyment.

2. For makeup, you can apply  like you normal, although make it a bit heavier if you want it to show through the photos. Bring the basics with you to our shoot for quick touch ups.
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3. Ladies and Gentlemen, make sure to moisturize your lips before and during the shoot. Having dry and cracked lips are difficult to touch up later in the pictures and most photographers will charge additional fee for heavier and more lengthy editing. This goes for moisturizing arms and legs. Let your skin glow! However, DO NOT do any tanning before your engagement session then decide to wear a strapless dress. Tan lines are a no-no! We can say the same thing about your wedding!
4. For those that wear glasses, remember that some glasses reflect light and may cause a glare and shadows over your eyes. Having to edit out glare and shadows takes a lot of time and usually is done by a more trained editor, which again is an additional fee. Photographers do not want their clients to change their look, so couples, consider going to your eye doctor or optometrist to maybe add-on a glare-free coating to your glasses if they have the option. This should be done at least two weeks before your session to get your glasses ready for your session.
5. Bring any hair spray, brush/comb, etc. again for some quick fixes in between photos. Definitely bring clips or bobby pins, hair ties, and whatever else you normally use for your hair.

As you can see, many of the above can apply to any photo shoot, whether it's an engagement session, or a wedding. If you do not remember to do any of the above, that's OK! This is just a guide to ensure you have enough information to prepare you for your photo session. As you can see, many of my couples are either dressed up with dresses and suits, or a sun dress and a nice shirt and pants for the men, to the more casual T-shirt and jeans. Many of my couples book multiple hours so we can have various wardrobe changes and go through multiple locations. However it is you want your engagement session to be, in the end, just enjoy, relax, and trust your photographer!

To book Angelica Criscuolo Photography, go to and contact her with a session date and location!

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About the Photographer: Angelica Criscuolo is an international wedding photographer that also shoots boudoir, portraits and events and provides photo booth services and rental. She has photographed couples in Hawaii, Boston, Florida, California, Philippines, Canada, Barbados and other destination caribbean islands. Angelica continues to  be published in many publications including The New York Times, The New York Daily News – Down The Aisle, Staten Island Live news, Engagement 101 Magazine, Merci New York, Lela New York Weddings, Pretty Pear Bride, The Urban Style NY, Un-Jersey Bride, Engaged Wedding Blog UK, The Knot, Wedding Wire,, The Frosted Petticoat and more! She has recently been awarded The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2013 and The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2014 and have also won the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award 2014. Angelica specializes in capturing various vital memories and her goal is to provide the best images for all couples and clients using her background in broadcast journalism and editorial technique. She utilizes natural lighting as well as off-camera lighting to ensure her clients receive beautiful photos from a Style Me Pretty type of natural look to an editorial/dramatic magazine worthy look. Angelica is also a proud member of Professional Photographer of America (PPA) and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). On top of capturing weddings, she also provides photo booth option for her clients called the InstaMemory Booth, which is always a hit at any event! She is married to her husband Matthew and they live in Sunnyside Queens, NYC. Angelica would love to hear from you so send an inquiry to book your wedding and engagement sessions at

2010-2014© Copyright | Angelica Criscuolo Photography| All Rights Reserved | | NYC Wedding Photographer travels to New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Destination Weddings worldwide including Caribbean, Philippines, India, Europe, Polynesian Islands & more.Engagement Photographer and Luxury Boudoir photography. Photo booth rental and service. NO travel fee to San Diego, San Francisco, Ft. Laterdale, Orlando, Boston – Available for Travel