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April 2017 Archive

Tips on picking the perfect outfit to style your engagement session.

In a previous post we talked about why having an engagement session is so important. Your engagement session should be a less formal introduction to who you are as a couple. You can use these photos in so many ways, so of course you want them to look stylish and fun. If you are like most couples, the most stressful part about your engagement session is probably figuring out what to wear. Don’t worry! We have you covered. Below are the tips we tell all our couples who ask the question, “what should we wear?” It will help you pick the perfect outfit to style your engagement session. 

{Tip 1} Mood Board

I learned this from the amazing folks at Lin and Jirsa, and it makes a huge impact when getting on the same page with your photographer. Before we even get to the session, we always have our couples pin about 20 images to a “mood board”. These images are meant to be photo inspiration that they just LOVE. Then we have them comment with a few words or sentences on why they love that particular photo. Is it the light, the pose, the overall mood of the photo? This will ultimately help more than just saying, “here I want my session to look like this”.

engagement session styling pinterest board Douglas James Studios engagements mood board

{Tip 2} Be Prepared

Having your photo taken is stressful enough, so pick your outfit(s) the night before. This way you aren’t scrambling the day of to find something you like.

engagement session styling

{Tip 3} Be Yourself!

Its so cliché, but who else knows your style better than you? I know that when couples ask “what should we wear?”, they aren’t asking it literally, they are just looking for some guidance and inspiration. So when picking out your outfits, make sure its something you are comfortable and confident in.

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos philadelphia PA Old City

{Tip 4} Props

Adding props into you photos can be a fun way to provide some personal insight into a relationship. When used simply, and in moderation, props can add an engaging, storytelling element to your session. Think of props as an element of design used to bring the shoot together, by tying together a theme and/or complimenting the story of who you are as a couple. There are different types of props that can be used during an engagement photography shoot. Personal props generally have special significance (like a family heirloom) or reflect the couple’s lives together, like a vintage car or Vespa scooter. Creative or cute props are used with the intention of adding whimsy and flair to the shoot. For instance, a large colorful balloon or handmade banner adds a pop of color and a graphic element. Finally, location-based props, like a rowboat on a lake, come with your chosen location.

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos props Bethlehem PA Moravian College

{Tip 5} Be Practical 

Make sure to consider the locations you will be going when making outfit choices. I know, those stilettos look incredible! But if you are doing a session in Old City Philadelphia where cobblestone is everywhere, you aren’t going to have a lot of fun. So if you really want them for the session, make sure to bring a backup pair of walking around shoes (They will be in shots too).

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos beach Sea Isle City NJ

{Tip 6} Don’t be afraid of prints, patterns, or bold colors. 

Black might be slimming, but I generally advise couples not to wear it since it leads to every speck of dust and hair being easily caught on camera. Wearing white should be saved for your wedding day, so go with bright hues that will pop from the background. To make bright colors work, pick ones that play off each other without being too matchy-matchy, like yellow and blue. If you’re planning on wearing prints or patterns (polka dots, argyle, ombre), make sure they’re big enough to show up on camera, because things like tiny lines or dots do not photograph well, but also not too big, because you don’t want to get lost in an oversize print.

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos woods bright colors trail Jim Thorpe PA

{Tip 7} Play off the location.

Think of your surroundings when picking out colors for your outfit. If your photos are in a park, a green dress might camouflage you with the grass and trees. A complimentary color, like a red dress, would pop against the green if you want to stand out. For a more subdued look, try a cool color like a blue, to differentiate from your surroundings. If you’ll be in more of an urban setting — let’s say in front of an abandoned brick building — try bold hues to contrast with the gritty background.

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos Historic Bethlehem PA

{Tip 8} Dress for the season.

Remember, this session is all about being comfortable and relaxed, so make sure your outfit matches the weather. For spring, consider pastels, and sweaters. In summer, consider sun dresses, shorts, and polos. For fall, muted colors, layers (scarves, sweaters, etc…), jeans and slacks. In winter, consider pants with a stylish jacket, or a suit for the guys. This is a perfect time of year to get festive with prints or glittery accents. Just because it’s chilly isn’t a reason to not look good.

engagement session styling bride and groom engagement photos bridge in Fairmount Park Philadelphia PA

{Tip 9} Switch things up.

If you can’t decide between casual and formal, go for both. Bringing 2 outfits never hurts, as long as you don’t have to haul a bag of clothes around everywhere you go. Wardrobe changes are always welcome and help as transition pieces when changing locations.

engagement session styling bride and groom smiling engagement photos grass cherry blossom

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Want a fun, laid back wedding day? | Here are {9 Tips} to help ensure everyone involved has fun.

When it comes logistics, timing, and execution, we know exactly how hectic your wedding day can be. So, here are some tips to help you on the day from all of us who have been there. Our goal is to help your wedding day go as smooth as possible. We thought the best way to do this would be to break the day into 3 main sections and talk about nine ways to ensure you and everyone involved have a fun, laid back wedding day!

Getting Ready

bride getting makeup on bride and bridesmaids saying cheers at the westin Jersey City NJ

  1.  Plan Extra time

    Sometimes makeup artist and hair stylists run late, things need to be sewn, or it just takes longer to get ready than you thought… leave extra time for these possible moments so you can be a bit more laid back.

  2. Relax, laugh a little, have fun

    Our main goal is to help you have fun and enjoy your day! You will be nervous, but take your nerves out by dancing around with your squad, watching a funny movie, or just talking about funny moments from the past. Have a few drinks to loosen up… and we mean only a FEW

  3. Have the details together

    Having all of the details together even before you start to get ready will relieve a ton of stress. Everything will be ready to go when your photographer comes to photograph all of the details. Great things to have together are your jewelry, shoes, and invitation. Anything that you will be using or wearing is important!

Groups and Intimates

bride and groom kissing with umbrella bridesmaids laughing with bride at the knowlton mansion philadelphia pa

  1. Have drinks ready

    Even if not alcoholic, it’s always good to have drinks for all of your wedding party, they will be parched from all of the celebrating. Some alcohol never hurts though, you don’t get photographed every day so just a little bit will help you to relax.

  2. Have fun!

    Don’t be afraid to make silly faces, dance around, or throw some of your own poses into the mix! Have fun with it, the excitement and happiness will help everyone else feel a lot more laid back and it will come across in the photos!

  3. Trust your photographer

    Trust that your photographer knows where the best spot is for photographs, knows lighting, and knows how to pose. Your photographer might have you do some poses that feel uncomfortable, but usually, those are the ones that look the best. Also, trust that they will capture your best angle and that too close feeling… it’s just close enough.

wedding flower bouquet with signature drink at the knowlton mansion philadelphia pa

Reception

cocktail hour food at the knowlton mansion philadelphia pa bride and groom dancing with guests

  1. Dance!

    It may seem a little obvious… but some couples get so wrapped up in talking to people that they forget to relax and have fun! So, go, get out there on the dance floor and shake your booty!

  2. Eat!

    This is another obvious one but again often forgotten. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with the busy schedule of your wedding day. So be sure to eat and refuel.

  3. Let your DJ/ MC run the show.

    You went over the schedule, you checked it twice, you made sure everything was accounted for, now let the DJ/MC handle it. This is another time where trust comes into place, trust that your vendors are professionals and know how to manage the schedule. Once the reception starts the timeline is out of your control, so let it go.

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Beach Wedding, The Breakwaters at the Dunes – Sea Isle City, NJ | Amy and Owen

In November we photographed a fabulous beach wedding for Amy and Owen O’Connell at a brand new venue never shot before, The Breakwaters at the Dunes – Sea Isle City, NJ. Their wedding was so much fun they shared it with the Philadelphia Inquirer and it was published! You can see the article HERE.

It was a gorgeous day for November wedding, and you can feel the excitement in the air. We started by hanging out with Owen and his guys where the party was already underway!

beach wedding the breakwaters at the dunes groom opening beerring starfish details wedding groom getting ready at the breakwaters at the dunes bride getting ready at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj wedding invitation shoes earrings details at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj wedding dress and bride at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride getting dressed at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride putting on necklace at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj beach wedding bridal portrait at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride shoes bride smiling at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle njEveryone was looking stunning! Now, they get to see each at the first look. We set up a very unique first look on one of the Breakwaters at the Dunes suite balconies. The emotions were flooding out.

bride and groom first look at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom first look at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom reading letters at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride crying groom smiling at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj beach wedding bride and groom smiling bride posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride groom and bridal party posing at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle njAfter having some fun at the pier, and seeing family, it was time to say I DO! The ceremony site at the Breakwaters at the Dunes is simply gorgeous. It was the perfect setting for Owen to watch Amy walk down the aisle, and of course, no beach wedding is complete without a sunset!ceremony set up and details at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj ceremony groom waiting at end of isle at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride walking down isle at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj ceremony father giving away bride at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj ceremony bride and groom exchanging rings at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom first kiss ceremony at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj sunset at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom posing near pier at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle njThey said I DO! Now there is only one thing left. Party!sign in bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj wedding details at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj ballroom setup at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj cake at reception at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom cutting cake at reception at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj bride and groom posing with sunset at bride and groom smiling groom posing at the breakwaters at the dunes sea isle nj

Their Vendors:
Officiant: City Commissioner Al Schmidt, Philadelphia.
Venue: The Breakwaters at the Dunes, Sea Isle City, N.J.
Food: The Breakwaters at the Dunes.
Music: Cripple Creek Acoustic for ceremony and cocktail hour, and Jeffrey Taylor, Signature DJs for reception.
Flowers: Spinning Wheel Florist, Ocean City, N.J.
Dress: Philly Bride, Philadelphia, designer Hayley Paige.
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Snowy Engagement Session in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia | Dana + Tom

We recently did a snowy engagement session in the beautiful Fairmount Park with Dana + Tom. We waited over 3 months for the perfect snowy day, and when it came, we were ready!

bride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphiaOur first stop was in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, for a walk along the trail at the Valley Green Inn.bride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session at valley green inn fairmount park philadelphia

After Valley Green Inn we headed over to one of my favorite spots to shoot, The Wissahickon Trail of Philadelphia. There we got a little bit more intimate, but also had a ton of laughs.

bride and groom engagement session on the wissahickon bike trail fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session on the wissahickon bike trail fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session on the wissahickon bike trail fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session on the wissahickon bike trail fairmount park philadelphiabride and groom engagement session on the wissahickon bike trail fairmount park philadelphia

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