you are officially going to marry your best friend!!!

An engagement session with your favorite photographer is the perfect way to kick off your wedding season, to spend the day taking photos that reflect the bond that has brought it about. Here are some tips to follow before your session.

Give Your Photographer the "Must Haves"

Once you've booked with your photographer, it's time to research! Discuss with your photographer the location(s) of the shoot and make sure it matches your style and vision for your photos. Shortly after this period but no later than a few weeks before your shoot is a good time to express what you're specifically hoping to achieve. Make sure to create a vision board or save some of inspiration photos to send to your photographer before the shoot. This will give your photographer a general idea of your style and what you like, since he/she can't read your mind. If it helps, be vocal about what you want, these are your memories to cherish forever!

Dress for the occasion

You've booked a professional photographer to get some beautiful, professional photos. This means go for it, kick it up a notch! 2-3 outfits is the sweet spot; the first formal, usually something maybe even textured. The second semi-formal, usually something sassy and fun!. If you're going for a third make it relaxed, make it whatever you want it to be, something you can sit on the ground in criss-cross apple sauce or even run in!

When considering a suite/other attire, making sure it fits nicely is so important. Whether your body type falls on the smaller or larger end of the spectrum, it's a good idea to get your attire tailored specifically to you because well-fitting clothes photograph better than distracting baggy ones do.

You may want to avoid anything too busy such as plaid, patterns, and prints however, sometimes these work wonderfully. Solid, neutral colors usually work best in any situation/location. I personally try to stay away from blue jeans with my editing style, opt for khaki, beige, dark green, grey, or BLACK pants.

Your Skin, Nails, Hair, & Makeup Matter

Since you're wanting to look your best for the occasion, there are some things you can do leading up to your shoot to ensure your skin is at its freshest: drink plenty of water, maintain a healthy diet, exercise daily, consider getting a facial (at least a week before your shoot).

Manicures are a good idea for both you and your fiancé. If you are getting them painted, soft pastel colors and neutral colors compliment and don't take away from the ring--which will be photographed a lot.

Guys, if you want to skip out on the manicures we won't hold it against you, we get it! Just be sure to give your nails a good scrub. Your hands will be in lots of pictures!

Even hiring a professional to do your hair and makeup to round out your glow is a great idea, just be sure you schedule everything properly to make it on time to your shoot.

But Skip the Spray Tan

The camera will definitely pick up what the eye doesn't and you will look unnaturally colored in comparison to your fiancé! If you're fair and really want to be a bit tanner for your photos, take the natural route. Roll out your towel and get a little sun, or hit the tanning bed (a little bit)! Don't go overboard whichever way you choose to get your pigmentation darkening on.

Just remember, even if you are fair, natural skin tones always look better than spray tans do in photos!

Practice Your Posture & Your Smile

From the moment you book, you and your fiancé should make it a point to practice good posture; shoulders back and down. This good habit will go along way in your shoot and even in your everyday lives!

Practicing what smile you will use when your photographer directs you to think of something sweet, silly, or even sexy will also help for the occasion.

Do You Have a Good Side?

If you or your fiancé have a side or angle that you favor over the other, be sure to let your photographer know! Not that it will be totally avoided, but any good photographer will make sure to photograph your favorable side more often. Additionally, if there is something like a tattoo or large blemish that you may want edited out, this will usually cost extra. However, if you let your photographer know beforehand, the photographer will try to avoid photographing the tattoo or blemish where possible, potentially keeping your expenses lower than if you don't mention anything and ask for the editing after the shoot.

Give Yourself Time, Give Yourself a Full Day

If you and your fiancé can, block out the entire day for your photoshoot-- assuming it is later in the day or evening. Having enough time to properly do or get your hair and makeup done, to both get dressed, and to travel to where your shoot is is extremely important. Most photographers have scheduled a time specific to the lighting and being late can cause the session to be rushed or will even cause less than desirable lighting.

Have Fun, Your Mood Will Reflect In Your Photos

If one of you is happy to be taking professional photos and the other is not, it'll totally reflect in your gallery! Sometimes big occasions can create a big fuss but keep in mind that it's only for a couple of hours and the object is to create beautiful, happy memories that reflect your strong love. Both you and your fiancé should make an effort to keep the other in good spirits, this will go such a long way!