How to Style your Engagement Session: Taking a Fine Art Approach

When I first began studying photography , I used to look at certain photos and wonder “how the HECK do I already feel like I KNOW this couple?!” 

Somehow I knew them, understood their personalities, and could explain how these two loved each other... Just. From. Their. Photos.

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The Magic of Storytelling

I had told myself a story about the couples without even realizing I was doing it. Whatever was making that crazy storytelling magic happen, I wanted to get in on it!

Storytelling & the Fine Art Approach

Take a quick glance at this photo and tell me. Who do you think these people are? What do they do for a living? What are their personalities like? What do they like to do in their free time? And how do they love each other?

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Did you have answers for any of those questions? If so, that's the fine art approach at work! (Or we can just call it storytelling magic. That's cool too.)

So why do some photos tell such a strong story? And how can you make sure YOUR session tells a story? 

The role of Styling

Authentic interactions play a large role in the believability of an image, but so does the styling. Styling actually works to heighten the impact of authentic interaction by further developing the story in your mind.

But keep in mind that more is not always better. "Props" for props sake are just clutter. (We'll talk about this more in upcoming posts!)

When using styling to help tell a story, it should serve to highlight the special connection that only you two have, not distract from or overshadow it. The elements you include in your session, whether it's location, clothing or anything else, should emphasize what you know to be special about YOUR relationship.

Styling as the settings on your sound system

I think of each element as a separate dial on my sound system. To get a sound that best fits my preferences, I adjust the settings. Too much bass coming through? turn down that dial. is the music too quiet as we fly through the country with the windows down? Time to dial up the volume.

As you think about your session, you’ll want to turn the dials up and down on each element to find the right balance that reflects your personality and gives you the space to feel comfortable and connected as your connect with your fiance during your session.



Adjusting Your Session Volume

One of the most impactful dials you can turn up or down is color. When you turn up the dial on color and opt for a vibrant palette in your styling, the mood becomes more loud and energetic.

Turn down the dial on color for a soft, muted palate and sweet, soft, intimate moments of love and tenderness begin to  shine through.

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Over time, your photos will become the very proof that your love existed. So, as we dive into the styling elements and talk about Understanding your “why,” I encourage you to consider what story you want to tell.

What dials do you need to turn up or down to tell a story that accurately and beautifully captures your legacy? Let’s create something meaningful together!