Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!
It’s safe to say I get a little excited when it comes time to start planning your Washington engagement session. Engagement sessions are SO much fun and one of my favorite milestones to document. They’re an evening (or SUPPPPPERRR early morning) full of adventuring, love, and all kinds of giggles. But, they can be so much more than that. They are an opportunity to show off your personalities in a location that you love, document this sweet time of bliss in your life, and of course, have an epic adventure!
Your engagement session is also a great opportunity to get comfortable with the way I work, being around a camera, and can build so much confidence in how you photograph. Let’s face it – most of us tend to feel a little anxious in front of a camera. FEAR NOT. You absolutely do not have to know what you’re doing, feel in tip-top shape or be model status to have the best time and get SO many gorgeous photos.
When you leave your engagement session, you will be more excited than ever for your wedding day. We’ll start with a timeframe, choose a date and then I’ll guide you through the entire process.
Locations (especially in the mountains) offer different perks and “looks” during different seasons which can drastically vary the look of your photos. It’s important to understand how the season in Washington affects accessibility, weather, and the look of locations.
Once we’ve narrowed down a date, location recommendations are much easier to throw around! I have a Washington location guide I can send your way to get a great starting point then we’ll hop on the phone so I get an idea of your vision and send over custom recommendations.
Normally sessions are scheduled during “golden hour” about 2 hours before sunset. Occasionally an early bird will head my way and we’ll aim for sunrise instead! We’ll start by setting a general time frame based on the date and location. I will give you an exact meeting time once I have a better idea of the weather forecast. That means, sometimes you’ll the exact time a week out and sometimes the night before. It all depends on how tricky the forecast is!
If you live in Washington, I’m sure you’re familiar with the struggle. 😉
The biggest thing when it comes to selecting your outfit is starting early and dressing for the season. I’ve got a whole interactive style guide that you can access HERE!
The goal is the be the best version of yourself – nothing too crazy but a little effort goes a long way! Getting a fresh haircut or color can give you the boost of confidence you need! Don’t come to your session with grown-out roots if that’s something you’re conscious about. Groom your eyebrows, nails and make sure to clean your ring. Steam, iron and de-pet-hair-ify everything!
All of these things make a huge difference in your photos. Ladies, if your man doesn’t know what to expect during your engagement session, take him through a blog or two and let him know that he won’t have to stiffly stand and smile for an hour. Often times guys are not overly enthusiastic about photos and we want him to know that it will be loads of fun!
Lay everything out you need to wear one final time the night before. Pack a bag with extra comfortable shoes, touch-up makeup, and anything you may need to bring with you! Most times I find that if anything is forgotten – it’s the correct shoes! If it’s going to be chilly, pack some hand warmers or a blanket.
Look, most of us are just normal people (not professional models). I don’t expect you to have any clue on what to do. I have all kinds of tricks up my sleeve to calm nerves, have fun and forget there’s a camera involved!
Plan on making a day, weekend, vacation or date night out of your session! How do you feel right after work? Ya – I don’t think I’d want my picture taken either. Set the day up for success by making it a relaxing one!
Your entire gallery of stunning images will be ready within 3 weeks for you to gush over, download, share, and print!
If you have more questions about how to plan your Washington engagement session, please contact me here!
Megan Montalvo is a PNW Elopement Photographer based out of Seattle, Washington. Megan offers intimate wedding and elopement photography to surrounding PNW destinations such as Tacoma, Olympia, Mount Storm King, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Rainier, Lake Quinault, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum, Suncadia, Leavenworth, Ruby Beach, Cape Kiwanda, Canon Beach and the San Juan Islands.