Whether you’re celebrating your recent engagement or simply want to document the current stage of life you’re in, a couples session is a great way to do so! As two photographers who were born and raised in Colorado, we wanted to share our best tips and advice to make the most of your adventure couples session!
There’s a good chance your session is scheduled just after sunrise or just before sunset. This timeframe is referred to as “golden hour,” and for good reason! The light at this time of day when the sun is low on the horizon creates those dreamy, glowy images you see, and will make you both look like supermodels. Because the sun tends to move quickly, it’s SO important to be able to start on time to soak up all of that dreamy light before it disappears! This means that it’s always a good idea to make sure to map out where you’re meeting ahead of time. Plan on leaving a bit earlier than you think you need to in case of traffic, and be sure to pay attention to how much and where to pay for parking if necessary.
One of the biggest misconceptions about getting photos taken is that you have to match. While it is important to coordinate your outfits, matching isn’t necessary. Instead, pick out your favorite color palette and coordinate your outfits from there!
For best results on camera, it’s usually best to stick with neutrals and earthy tones.
If you love color, fear not! “Neutrals” doesn’t have to be boring, or just mean tans and greys. Mustard yellow, navy blue, forest green, burgundy, dusty rose, ect. all count as “neutral!”
We usually have time for two outfits. Many couples like to bring a casual outfit and a dressier outfit to change into to get a nice mix!
When it comes to the actual clothes you pick out, please be sure to wear something you are comfortable and feel like “you” in.
More likely than not, we will be moving around a bit. Showing skin it totally fine, but try to avoid anything too low cut, tight, or short, as well any anything wrinkled or stained (contrary to popular belief, it’s not always super easy to photoshop these things out afterwards!)
For dress-wearers, we LOVE photographing long, flowy dresses and skirts – anything that moves with a breeze will look great on camera. For pants-wearers, a nice pair of jeans or some wrinkle-free slacks are a solid choice. Button-downs or collared shirts add a touch of class, but t-shirts are always welcome, too! Flowy blouses and sweaters are also encouraged. Please keep in mind that logos on shirts will stand out, so it’s best to avoid those if you can.
There’s also a good chance we’ll be walking around in dirt, rocks, and grass, so if you want to wear those killer heels, be sure to bring a pair of shoes that offer a bit more support that you can change into if needed!
It can get chilly in the mountains, especially from September through late-May! If your session is outside of the summer months, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’ll be comfortable during our time together, regardless of the weather!
Whether you’re wearing a maxi dress or leggings and a sweater, we always suggest adding a thermal layer on your legs to wear under your dress/pants. If you have the ability to also wear a silk thermal layer under your top, definitely do so! Lastly, add a scarf, gloves or hat with your casual outfit (you won’t regret it!). Avoid wearing layers made of cotton. You might sweat a little if we have to hike or walk to get to the location and when cotton gets wet it locks in the moisture and can make you really cold. It’s better to wear a sweat-wicking material made of silk, fleece or wool.
Even if you don’t plan on wearing a jacket while we are shooting, bring a warm jacket with you to put on in-between shots.
Our toes are always the first thing to get cold! We always wear warm socks that are not cotton (see the “Wear Layers” section above) and hiking or snow boots. This way your feet stay warm and dry.
If it’s winter or we will be hiking above timberline, hand a foot warmers are always a nice bonus to have on you. Those little packets that provide hours upon hours of warmth really can save the day! If you can wear foot warmers in your shoes, go for it. We also suggest breaking open a pair of hand warmers before we start and sticking them in the pockets of your coat so you can warm up your fingers in between shots. And, if you are a cold-blooded lizard like us and can never seem to be warm enough, open another pack of toe warmers (because they have the sticky side) and stick those babies somewhere on the inside of your dress or shirt against your back (as close to your spine as possible). If you can keep your spine warm, it warms the rest of your core and keeps your body temperature up.
We are total fan-girls of cute and cozy blankets and will say yes 100% of the time to bringing them along for pictures – come on, who doesn’t want an excuse to snuggle up with your boo!?
We may sound like your mom, but it’s better to have something you may not need than be without something you do need. So pack a backpack with your change of clothes and a few essentials: a bottle of water, a snack (we’re the girls always popping trail-mix while hiking), and some extra warm layers. If you are a total hot chocolate lover like us, then pack a thermos full of hot chocolate (or coffee, or tea, or whatever’s your jam) that you and your S.O. can enjoy during your session – it also makes for super cute pictures!
We’re always down to have your pup join us! If you’d like to bring your 4-legged friend along, it’s best to give us a heads-up so we can make sure your chosen location is dog-friendly. To make the most of our time and get the best photos possible, we recommend bringing along a favorite toy and some treats to help us get your pup’s attention, as well as a friend who can hang out with them while we take some photos of just the two of you.
We get it – having your photo taken can be nerve-racking. Our job is to capture your authentic relationship (while you both have fun in the process!), so there is no need to practice your smile, study Pinterest poses, or watch reruns of American’s Next Top Model. Just know that your only job is to show up and be yourselves, and we’ll do the rest. You got this!
We may have to stop to catch our breath. It may pour rain, or snow fluffy white flakes, or be windy as heck. But, the best pictures come when you take it all in, let got of what you can’t control and get lost in the mountains with your best friend. We promise it will be a day you’ll never forget – and pictures that will help you relive it all!
Meet Larissa + Bailey! As two Colorado Natives who have photographed 200+ couples in 100+ locations across Colorado, we specialize in creating a different kind of photo experience that is just as adventurous as you are. Want to hike to a high alpine lake? We can give you trail options for that! Want to canoe along the banks of a mountain lake? We can tell you the best lakes to do it on! Want to watch the sunset from the top of the world? We’ll lead you to our favorite spots for sunset! Book your Colorado couples photographer today!