Seattle sweetheart Wedding PHOTOGRAPHEr

Your Guide to The Perfect Seattle Engagement Photoshoot Part 3

(a three part series)

Makeup, Hair and Nails


 I cut and adding my own steaks to my hair all the time. 

Before I was a photographer

Now that you have a date, location, and even an outfit (see Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series if you don’t), you’re finally ready to plan for the finishing touches–your hair and makeup!

Before I realized my passion for photography, I wanted to be a hair stylist. I used to be so captivated by hair styling that I would sit at JCPenney and analyze every move the stylist made on my Mother’s hair. I was only eight at the time but my fascination continued through the years.

By the time I was thirteen, my sweet parents built me a little salon in their garage. I would cut and style the hair of my family and friends. I was only working for smiles but I loved it. I envisioned owning my own hair salon and couldn’t wait to go to beauty school. Of course things changed once I picked up my first camera but I still enjoy cutting and styling hair for close friends, family and sometimes clients.




Picture it as if you’re meeting your fiancé for the first time.

I love it when my clients feel confident in front of the camera. Whenever I take the time to dress up, curl my hair, and get my makeup done, that’s when I feel like stepping in front of a camera and that’s true for most of us ladies. Your engagement shoot is the time to doll up. In this week’s post, I’ll show you the techniques you need to achieve a polished, camera-ready look.




This is my biggest money-saving tip. You’re likely already planning to hire a hair stylist and makeup artist for your wedding day. Most stylist services come with a free trial or a trial at a small fee. Take full advantage of this and schedule your hair and makeup trials on the day of your engagement photoshoot. This will save you time and money on the day of your shoot. It’ll also give you a preview of how the hair and makeup will photograph on your big day.

If you’d rather not have the same do on your wedding day as your engagement shoot, no problem. Say you’re planning for a bridal updo but you’d like your hair down for your engagement shoot; simply ask your stylist to unpin your hair for your engagement shoot. Most are more than willing to accommodate brides with this. I also recommend sending the stylist a few pictures from your engagement photoshoot that they can add to their portfolio as a thank you.



Perhaps your stylist had some scheduling conflict or you prefer to do your own hair on your wedding day. I created this short video to show you how to create big wavy curls with lots volume on your own or with the help of a friend. If you’re worried about losing your curls on the way to the shoot, you can always show up with your curls pinned in place and I’m happy to help you unpin, tease and primp to achieve the final picture-perfect result.



Contact your favorite department store makeup counter and schedule an appointment for a full face of makeup. This service is typically free, however, these makeup artists are paid on commission so if you enjoyed the experience, I suggest buying a product or two. Your makeup artist may have to help other customers along the way so make sure you give yourself plenty of time in case this takes longer than expected. You might be surprised at what a great job they do considering it’s a free service, and you’ll probably walk away with products you needed to buy anyway.



What’s my favorite makeup tip for fabulous photos? Get those lashes and lips to standout! Go to your local drugstore and buy false lashes and glue. It shouldn’t cost more than $5. Have someone help you apply them if you can’t do it yourself (see video tutorial below).  This really will make your eyes pop in a photo.

For lips, don’t be afraid of color. A bold hue like red will help your lips stand out in photos. In your day-to-day life less is often more, but more is better when it comes to makeup in photos. Makeup doesn’t show up in photographs the way it does in person so don’t be shy. 



If you want to show off that gorgeous engagement ring, don’t forget about the nails! For less than $20 you can get a simple nude or french tip manicure that looks classic and allows you to show off your ring in close up photos. My favorite nail salon is Night Light Nails in Wallingford. Their prices are reasonable and their service is top notch.



This is where you get to be creative.

In the past, I met with couples at a park and just simply photographed them. I captured some great moments, but over time I learned I needed something more to create an atmosphere where couples felt relaxed in front of the camera. After trying this and that, I figured out props were what I was missing. Adding even just one unique prop allows couples to have fun and get creative in front of the camera. Don’t hesitate to bring anything that you feel reflects your individuality as a couple.

Below are a few of my prop suggestions:

  • Pets
  • Balloons
  • Kites
  • Bubbles
  • Food
  • Books
  • Chalkboard with your wedding date
  • Frame with your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding photo
  • Picnic setup
  • Rollerskates
  • Hula hoop

The options are endless!

See this Pinterest board for even more ideas!


Seattle sweetheart wedding photographer