In the past two days you’ve heard engagement session advice from Donna Newman and Alain Martinez. Today, we turn to Mel & Co.

Expert: Mel Barlow

From Mel & Co: “The whole engagement part of getting married is all about having fun and showing your personalities and how they shine together. You can be a little bit wild in ways that you can’t so easily get away with at the wedding. Engagement photos should highlight your excitement for people to see. Pulling out those moments and characters is what makes our job fulfilling.”

Engagement photos

Choosing the location:
Pick a location that suits your personalities and will make you feel comfortable. Meaningful spots like your first date cafe or your neighborhood can be great places. We also have a handful of places we love and can recommend if the couple is unsure, but know the feel they’re looking for.

What to wear:
As far as attire is concerned, dress as if you are going out on a special date. Wear something that makes you feel good but something you might not wear often.

  • Ladies: Heels and something dressy. Be unique! Yellow, red, bright pink shoes. Do not feel pressured to buy a new outfit just for this, unless you want to. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful and that you would wear on a night out — even if you feel like your attire is overdone. Bold stripes, polka dots, and patterns are great for stylized shots. Accessories like belts, bracelets, hats, scarves, earrings, necklaces, etc. are always great accents.
  • Fellas: Suit jackets, vests, slacks, jeans, caps, colorful ties, button down shirts. Bold stripes, polka dots, and patterns, are also great men. Stylish shoes like wingtips, oxfords, chukas, hip sneakers, etc.
  • Working with Mel & Co.:
    The best photos come when couples relax and forget that we are even there. Candid shots are really telling and we are known for them. We have an organic approach that makes our couples feel at ease.

    Don’t forget:
    Ultimately, this sounds silly, but be yourself and wear what makes you feel comfortable!

    Photos from some of Mel’s favorite engagement shoots…

    Engagement photos

    Engagement photos

    Engagement photos

    2 comments
    1. europeistyka Feb 22, 2011 / 04:44 am

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    Yesterday we shared some photo shoot advice from Donna Newman. Today, we have some advice for the guys — from one man to another.

    The expert: Alain Martinez

    Engagement photos

    What to wear:
    Dress up a little! Guys, a polo shirt, with a white under shirt and your same blue jeans since college is not going to cut it. Spend some time together shopping after looking for some inspiration in stylish non-high-fashion magazines such as GQ, Details, and others alike. If none of this helps you, a classic button-down dark color shirt with the sleeves rolled up and some dark tone jeans will work just fine.

    Clothes to avoid:
    All white, or all light color outfits. Lighter colors tend to draw the attention away from you and toward the outfits, and in most cases make people look larger than they are. Dark colors are more elegant and slimming, this is a fact. Avoid horizontal lines or outfits that are not flattering to your body, regardless of the skills of your photographer or even a little help from Photoshop.

    Find a great spot:
    Go to two locations if possible — one could be what your photographer suggests and the other one could be your pick. Consider: Where do you hang out? Where did you meet? Where did he propose? What do you do on the weekends, boating, surfing, picnic, play with your dog? All these are elements that could be incorporated into your session to make it more unique for the two of you. Avoid picking locations that are too crowded, unless that’s what you are looking for, and definitely avoid the beaten path.

    How to make it ‘real’:
    Have fun and interact with each other throughout the session to give your photographer some real moments. Try to do something different every time you hear the shutter go off. After your photographer has placed you in a spot where the lighting is good and the background is attractive, don’t stand there stiff hoping for your photographer to direct you. Whisper something in her ear to make her giggle, a subtle kiss in the forehead, cheeks, shoulders, hands, spin her around.

    Don’t forget:
    It’s easier said than done, but try to forget that someone is there taking your pictures and the result will be natural looking, candid pictures that you will love and cherish for many years to come.

    Photos from some of Alain’s favorite engagement shoots…

    Engagement photos

    Engagement photos Engagement photos

    For a very unique idea, check out Alain’s own engagement photo shoot.

    Check back tomorrow for engagement photo shoot advice from Mel Barlow.

    1 comment
    1. Sarah Rigos Feb 17, 2011 / 12:07 pm

      Great photos and dress tips Alain!

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    We all know photos are one of the best ways to immortalize your wedding memories. For many couples, the big day isn’t the first time they are snapped behind the camera. In fact, engagement photo shoots have become an integral part of today’s modern wedding traditions.

    Engagement photos
    This Breakers destination bride and groom had their engagement photos done at home in New York City. (Photo by Donna Newman)

    But, where do you start when it comes to an engagement shoot? The Breakers turned to three of our favorite photographers for some answers. Read their responses in this special three-part series…

    Engagement Photo Shoot Advice: Take One

    The expert: Donna Newman
    Like many wedding photographers, Donna says an engagement shoot is a great way for a couple to get to know their photographer before the wedding day. Her take: “It is a fabulous time to build rapport with one another so that when the wedding day arrives, you feel more like friends than strangers.”

    Advice from the pro:
    When getting ready for an engagement shoot, I find these tips work great…

    • Avoid wearing clothes with patterns since it creates more of a busy look to the photo. We want to be focused on your faces, not on your outfit.

    • Pick a location to shoot at which has meaning to you (such as the spot where you got engaged, or where you had your first date). By doing so, when you look at the photo, a smile will come across your face as you remember that special spot.

    • Do a trial with your hair and makeup people that day. Not only will you look amazing for the shots, but you will feel completely confident on your big day that your team will get the right look.

    • Imagine that the photographer isn’t there for some of the shots. Just have fun with your fiancé! These always make the best shots since they are natural, unaffected and spontaneous. This is when you see the “real” you come out!

    • Try a few different looks/locations. The more time you spend with your photographer, the more relaxed you get.

    • If you are planning to put your photo in an announcement (such as the local newspaper) make sure your photographer knows the exact requirements of that particular publication.

    Photos from one of Donna’s favorite engagement shoots…

    Engagement photos

    Engagement photos

    Engagement photos

    Check back tomorrow for engagement photo shoot advice from Alain Martinez.

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    If you’re looking for a fun and unique element to add to your special day, consider adding an ice bar. Extremely customizable, ice bars at The Breakers have included monograms, mini sculptures and beautiful wedding-inspired designs.

    Ice bar

    What better way to chill your champagne than to encase it in ice? Now that’s one ‘cool’ champagne toast!

    Ice bar

    If you can dream it, we can get it hand-carved out of ice just for you….

    Ice bar
    Photo by Lila Photo

    Ice bar
    Photo by Donna Newman

    The Breakers works with the talented artists at Sculptured Ice to create these chilly masterpieces.

    3 comments
    1. Deidra Chustz Jan 30, 2011 / 01:41 am

      Wow, great post! How do you come up with such good stuff all the time? I’m impressed 🙂

    2. j 41 shoes Jan 31, 2011 / 05:13 am

      I think it would be FABULOUS!

    3. Raymond Van Jun 12, 2011 / 12:14 pm

      We appreciate you sharing these details. You guided me well

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