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How we prepared for our engagement photos with Katelyn James

WeddingEmily ColeComment

This is a post I've been so excited to write!! We finally had our engagement photo session with Katelyn and Michael Alsop of Katelyn James Photography. We've been engaged since March 1, 2015 (!) and booked them as our photographers shortly thereafter. The engagement shoot could have taken place at ANY point before our wedding, but since we're having a fall wedding I thought spring/summer photos would be a nice complement. 

Needless to say, Katelyn and Michael were SO amazing to work with!! We felt immediately comfortable around them (especially because we met them at Sam and Steve's wedding!) and I'm so grateful to have them as our photographers. 

Obviously, all photos by Katelyn James Photography, click on ANY photo or the button at the end of this post to check out her blog!

Skincare

Lookin' good hun!

Lookin' good hun!

This was one of the most important things to me going into our shoot a breakout can really kill my confidence in general, not to mention when I'm having professional photos taken. 

I didn't introduce anything new or crazy into my skincare regimen for a month leading up to the shoot. I drank lots of water, alternated with a glycolic acid treatment and some form of retinol at night (I use a prescription cream), and tried to CHILL because stress breakouts are a very real thing. I also used a lot of hydrating sheet masks that I picked up on my trip to China or at Korean supermarkets.

Grant used Nip + Fab's Exfoliate Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme for a week leading up to the shoot. He has great skin to begin with, but I wanted to make sure he had some chemical exfoliation to really help out the GLOW. :)

Grant is also really good about wearing SPF his go-to moisturizer is Kiehl's Facial Fuel SPF 15, which I also use from time to time. It sinks in quickly and feels incredible!

Makeup

I wanted these photos to really LOOK like me, so I knew I was going to do my own makeup. I wanted my makeup to reflect a simple date night in Vienna, as opposed to a super smoky look that would have felt out of place.

Katelyn is a natural light photographer, so it's not like there was going to be flashback on our photos, but I still wanted a full-coverage, high-end foundation to smooth everything out. I went to Blue Mercury and had the makeup artist test out the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation (whew!) in the shade Cream Ivory. It ended up being the PERFECT shade with amazing coverage. Here are a few other products I used:

Here I'm wearing my favorite shade of lipstick, Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Rose Wine, slightly blotted. It photographs more pink than orange, which is exactly what I was hoping for! 

Here I'm wearing my favorite shade of lipstick, Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Rose Wine, slightly blotted. It photographs more pink than orange, which is exactly what I was hoping for! 

"Curled" eyelashes on me translates to lashes that are straight as sticks, but thankfully Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara adds length and dimension to them!

"Curled" eyelashes on me translates to lashes that are straight as sticks, but thankfully Cover Girl Clump Crusher mascara adds length and dimension to them!

Ring + nails

I got a gel manicure at Mint Nail Lounge and went with OPI's Be There in a Prosecco. It is a BEAUTIFUL peachy nude. I knew my nails wouldn't show up in too much in photos, but my hands felt that much more beautiful with a good manicure. 

As for my ring, I went to Jared in Tyson's Corner to have it rhodium plated (re-dipped into what makes white gold white!) and the diamond polished and cleaned.

The rhodium plating makes a HUGE difference. My ring was turning pretty yellow on the bottom of the band after over a year of wear, and the acidity levels in my skin.

The rhodium plating makes a HUGE difference. My ring was turning pretty yellow on the bottom of the band after over a year of wear, and the acidity levels in my skin.

Diamond nice and polished!!

Diamond nice and polished!!

Outfit selection

Flowy white skirt + interesting back = YES PLEASE!

Flowy white skirt + interesting back = YES PLEASE!

I think we took this in 3 seconds so we wouldn't get run down by cyclists. They mean BUSINESS on the W&OD Trail. 

I think we took this in 3 seconds so we wouldn't get run down by cyclists. They mean BUSINESS on the W&OD Trail. 

For our first and fancy outfit, Grant wore a Brooks Brothers shirt and pants, a J. Crew sports coat and Ecco shoes. This is what he wears on an almost daily basis, and I love how professional he looks without being stuffy at all. I bought my dress at Last Call Neiman Marcus. I couldn't find the dress on Last Call's website, but here it is (on sale!) on Saks. This dress is not something I would have ever ordered online, but when I tried it on I knew it was going to be perfect! I wore a simple necklace from Francesca's and these Sam Edelman 'Gigi' sandals in Bright White!

For our casual shots, Grant wore a Ralph Lauren Polo tee, crisp white shorts from Brooks Brothers and classic Sperry boat shoes. I LOVED this outfit! It was summery without being too preppy. :) I wore my favorite item of clothing in my wardrobe, my blue kimono from Anthropologie (Katelyn called it a cape though so that's what I'm calling it from now on). I paired it with a simple black camisole from Loft, the same Sam Edelman sandals and this pair of Paige denim jeans. (PS these are the softest pair of jeans I own!!)

While the actual kimono/cape is no longer available, similar options are here and here. I found mine from the sale room at the Mosaic District Anthropologie. 

Fun fact: My cape also makes an appearance in this jingly-jangly Sonicare commercial. Like I always say, if you can't wear something that's featured prominently in an electric toothbrush commercial, don't wear anything at all.

Day-of nerves

Growing up, I remember how I felt before a game or recital -- it's this anxious excitement in the pit of my stomach that usually goes away once I'm in the moment. THAT is how I felt all week leading up to this shoot! And I literally had NOTHING to worry about!! Everyone assured me it would be so fun, and it really really was.