Portrait and Engagement Photos DAY OF: WHAT TO EXPECT?

If you are nervous about getting your pictures taken, it’s okay and completely normal. If not, that’s okay too! I know how you feel. Really, I do! I’ve been in front of the camera a few times myself and understand how nerve wracking it can be. But no worries! My job is to make you feel as comfortable as possible. I will be there to guide you, give instructions and position you where the light is most flattering (to give your skin that extra glow)! You don’t have to know how to model or make those model faces to get great images, I promise. We’ll meet up and walk around the location, looking for color, texture and great lighting; all things to enhance your photos. I might even attempt to crack a joke or two, and chances are you will laugh at how ridiculous I can get.

So, you can just Photoshop that out later right?

It’s a huge misconception that photographers photoshop everything and love spending their time in Photoshop. It’s quite the opposite and the truth is, the less time I get to spend in photoshop, the better. SO I would rather clean up and setup the image properly in camera first. This means I try to remove as much distraction as possible within your frame or photo during your session. For instance, if you have hair on your face, I will do my best to keep an eye on it and brush it aside for you. If there’s trash on the ground next to where you are standing I will make sure to go and pick it up so that it’s not in the photo. Every detail matters in photos. Of course, if you happen to break out that day or get a scratch on your face (*knock on wood), I will happily edit that out for you in photoshop (no additional charge). While I do love Photoshop for extensive retouching, I love to keep the photos as natural looking as possible and do most of my editing in a photo editing in Lightroom.

Here are some additional tips that I’ll also mention during your shoot:


I know you’re thinking “Ya right, there’s camera right in my face!”, but the more you interact with your love and/or family (and forget about me) the better!


If you’re feeling camera shy at first, that feeling will go away in about 20 minutes. If you’re feeling that nervous, take a shot (but just one!) when you get to the session (bring a drink in your trunk. No, seriously!). Eventually you’ll start to relax and start to do all the naturally cute things you do as a couple. By the end of the session, you’ll be a natural. ;) 


Walk slowly. Kiss slowly. Twirl and dance around slowly. Really take your time and enjoy this moment together. I want to make sure I capture every little detail.


I want to capture YOU and your essence as a couple. I want to capture the genuine connection and love you have for each other. Like I said before, don’t expect any cookie cutter poses. If it’s something you normally don’t do as a couple, let’s not do it! But if you’re up to dance around and get sexy, I’m all about it!


Once we meet up, let go of any worrying and let me take care of the rest. And don’t worry, the only thing you have to remember is to HAve fun!!! I’ll make sure to go over everything and guide you day of your session.


Wear whatever makes you comfortable! If you feel comfortable then you will look comfortable. Most importantly wear something that represents YOU as an individual and couple.

Here are a few suggestions to make your images pop:

1. COORDINATE YOUR OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME. I would recommend wearing up to 2 outfits just for a variety.

If you guys love to dress up, I would recommend choosing a formal attire (think black tie affair) for one and the other outfit a semi-dressy/dressy look. If you’re more of a casual couple, I would recommend choosing one casual outfit and then go for a dressier/semi-dressy look. Don’t be afraid to switch it up a bit. Oh, and feel free to send me photos! This is one of my favorite parts with planning for your session.

2. EMBRACE COLOR. Think back to the color wheel in grade school. You can choose complementary colors, shades of the same color or different colors that are side by side in the color wheel (analogous colors). The goal is to coordinate your looks so they go well together without being too “matchy matchy” with your overall look.

For instance, if she wants to wear a blue and red pattern floral dress, have him wear a red or blue tie instead of a red/blue shirt. I like to use the rule of 3 when it comes to picking out colors for your session. 60% being the main color, 30% being the secondary color and 10% being an accent color. Start out with a primary color that you want to wear which will be your 60% (i.e. purple let’s say). Then incorporate some neutrals (beige, white, grey) for 30% of your look. And for that final touch think of adding an accent color which can be a complementary color, shades of the same family or analogous colors (let’s say some yellow or green earrings to go with your purple dress). If you’re not a big color person, start with neutrals then work your way down from there. You can add color with other elements such as with accessories, props or even the surrounding environment.

3. EMBRACE FUN DESIGNS, PATTERNS AND TEXTURES. You can choose to incorporate up to 3 different textures and patterns. Make sure to mix between small and large patterns. (The small pattern should seem almost solid from a distance.)

For example, if she wants to wear a polka dot dress, you can have him wear a small plaid/patterned shirt OR have him wear a solid color shirt with a striped bow tie as an accent piece.

4. ACCESSORIZE! Wear jewelry, scarves, hats, or anything that will tie the outfits and overall look of the shoot together.

This would be perfect if you want to add an extra splash of color by wearing a blue hat, red heels or a yellow bow tie for example.

While I am not a fashionista, I am happy to help you with color choice, patterns or articles of clothing, or any other suggestions you might need! You can also go to stores like Banana Republic or Nordstrom to get assistance from their stylist. You can also check out sites like www.renttherunway.com if you’re interested in renting designer gowns. The most important thing to take away from this is to have fun choosing outfits. And don’t worry if you don’t follow this list completely.. SOme rules were meant to be broken… :) . So, if all else fails, just do your own thing and be yourself. You make the outfit and not the other way around.


If you booked/planning on booking a mini session, then you’ve already picked a location that we chose. But if you have any ideas for location for next year, please shoot us an email as we would love to check out some new spots.

For those who are currently trying to figure out a location, I would recommend finding a place that means something special to you. Or a place you love to hang out together as a couple. Like your home for instance or the place you went to on your first date. Or it can be someplace completely new. Like your dream vacation spot. The location you choose should depend on the overall feel or look you want to go for. We can shoot in an urban setting, in your home for a more intimate feel, outside in nature, someplace green, in the field or forest, in downtown, at the desert or the beach, any place with a cool wall or architecture or even inside a white studio space. The possibilities are endless!

Have something creative or different in mind? Do you have access to any cool + secluded places? Know anyone that can get us into some unique or VIP places? Let’s chat! I’m open for anything fun and different. I can also help do some research + find a place for your session depending on what look + feel you’re going for.

If you need some suggestions, feel free to check out some recent portrait sessions on my blog, instagram or facebook for more inspiration.

How many locations can we go to?

I would recommend sticking to one location. However, I’m open to shooting at a second location if it’s within a 2 mile radius from the first location. The main reason for this is: I would rather spend time shooting your session than traveling around. I do understand that you may want to have a variety of looks by going to multiple locations. However, I can also accomplish more looks for you and get more creative by staying in one area. All we need is pretty light and I promise you’ll get tons of great photos.

Permits and fees.

We can also shoot wherever your heart desires so long as the location does not require a permit. If there’s a location you already have your heart set on and don’t mind paying for the permit fee (differs for each venue/location), then we can shoot at that location as well. Also, please keep in mind that travel fees will apply for distances traveled 50 miles outside of the 92117 zipcode. Email me if you have a location in mind outside of this area and we can discuss! 


The best time to shoot is during “Golden Hour” which happens 1 hour before sunset or right after sunrise. The light is the most flattering during this time and will give your skin that extra glow. Of course, the sunrise and sunset times varies from season to season so we’ll have to plan accordingly. The time that we start shooting will also depend on the location that you choose.

Shooting in an open area:

If we are shooting in an open field or on the beach, the best time to shoot would be closer to sunset.

Shooting in an area with tons of trees or tall buildings:

If you want to shoot in a more urban area with buildings or in a nice shaded area with tons of trees, we can schedule the shoot for an earlier time (approx. 2-3 hours before sunset) as the sunlight usually dips behind the buildings/trees much earlier in the day, giving us less available light to work with.

Shooting in a crowded location:

In case you pick a location that is heavily crowded during the day, I would recommend doing a sunrise shoot. While you’ll have to brave the early morning wakeup call and possibly even the cold, it’s totally worth it. Especially when we can get the entire place to ourselves and have more time to play.

Shooting on a cloudy day:

If the clouds happen to roll in the day of your session, there’s no need to panic. That’s actually a great thing because the clouds diffuse the harsh light. We’ll be able to shoot at any time facing any direction we want. While you’ll get a different look from the sunset type photos, your images will still have a soft look to them just slightly moodier.

Shooting indoors:

I would recommend starting in the later morning or early afternoon depending on how much light (windows) is available inside (home, studio, etc.).

I will coordinate and help you come up with a schedule that works best for your engagement session depending on which location you choose.



You can bring a blanket to lay on, books or magazines to read, a bike to ride, wine and wine glasses to drink in, etc. Bring items that will represent you as a couple but keep the props to a minimum as you don’t want to overdo it. We want to focus on you and your love, the emotion of the overall shoot vs. having the shoot being about all the items. For instance, if you wish to have a themed session (i.e., picnic, travel, beach, win e, etc.) you can incorporate props that will tie the overall look of the session together.


Bring a small water bottle to keep you hydrated. You may get thirsty from all the walking around.


This will come in handy just in case we have to walk around a bit. and especially if you plan on wearing nice shoes or your cute heels for the shoot! If we shoot on a beach chances are we will get a coastal breeze and when the sun goes down, it could get chilly.


Are you a pet lover? I know I am and I know that if you have pets, they are like family. So if you would like to include your pet in a few frames, please ask someone to come pet sit for you if possible. That way, when we’re finished shooting the shots to include your pet (s), your friend or family can take your pet (s) home while we finish shooting your session. please note that not all locations allow dogs (especially on the beaches) so having someone to watch them is key!

Remember to pack and travel light! Leave as many items in the car as possible {with the exception of your keys of course}. We can always come back to your car for things like: outfit changes, props, touch-ups.


1. Schedule to get your hair & make-up done.

Believe it or not, getting your hair and make-up done makes such a difference in photos. Even if you are going for that natural look. Getting your make-up done will help to make your features stand out. Plus, having that extra confidence boost isn’t so bad either. It will exude in your photos. If you’re planning on getting your hair and make-up done, make sure to consult with your stylist and finish two hours before your scheduled time to leave. *TIP* [for my engaged couples]: some stylists will offer a trial run through before your big day so make sure to set up an appointment before your scheduled engagement session.

2. Get your nails done.

Your wedding ring will be making a few appearances in your photographs. So make sure to get your nails done a day or two before your session if you can.

3. Leave early.

Make sure to leave early and account for travel time so we can make use of the available light that day. LA traffic is the worst!! Please make sure you plan accordingly. Otherwise we will be chasing after the sun!

4. Make dinner reservations and take an evening out on the town!

Why not? You’ll already be all dressed up afterwards so you might as well take advantage. Go paint the town red! Have kids? See if you can find a babysitter beforehand.


Please email me 1.5 – 2.5 months out so I can schedule you session on my calendar. If you’re engaged and in a rush to get your save the dates out, please email me asap to see if I have any recent availability. Sundays are usually best (less crowded) or I’ll have more availability on a weekday.


In the event that you need to reschedule due to an emergency, please email me right away. If it happens to rain that day, we can play by ear during the morning to early afternoon. I would recommend waiting at least until the early afternoon because the weather tends to clear up by evening. Personally, I love the dramatic look + feel of having the clouds as the backdrop. You’ll have such unique portraits vs. the typical SoCal sunshine type feel (which is always great but it’s always nice to switch things up sometimes. Just say’n.).

Yay, you made it to the end! I hope you found these tips helpful. I bet you’re even feeling more prepared + confident for your shoot already!

Have more questions? Shoot me an email: photo@kambriafischer.com and let’s chat.

I can’t wait to hear about any ideas you may have and I am so looking forward to creating + capturing some fun moments together!