spring picnic proposal


Los Angeles Engagement Sessions: How to Style Your Engagement Photos

These two incredible ladies decided on an intimate double proposal where each one made her own special gesture to the other. Melissa and Vanessa opted for a completely private moment with just the two of them, and then I showed up on the scene about an hour later to document the celebration of their mutual “yeses” with a beautiful Los Angeles engagement session.

Even before I made it over to their picnic blanket, I could feel their joy and excitement over popping their questions and declaring their commitment to each other. I couldn’t wait to see what their session would hold, and it did not disappoint! Melissa and Vanessa have a keen eye for fashion, and their photoshoot was styled to the nines! They thought of every detail, and it was all perfection. 

It’s tempting to rely on a single element to shape your session, but the truth is that each piece plays a key role in pulling the look together. Editorial photoshoots are trending right now, and I am in love with the striking high-fashion look, but it definitely requires some planning and styling. When a ‘trendy or fashionable’ shot catches your eye, it probably has all the components and not just a cool location or cute outfits. If you’re loving this beautifully styled engagement photoshoot as much as I am, here are a few tips for pulling it off:

How to Make Your Engagement Session Look Like a Professionally Styled Photoshoot

First, choose a unique location to stage your engagement session. 

The location paints the backdrop and sets the tone. You’ll want to coordinate all the other styled pieces with the natural ambiance of your location so the images don’t feel disjointed. Melissa and Vanessa had their picnic proposal and engagement session at Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, CA. The library does require a permit, even outside on the grounds, but sometimes that’s more than worth it. The lawn was fairly quiet and tourist-free, and we could use the building’s unique architecture and palm-lined streets to make some editorial images. However, we primarily used the lawn and natural greenery for more of a storytelling, lifestyle vibe. 

Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when considering locations for your styled engagement session. A building or scenic spot with attention-grabbing features will set your photos apart and add unique visual interest that a typical location may not offer. Historic sites, museums, architectural structures, restaurants, botanic gardens, and interesting landmarks may have features that double as props and backdrops. Just keep in mind the style and aesthetic you are going for.

Next, coordinate outfits that play into the aesthetic. 

These two brought it in the fashion department. First, they had their hair and makeup done by Alyssa and her incredible team at Infinite Beauty LA. I highly recommend a little pampering with professional hair and makeup for a polished look. Then, they selected chic outfits with subtle pink hues to amplify the breezy al fresco picnic theme. Shout out to Loti, an upcycled luxury couture brand, where Vanessa purchased the stunning Fernanda jumpsuit. Outfits are such an important and easily overlooked part of your engagement session, and they can really make or break your session. 

Finally, let’s talk props!

We may not have photographed the official proposal portion of their day, but Melissa and Vanessa still wanted to capture the experience of this milestone occasion. Instead of your average engagement session, they wanted it to feel more cinematic and story-based. To celebrate their proposal, they set up a romantic picnic on the library lawn, and it was dreamy. Everything was prepped ahead of time and displayed on a beautiful cheese board. They brought our crystal champagne glasses, a cute picnic basket, and a matching picnic blanket to tie everything together.

Pro Tip: Remove clutter by removing all the food from the boxes and wrappers for display. You want it to look more like a romantic culinary experience than a quick, on-the-go snack. Not only did the props help make it look like a true picnic, but they also made each shot look like still from a movie scene.

Authentically Styled Storytelling

I loved shooting Vanessa and Melissa’s stylish Los Angeles engagement session. They are just the cutest and so much fun to work with. Their chemistry is so dynamic that they belong on a front cover. Speaking of which, I have to give a big shout-out to Melissa, who is releasing her first novel with Penguin Random House. As a bookworm, I can’t wait to read it when it comes out early this summer 2024! Be sure to pre-order a copy on Amazon.

Los Angeles Engagement Photographer

What kind of style do you envision for your Los Angeles engagement session? I specialize in cinematic and editorial photography and would love to help you style and stage your session. From Old Hollywood glamour to chic modern compositions, I can assist you in achieving your desired aesthetic. Get in touch to get your photoshoot on the books! You can also check out my Instagram feed for more photo inspiration.

Connect with Hanna

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Los Angeles Engagement Sessions: How to Style Your Engagement Photos

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