Style Guide-Bri Costello Photography

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For portrait and engagement sessions

Text of Style Guide-Bri Costello Photography

  • S E S S I O N G U I D E For Portraits and Engagements


    i. when to book

    ii. about the session

    iii. location, location, location

    iv. what to wear

    v. faq

  • W H E N T O B O O K

  • Many factors play a role in the look ,

    feel and general aesthetic of your

    photos, but one of the most

    mitigating factors will be the time of

    year you decide to shoot. In the park

    pictured to the left, for example, in

    the top photo we shot in fallwhich

    created rich, amber and neutral

    tones. I went back in the spring to

    shoot the photo on the bottom, and

    just look at the difference! If you

    have the luxury of shooting

    anytime of the year, consider your

    aesthetic and what environment you

    feel most comfortable in.

    For a city, you may want to book in

    spring where you can rock a summer

    dress or dapper draps for the boys. If

    you are going for a session with

    layers, color, and coziness, cooler

    weather and a winter session will

    allow you to achieve this vibe without

    toasting in the summer heat. For a

    light, fun feelsummer may be your

    season. Or perhaps a campfire

    session on the beach during the fall

    where you can bundle in cool

    colored, oversized sweaters speaks to


    The best light to shoot in is definitely

    30 minutes after the sun comes up (I

    knowI am not a morning person,

    either!) or 1-2 hrs before the sun goes

    down, depending on how long your

    session will be. Light is the softest at

    these hours and adds that gorgeous

    golden tone to photos that we all

    love. I am available to book evening

    sessions on weekends, and I can do

    morning sessions any morning

    throughout the week or on the

    weekend. The best thing about a

    weekday morning session is that

    streets tend to be less filled with

    clutter and noise, parks have less

    people, and sometimesjust

    sometimesyou catch that

    mysterious morning haze that adds

    an undeniably zip to your images!

    A note on booking. Photos tend to

    take 2-4 weeks for processing, so if

    you are wanting images for a Save

    the Date, or engagement

    announcement, senior picture

    announcements, etc., be sure to

    work back from the date you need

    you images to ensure you book your

    session with enough time to get

    images back and still make your

    deadlines. Any questions on this, or

    last minute issues, always feel free to

    contact me directly at

  • A B O U T THE

    S E S S I O N

    The goal of our session is always to

    capture you: where you are in life,

    how you are, and what excites you.

    Portrait sessions are a rare opportunity

    to really capture your creativity,

    expression, and individuality.

    We aim to have a natural, yet stylish

    and curated session that evokes the

    beauty in each of us by creating a

    comfortable and free environment.

    For the most part, I will prompt you, or

    you and yours, to act naturally. I may

    position you here and there, or have

    you try certain techniques and tricks,

    but the goal is that when you strike

    that golden laugh, that it is 100%


    If we are shooting outside, the goal

    will be to use the natural light from

    our surroundings. If shooting indoors,

    we will be working with the window

    light, and perhaps some lighting tricks

    I bring along,

    Depending on the portrait package

    you book, I tend to like to plan for a

    few different looks or feels. Think

    about the different aspects of your

    life or your relationship and develop

    shoots that embody those moods.

    Pick a spunky outfit and location that

    helps you to show your playful side.

    Another look could be soft colors in a

    field to show the sweet or tender side

    of you or your relationship. But you

    get the pointcreate looks that

    match your environment and fit your

    personality. If we are changing

    locations, be sure you have thought

    through how and when you will

    change. Travel time and setup is also

    included in your session time, so try

    not to get too intense with your


    For wedding couples, an

    engagement shoot is the perfect way

    for you and I to get to know each

    other! We can practice before the

    wedding and figure out your style of

    shooting before the big day. If there

    is any feedback you have for me

    after our shoot, always feel free to let

    me know.

  • L O C A The best location will most certainly be

    the spot that makes you feel most

    comfortable and most in your element.

    A good location will also be a clean

    backdrop, not overly distinguishable.

    You want to be the center of your

    photos, not the statue of Sam Houston.

    Also, consider the colors and texture of

    your environment. Be on the lookout

    for hidden roads, farm field, cool

    hallways. You can even typically coax

    a coffee shop in to letting us shoot in

    their shop. Make a list of the things you

    like to do, and think of places that

    speak to that. If you love to play the

    guitar, where do you play? If you go to

    the same Farmers Market every

    Saturday, set up your shoot then. Or if

    you collect stamps or records, perhaps

    hitting up a collectors shop or record

    store could be up your alley. Speaking

    of alliesthey can also be great little

    hidden spots to set up a shoot. If you

    tend to have a more modern vibe, find

    a clean city street that has modern

    storefronts. Ask a furniture store or art

    gallery if you could shoot in their space.

  • T I O N Industrial spaces or old buildings can

    sometimes have a lot of red tape to

    shooting on site, but they are also

    sometimes the most hidden gems.

    Bookstores, libraries, or a study could be

    a great location for a bookworm. Or

    hit the pavement on your bikes and

    lets find some magical trails. Love

    riding in your vintage convertible?

    Well heyso would I. Lets make it


    I am pretty much always on the lookout

    for the next great place to shoot, so if

    you are needing some help

    brainstorming, definitely just let me

    know and we can start the brewing of

    some ideas that you love and represent


    A final note to consider with your

    location would be the accessibility and

    liability of a space. Some locations

    may require entrance fees, or may not

    allow any professional shoots at all, so if

    anyone owns the property you have in

    mind, it may be a good idea just to

    check with the owners and get a

    confirmation that we will be okay to

    shoot there in advance.

  • W H A T TO W E A R

    To begin, as with every other aspect of

    photography and planning your shoot,

    you want to maintain a style that is true

    to you. Now, that isnt to say that you

    cant have some fun and push the

    boundaries a bit to create images that

    will pop and highlight you in a way that

    may not include the baseball cap that

    you wear every day! My most basic

    advice is to coordinate, and NOT

    match. Coordinating means colors that

    are in the same tonal pattern; however,

    this can be a bit deceptive, as the right

    orange and green really can work

    together! On the opposite page, the

    couple is wearing bright blue and pink.

    Given the playful backdrop of the Ferris

    Wheel and fair, their colors pop and

    mesh with the environment, while still

    highlighting them. In a green, wooded

    forest, creams, oranges and reds come

    across beautifully. Caution colors are

    shades of teal and coral. They

    definitely can work, but it will likely be

    with contrasting deep, bold or cool

    crme colors.

    Additionally, adding a fun accessory to

    your wardrobe can also add that extra

    ZING! Fun colored sunglasses, a special

    lacey blouse, bright patent-leather

    shoes, or suspenders all add to your

    outfit and transform your look from daily

    wear to magazine-ready.

    When plotting your outfit choices, keep

    in mind the weather and shooting

    conditions. If there is a chance of rain,

    bring along your mud boots and a cute

    umbrella. If you are wearing those killer

    heels, but we are walking from location-

    to-location, pack and extra pair of flats

    to get around.

    For the boys, a standard shirt that you

    like is a good start, but think of a way to

    make it a little more than everyday.

    Add a hat or suspenders. Maybe a

    vest, or a tie with some pop. Roll up

    your sleeves for a more casual look, or

    add some colorful socks!

    When putting multiple outfits together,

    you will want to look like you are both

    going to the same party. Try to avoid

    one being in a long, formal dress and

    the o