Lifestyle Engagements + Authentic Love

The very best engagement sessions are the real ones. The evenings where I follow you on a date in your favorite city, we grab you guys a drink at a hotel bar, watch a beautiful sunset or go frolick around some gardens, and we get creative along the way. Engagement and anniversary shoots are for the couples that want to have a crazy good time documenting one of the best seasons of their life. Let’s have some fun.

To check out some recent adventures, visit the blog

Frequently Asked Questions – Engagement Shoots

1. What should we wear?

Easy! I’ve created this nifty little style guide to help you decide what to wear for engagement shoots below!. I personally love soft neutral colours for the lady and collared shirts for the men. Having your makeup trial and hair trial prior to your engagement shoot is a great way to ‘test’ everything out prior to your wedding day. I also find accessories such as hats, scarfs, woolen oversized blankets are great to bring along in case it is cold, sunny or want to sit down on the grass. Engagement shoots are all about making the photographs reflect your special relationship with your partner. So be comfortable in what you wear so you can get the best out of your photo shoot!

2. When should I plan my engagement shoot?

I always like to do your shoot atleast 6 months prior to your wedding. It gives me a great opportunity to get to know you both and also for you to get to know me, my photography and posing style. I love natural light shoots so I usually plan the time of the shoot to sunset. That beautiful golden hour is always spectacular to shoot in and gives the skintones a really nice warm quality. The great thing about pre wedding photo shoot sessions is that we can plan them to how we like – unlike the wedding day when only a certain amount of time is given to creative shots after the wedding.

3. Where should we have the engagement shoot?

I love to make the engagement shoots and images all about you and your relationship. Choosing a spot that is important, special or memorable to you is a great idea! Maybe where you got engaged or where you first met? Where you like to go for picnics or coffee. The possibilities are huge and I am here to help you narrow them down to a location which is easy, relaxed and fun! I personally love natural surroundings so places like the National Arboretum of Canberra, a beach, forest, beautiful garden are perfect. These places also tend to be a bit quieter and therefor you don’t feel like your getting photographed in front of people watching.

A Style Guide

Choose a palette of 3-4 colors and mix it up, including both pants and dresses. You want a cohesive feel, but without being overly ‘matchy-matchy’. Picture a page in a clothing catalog where everyone co-ordinates, but nobody stands out more then the rest!

Generally, layered clothing is far more flattering. So t-shits and sweaters, dresses or jeans, boots and cardigans. Think about accessories like hats, scarfs, beanies and gloves.

Make sure all the clothes are clean and pressed on hangers a few days before your session and try to have nice clean shoes!

Here are some great examples of what to wear…

Family Portrait Sessions

Family portrait session styling is an extension of the engagement and couples shoot. Once again you want to try and go with a colour palette that suits the season. Make sure everyone is comfortable, in clean clothing and happy wearing what they want. I find if children are not happy with the outfits, try and give them a choice of a few outfits that might suit. Sometimes little Mr might just want to wear a superman outfit. Fair enough, bring it along with some other outfits so we can transition from one to another!

Here are some family outfit styling ideas..


Model Portrait Session

If you have booked in a model portrait session with Estella Photography, it means you want some really great photos for your comp card, portfolio or audition images that show what you look like as natural as possible. Styling needs to be well planned and covers many areas so I will go over them below.


The main photo on your comp card will be a striking, professional head shot of yourself. You are trying to create a beautiful natural fresh look with the appearance of not too much makeup. However, this does not mean you should wear no makeup! The most talented makeup artists know that to create a natural ‘nude’ look on the face, it requires talent, skill, time and makeup! I highly recommend you book yourself in to a makeup artist and hairstylist prior to your session to give that professional touch to your appearance. Take advantage of the additional makeup session offered in the shoot with Estella Artistry (my other talent) for $85.

Hair needs to be polished and natural looking. If you have curly hair, keep it curly and same for straight hair – keep it straight. It is good to have clean looking hair with coloring up to date and no regrowth. Don’t go for crazy styling with the hair, a simple ponytail, out or a high bun can look amazing!

Skin is just as important as hair and makeup. Make sure your skin has an even tone and looks healthy! Fake tanning can help but be careful you don’t go too deep and look orange. I highly recommend the St Tropez line for a DIY or Tuscan Tan outlet for a professional spray tan. Shave, exfoliate and moisturize before your shoot. Finally, make sure your finger and toe nails are manicured!


It is best to bring 3-4 different outfits for your model portrait session. I like to break each one down into the following categories…

1) GENERIC FUN LOOK – Flirty, fun, comfortable outfit you would typically wear in the current season. For summer it might be denim shorts and a sheer singlet top or for winter black jeans, boots, long sleeve blouse and a jumper to go overtop. Think about your colour palette and keeping patterns to a minimum. Make sure it is timeless and classic so your portfolio does not look outdated in 5years time!

2) PROFESSIONAL LOOK – Recreate a corporate feel to the look with a suit, blouse, skirt. Greys work better then blacks in this instance. I always like checking out the colour trends Myer offers in it’s Tokito range for inspiration! If you don’t have a suit style, then a simple ‘Little black dress’ can be always flattering!

3) SPECIFIC STYLE TO YOUR LOOK – If you know you suit a certain look, whether it be retro, fitness, lingerie, punk, surfer or high fashion then bring something to match. If your aim is commercial photography then look at something a commercial model would wear. If it is fashion then bring an amazing couture style dress to show your posing skills.

Don’t forget the essential accessories to the shoot. Here is what I ask all female models to bring:

– Underwear needs to be a nude colour that matches your skin tone. Strapless Bra and strapless top for head shots. Ladies – bring chicken fillets and nipple covers if you think you will need them for your outfit.

– Brush, bobby pins, hairspray and hair ties and makeup if you have chosen to do it yourself. Moisturizer to keep the skin looking healthy!

– Earrings, necklaces can be brought but kept to a minimum. Nothing to extravagant to take the attention away from you!

– Shoes need to be flattering and match your outfit. Again, nothing to extravagant to stand out. Heels are highly recommended and can accentuate your legs by ‘pulling up’ the muscles creating a more toned look.

Finally, study commercial models in magazines and ads on tv. See how the pose and dress. Bring your smile and enthusiasm to create a inviting, friendly feel to your images!

Here are some styling examples…