The wedding journey has begun and one of the first things you get to look forward to in that adventure is your engagement session. I like to call them “You + Me” sessions because you as a couple get to spend some unadulterated time together and you get to know your photographer! Plus is helps reduce the random-creepy-stranger-following-you-around-with-a-camera-on-your-wedding-day vibe (added bonus).
The only problem is you have NO IDEA how to prepare for an engagement session. I mean, where do you go? What do you wear? And for goodness sake WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR HANDS?!
Okay, take a deep breath and release! Don’t you feel better? No? Well keep breathing and reading and your pulse will start to slow and the tightness in your chest will recede. It’s going to be alright! With these few tips you’ll not only be the envy of all your newly engaged friends, but you’ll also create a session that has more depth than just a few pretty pictures. Get ready to dig deep and have a lot of fun!
Tip #1 – Location, Location, Location!
Choosing a great location(s) is key. You could just go to the pretty park down the street, but most people do that. You’ll want to choose a location that expresses who you are as a couple. Okay, granted sometimes that is the pretty park down the street, but most times it’s not. Maybe it’s the place he proposed, maybe it’s an activity you love to do together (i.e. mountain climbing, going antiquing, or just sitting on the couch watching Netflix), maybe it’s a theme that is just perfect for you both (did somebody say Great Gatsby?). Whatever it is, it can be made into a great photo session. Take some time to think about it and always feel free to ask your photographer for input. We usually love collaborating and brainstorming new and exciting ideas!
Tip #2 – Your Style
Choosing the right style and outfits may sound like an obvious thing, but no everyone thinks the way I do so I’ll elaborate. Making sure you have clothes that both fit you well and you feel comfortable in is VERY important. If you’re not comfortable in your clothes, it’ll reflect in your photographs. I typically recommend to my clients bring two outfits. That way it gives you a variety and a fail-safe. That way if you don’t like one of the outfits you’ve selected in your photographs (sometimes clothes photograph differently than what you see in a mirror) you’ll have another outfit that you will like. Having two options will be easier than having to reschedule the whole session just because you feel self conscious in that mini skirt. Added bonus to multiple outfits is contrasting looks (i.e. comfy & dressy, vintage & modern, ect…) and have fun with the different sides of you as a couple!
Tip #3 – Bring Props
Props are totally optional, you and your love is really all you need. BUT, having props will help solve the “WHAT DO I DO WITH MY HANDS?” dilemma. Grab a prop, problem solved! They can also add a little personality into your session depending on what the props are. You can bring things like signs, garlands, create a picnic, have a zombie battle, or slather each other in paint!
Tip #4 – Furry Friends
A lot of my clients want to be photographed with their pets, especially their pooch! Animals are another great way to give you something to do if you’re feeling awkward in front of the camera. They’ll distract you from the pressure of that camera in front of your face. Plus you immediately level up in cuteness points!
Tip #5 – Be Flexible
You can’t plan for everything. Sometimes the weather and Pinterest fail us. If you don’t hold tightly to ideas, magic can happen no matter what! Put your trust in the photographer you’ve hired and let them do what they do best! I’m always itching to be creative and if you let me off my leash or give me an unusual circumstance it can often times lead to some pretty incredible photographs! Yes, you want to get some safe shots of you two smiling at the camera (mom & dad eat those up!), but your engagement session should be about your love story. Capturing your love as a couple and how you do life is the goal. So don’t be afraid to think outside the engagement sessions shaped box and have some fun!