How to Prepare for your Engagement Session
Welome to your engagement guide!
So happy to have you here! Maybe you’ve already booked your wedding with me and are here to get more info on what your engagement session will look like. Or maybe you’re searching for way to get the most out of your engagement session and your search landed you here. Either way, welcome
In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know from choosing the perfect location for you, to clothing choices, to what happens if it rains on your scheduled day.
Engagement Sessions are one of my absolute favorite sessions to shoot… I love love, and I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. You’re going to get to spend some quality time snuggling up together, no distractions (well, except for me haha) just enjoying being together and thinking about all the reasons you love each other. SO GREAT!! While photos on your wedding day are limited to the set timeline in a busy day, the engagement session is chill, no pressure, no timeline, just a good time with your favorite person!
So let’s get to it!!
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!
FINDING THE PERFECT LOCATION
The location you choose for your engagement session will set the mood for your photos. If you have a location in mind that has special meaning for you, whether it’s where you went on your first date, where the proposal happened, or a piece of family property that you love, we’ll absolutely go there! If you don’t have a particular place in mind I have a whole arsenal of spots that I love to shoot at. We’ll chat about what you love (and maybe what you don’t love) as far as backdrops go, it can be as simple as downtown, or near water, or with a view of the valley, and we’ll brainstorm the best location for you from there!!
FINDING THE BEST LIGHT
Every location has its own best light, and once we settle on where we’re going, I’ll help you determine the best time to go so we have the best light for the spot. Most often the best light will be the last 2 hours before sunset or the first 2 hours after sunrise when the light is soft and the sun is lower in the sky.
Of course, not every schedule allows for an evening session, and not every evening is sunny, but no worries, there is always beautiful light to be found!
“I don’t know how to pose.” or “I’m totally not photogenic, I’m terrible in pictures.” Do these sound familiar? And can I help you with this? YES!!!!!! Trust me, I hear this alllll the time!! It’s my job to help you look and feel amazing, and I’m pretty dang good at it 🙂
TO POSE OR NOT TO POSE
My clients often comment on how natural even my posed photos look, and this is because I allow them to just be who they are naturally together. After we choose the location and find the best light, I’ll put you in there, give you some general directions like “snuggle in” or “hold each other” and let you naturally do those things while I photograph you. I want your photos to tell a genuine story of who you are together.
Some people do need more direction, especially at the beginning of the session, and I’ll step in and direct if needed, or make minor adjustments on your pose if necessary 🙂
Of course, some epic poses are always fun, and I’ll mix those in for sure, but I love capturing the genuine, authentic relationship moments between my couples.
NEVER STOP MOVING + GET HANDSY
This one sounds fun right??? Once I’ve given you any posing direction needed and stepped back to take photos while you enjoy the moment together, keep moving within that moment.
I really want you to get handsy with each other. Always be moving your hands all over each other… squeeze in for a big, all hands on deck kind of hug, touch each other’s faces, tuck back that stray hair, heck, play with each other’s hair just for fun!! Shameless flirting is also always encouraged 🙂
BE YOURSELVES + HAVE FUN!
Part of the fun of engagement sessions for me is discovering and capturing how my clients interact together. You might be a couple that loves to snuggle in and hold each other. Perhaps you more naturally gravitate towards fashion type poses together. And maybe you’re total goofballs together and laugh all the time.
Don’t shy away from letting your true colors show!!! Being yourselves will result in amazing photos that bring you right back to what you love about each other every time you look at them!
WHAT TO WEAR
What to wear and how to coordinate can be a bit intimidating for people. I’ve written this next section in the hopes that it will give you some direction and clarity about your wardrobe.
Before I get into the details, remember to be yourselves! The Engagement Session is meant to be a session that celebrates who you are as a couple. So if you’re casual always, dress casual! I love it when couples bring a change of clothing, so if you like to dress up sometimes, bring a second outfit that’s more formal and we’ll change things up halfway through. Whatever your style, make sure you wear it so the photos feel like YOU when we’re done.
Neutrals always photograph beautifully, but if you’re someone that loves bold colors, try to stick to earth tones. Bright colors or neons can reflect off your skin in photographs, so earth tones are a great way to appeal to your colorful side while ensuring your skin will look fresh.
If you love wearing patterns, absolutely wear them! I do recommend staying away from bold graphics and geometrics, bright patterns and anything else that takes attention away from your face.Keep in mind that it’s aesthetically pleasing to choose patterns that compliment a texture your partner can wear. Patterns are beautiful in photos, but try to avoid mixing multiple heavy patterns. This is probably the hardest part to coordinate so know that I’m just an email away!
COORDINATING WITH YOUR PARTNER
The days of wearing totally matching outfits (think white t-shirts and khakis) are over. Instead, plan coordinating outfits. Mixing and matching neutrals with earth toned colors like blues, greens and burgundy’s, always looks great. Make sure you’re coordinating the style too so you don’t end up with one of you super casual and one of you all glammed up. If you’re having a hard time agreeing on this, I’d say to do both, so you have some casual and some more formal!!
A few extra tips and tricks for you to help you have the most amazing engagement session ever!!!
TREAT IT LIKE A DATE NIGHT
This might be my biggest piece of advice. Have fun getting ready, compliment each other, let go of outside stressors, jam out to your favorite songs on the way and go out for dinner, a drink or dessert after the session. Not only will this help you get excited for your session, but it will also help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And it will definitely make it an extra special memory.
IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE IN ANY OF THE POSES, STOP AND ADJUST.
If you feel awkward and uncomfortable, the photos will look that way too. It’s always okay to reset!!!
WHAT IF IT RAINS?
Unlike your wedding day, an engagement session is easy to reschedule if it rains on the day. Most often my couples choose to reschedule and wait for better weather, but some couples prefer to embrace the weather and go out in the rain! There is no wrong answer, it’s totally your preference!!!! Rainy photos can be super romantic though 🙂
DON’T COME HUNGRY
For real. Make sure you eat something before the session, even if it’s just enough to tide you over until dinner afterwards. Nothing ends a session faster than a hangry person, lol!!
You know what my photography style is like, but don’t be afraid to tell or show me what style/vibe you’re going for with storytelling. Share the inspiration you found or what is most important for me to capture. You can even add me to your Pinterest board! Also if you have any must-have shots you want me to capture, I’m here for it!
This whole process can feel really intimidating if you’ve never been in front of a camera, but if you follow these steps as you start to think about your engagement session, I really think it will ease some of the stress, anxiety and unknowns. The one thing to keep going back to is to make it fun! This is such a momentous time in your relationship journey, and you deserve to enjoy every moment of it! But, of course, if you have any questions that I didn’t answer here, I’m always just an email away!