Now that spring is finally here after the never-ending winter we've had, we're preparing for upcoming engagement sessions! There are several benefits to planning an engagement shoot before the wedding. First, it's a great opportunity to get to know our couples and build a relationship and trust. Photographers will sped more time with the bride and groom than any other vendor on the wedding day, so it's important to feel comfortable working together. It also helps those who don't necessarily enjoy having their photo taken to warm up to the camera before the big day, without being surrounded by crowds of friends and family. In addition, engagement photos cans be used for "Save the Dates", guest sign-in books, reception decorations, or even wedding invitations. To help in preparing for your engagement session, here are a few tips!
WHAT TO WEAR
When planning your wardrobe, think about what you'll feel most natural and comfortable in, and what will best reflect your personality and style. If you normally wear jeans and t-shirts, wear jeans and a comfortable shirt. If you prefer dresses or formal attire, then wear that your to your session. Some couples like to bring along one casual and one formal look for variety in their images. And don't be afraid of color! Bright pops of color look great in photos, although try to choose colors that coordinate rather than match. If wearing patterns, avoid choices that will compete and create a busy look. Accessories can also add flair to your outfit, so feel free to bring hats, scarves, necklaces, and fun shoes.
WHEN TO SCHEDULE YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION
If you plan to use any of your engagement photos for Save the Dates or for display at the wedding, we suggest scheduling your shoot at least a few months in advance of the wedding. All sessions are done outdoors on location, so you'll also want to consider what time of year to plan for. Spring and Fall are our favorite seasons, but we're not opposed to a snowy winter session either. Most often we'll try to schedule your session towards the end of the day during the last couple hours before sunset for the most flattering light. Early mornings are also ideal before we approach high-noon sun.
The location you choose for your engagement session is important in setting the "mood" or "feel" of your photos. Before offering location suggestions, I like to find out if there are any places that are special or meaningful to you as a couple. A few examples are where you first met each other, at the place he proposed, or doing your favorite activity. Below are some additional ideas.
- At your favorite restaurant or coffee shop
- Along your city skyline
- A downtown urban session
- Your local park
- During your favorite season
If you're still stumped, we'd be happy to collaborate with you to find the perfect location for your session.
Although we prefer sessions that are very natural and organic, occasionally using props can add an element of fun and originality. Some of our couples have opted to bring items such as books, board games, antique bicycles, sports gear, umbrellas, quilts, food, or balloons. We're not opposed to hearing any ideas you might have to create a session that is unique and meaningful to you. We also love animals and consider our dogs to be part of the family, so if you wish to include your pet we'd be happy to accommodate!
CONSIDER HAVING HAIR & MAKEUP DONE PROFESSIONALLY
Although not absolutely necessary, having your hair and makeup professionally done will help you look and feel your best for your photoshoot, and can also give you a boost of confidence if you're slightly uncomfortable with being in front of the camera. Even having a close friend or family member help you prepare or offer a few suggestions may be helpful. Keep in mind that matte makeup looks best to avoid appearing shiny or oily. You can also apply makeup slightly heavier than usual on eyes, lips, and cheeks, since it often looks much more toned-down on camera.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, RELAX AND HAVE FUN
Being a bit camera-shy myself, I can relate to couples who feel awkward in front of the camera. But remember, this is a great opportunity to get comfortable with having your photo taken, which will help immensely on the wedding day! Our job is to help you look your best in your photos, so we will give you as much or as little direction as you need in order to capture photos of the two of you that are natural and relaxed. Being engaged is an exciting time, so approach it as a fun date where you can hold hands, laugh, and just be together.