Engagement Session Tips
I tend to get several recurring questions before engagement sessions, so I decided to make a post on important things you should know before your engagement session! I tried to be specific but if you have any questions or comments please feel free to call or email me!
Probably about the most important part about your shoot will be the location you choose. If you guys have a spot that’s significant to both of you, whether it be where you met or where he proposed, or a place that you frequent together, that can be a great choice for your engagement session. I've had an engagement shoot couple choose to shoot at the lounge where the couple first met, and luckily the owner happened to be very kind and allow us to shoot inside before they opened for business, most of the time people are very accommodating but it’s always a good idea to check beforehand if you need permits and what-not for other locations.
What should we wear?
Probably one of the most common questions we get is, “what should we wear?”. This really goes back to the original point of picking the correct location.
If we’re doing a downtown city shoot, then something more dressy would work. Basically what you want is something that you could see yourself wearing that also matches the look of the location. I think it's a excellent idea to really dress up, I think it really pops when women wear something long and flowy and men wear a suit, but only in circumstances where you (the couple) feel comfortable with that attire, we still want your personalities to show. Bring options. You want to be able to change in case you change your mind, or in cases where we change locations, we always suggest bringing a second look so you essentially get two different photo shoots in one day.
Pretend you’re going on a date, and you’ll look great! And if you decide to go on a date after the engagement session, then you’re ready to go!
What about my hair and make-up?
Although you can get away with doing your hair and make-up yourself, we always suggest either getting it professionally done at a salon or a friend can help you out so it’s one less thing to worry about.
Additionally we always suggest bringing something with you to the shoot to touch up, and definitely hair spray to tame any stray hairs if it gets windy/humid. Knowing that with time and with all the running around we could potentially do, we try to get the close-ups out of the way earlier on so it’s not as crucial that every strand is in place in the shots later on.
What time should we plan the engagement session?
Photography is all about having great light. You can manipulate a photo in photoshop as much as you want, but if you have hard unflattering light, there’s not much you’re going to be able to do. We always schedule our engagement sessions about an hour to an hour and a half before the sun sets. That way you get that amazing afternoon light, an awesome sunset shot, and some night shots as well.
Scheduling it too early means you don’t get the changes in light and your entire engagement session looks like one long shoot. Whereas doing it near sunset you get two or three different looks as far as light goes.
Should we bring props?
We encourage you to bring something that will add to the shoot and you guys find personal to you as well. Keep in mind that you can potentially use these photos for your “save the dates” so having something with the date or your initials is a good start.
From there, it’s basically free reign. You can always bring props and not use them, but it’s fun to play around with the idea. Be creative and have fun!
Trust Your Photographer
Ok, so maybe this one is a little biased! However, sometimes we’ll see a scene completely different than what you’ll be seeing. So if your photographer suggest something, just trust them and go along with it.
Conclusion: Have Fun!
Your engagement session should be fun! Remember these are the photos that basically announce to the world that you’re getting married. Unlike the wedding, you’re not rushing, there’s no deadline, you don’t need to keep track of 50 different things going on.
So enjoy, have fun, and remember why the two of you are there. A lot of the times, we tell our couples to “ignore me” or “pretend you’re on a date” and I just shoot with a zoom lens from far away so they can get playful. We tend to get a lot of natural photos that way.