Engagement sessions are one of the best ways to prepare yourself for having your photograph taken all day on your wedding day. Since most people aren’t professional models and don’t have experience being photographed by a pro photographer, the engagement session is a great opportunity to warm up and get used to having being in front of the camera ahead of time. It’s also a really great time to get to know your photographer better (and let your photographer get to know you!) so by the time the wedding rolls around, you’re all comfortable with each other.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your engagement session with us!
Choose a unique location. I think it’s great when couples put time into thoughtfully choosing locations that are unique or have some kind of meaning to them! The images are so much more special and meaningful if they’re done somewhere that you love. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! We’ve had couples choose to cook at home, get ice cream at their favorite ice cream shop, and more. I generally suggest sticking to 1-2 locations to make the most of your time so that you’re not spending the duration of the session traveling.
Arrive on time. I schedule engagement sessions with our couples to begin 1-2 hours before the sun goes down (depending on session duration) because that’s when the light is ideal for shooting. If we have to start late, that may limit the amount of time we have to shoot.
Have your hair and makeup done professionally. One of the key components to being “photogenic” is being confident. When you’re feeling good about yourself, it shows. Your engagement session is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to having your hair and makeup done. Heck, while you’re at it, get a manicure too! I’m happy to recommend hair + makeup artists to clients who are interested in hiring a professional. If you don’t have your makeup done, it’s a good idea to apply your makeup more heavily than you normally would so that it shows up well on camera. Fake eyelashes are also encouraged! I personally don’t get professional photographs taken without them!
Consider including personal props. Clients ask me about props all the time and I LOVE it when they decide to bring some. Props can add an element of style to your engagement photos. They’re totally not necessary, but they’re so much fun and can personalize your session even more. Some great ideas for props are things that highlight who you are as a couple. Additionally, consider hiring a professional to style your shoot if you’re not crafty! There’s a great post here with some wonderful tips for styling your own engagement session, but if you aren’t up for it, feel free to reach out to me for some suggestions of folks you can hire to do the dirty work for you!
Take care when choosing what to wear. As mentioned before, feeling confident is key when you’re having your photograph taken. With that in mind, I suggest that above everything else, you choose outfits that make you feel amazing! This is a great time to get dressed up. Many of our clients choose to wear two outfits…one more glam/dressy outfit and the other a little more casual. This helps give you a variety of images to choose from when you’re picking for your save the date cards. Some of my favorite places to suggest for looking for outfits for sessions are: JCrew, Rent the Runway, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, Madewell, H&M, and ModCloth. Also, don’t forget to add fun accessories! This is a great reason to splurge on a new pair of cute shoes or a fun statement necklace you’ve had your eye on. Here’s a pin board I created with some ideas.
Be sweet to one another. I believe there’s a time and place for PDA and your engagement session is one of them! Don’t be afraid to cuddle up, get close, and pretend like we aren’t around. I realize that this is easier said than done and it doesn’t always feel natural to get super cozy together in front of people, but I promise you the best engagement session images are of couples who are willing to get into it a little bit.