You have a beautiful ring on your finger and an amazing fiance’ to show off – it’s time to capture this exciting but all too fleeting time in your life!
When you’re preparing for your engagement session, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, and most importantly, this is supposed to be FUN! Your engagement session is your chance to get to know me, get comfortable with how I work, and have fun in front of the camera. It’s so helpful to have a great engagement session before the big day so that you know what to expect! My couples that have an engagement session are PROS in front of the camera on their wedding day and it shows!
After you book with your photographer, whether it’s me or someone else, you’ll need to start thinking about when you want your engagement session to be done. Some couples prefer to have their portraits done in the season opposite of the season of their wedding. So if you’re having a spring wedding, it may be nice to have a fall engagement session. Another thing you’ll want to consider is what you want to use your engagement images for. Many couples choose to use at least one image for their Save the Date announcements – if this is something you’re considering, you’ll want to schedule your engagement session with plenty of time to get those in the mail! If you’re more interested in using your images for decor at your wedding, you can schedule your session a little closer to the wedding date.
Ok, so you have your session on the calendar – here are some details you’ll want to give attention to so that you’re 100% prepared for your engagement session! :
1. Outfits : Most couples have two outfits, one casual and one that is dressier. The BEST advice I can give about outfit selection would be to try to COORDINATE instead of matching. Try to stay away from really tiny patterns, they won’t show up in your images. Also, bold jewelry, scarves, and colored shoes photograph really well! That being said, men’s accessories (like hats) do not photograph so well. Most importantly, make sure you look like YOU and feel comfortable!
2. Prepare your Groom: You know your groom better than anyone else, so only you can help prepare him for this shoot. If your fiance’ is completely unaware of this style of photography, he is going to think it’s really strange when I tell you two to “nuzzle” or get “nose to nose”.  He’s expecting a few pictures smiling at the camera, showing off the ring and that’s it! So it’s your job to explain to him why you love this intimate style of photography and help him know what to expect! I suggest sitting down with him and showing him (men are generally visual learners) some of your favorite engagement session images to give him an idea of what he’s about to experience! 🙂
3. Relax & Trust Your Photographer : As you’re preparing for your engagement session,  remember that your photographer doesn’t expect you to be a pro at this. I work with normal, everyday couples ALL the time. I hardly ever work with models! I can’t speak for all photographers, but I tell my couples that it takes a good 15 minutes to warm up at the beginning of their shoot. So relax, you’re going to be great at this! Trust your photographer, allow them to be creative, and you’ll get images that you love!
4. Be on Time: This is really important. What most couples don’t realize is that natural light photographers are 100% dependent on the sun and if their couples show up late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light. Now I realize that things happen beyond out control like massive amounts of traffic and accidents.  If at all possible, try to be on time so that you don’t lose any of your shooting time and pretty sunlight!
5. Location and Time: The best time to shoot any outdoor portraits is normally 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset; this is true at any time of the year. When it comes to picking the location for your portraits, I love shooting engagements in locations that mean something to my clients! Where you met, where you got engaged, your favorite place to spend time together, or even your home are all great options. If none of those options work out, we’ll work together to choose the perfect location for the look you want.
6. Hair, Makeup & Ring: Some brides opt to have their makeup and hair trial done right before their engagement session so that they can see what their makeup will look like in pictures before the wedding day – I highly recommend this! Not only are you going to want to get a trial run of your hair and makeup done before your wedding day anyway, but it’s also fun and it will make you feel that much more beautiful and confident for your engagement shoot. If you want to do your own makeup, make sure you apply your eye makeup a little heavier than normal for your pictures. Last, but not least, I will be taking ring shots. So pay a visit to your favorite jeweler for a quick cleaning, that will make it really SHINE! Speaking of polish…a small detail that can make a big difference is having your nails camera ready for those ring shots too!
I hope these tips were helpful! If you are still feeling unsure about your engagement session, please reach out – I’d be happy to answer your questions and help you prepare in any way I can.