Well it’s the time of year when engagement sessions really start kicking in. No doubt you’re excited to spend a couple of hours in front of the camera. Perhaps you want some fabulous pictures for your Save the Date cards or magnets, a formal wedding invitation, slideshow, custom guest book, or your wedding website. Whatever the case here are five engagement session secrets to having an amazing engagement session that will produce images you will love.
1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO LAUGH – Most of my brides and grooms to be are quite apprehensive about being in front of the camera. Your engagement session should be fun and light hearted. Selecting a friendly photographer who has a fun personality will go a long way to helping ease the tension and this will come through in your photographs. Some of the best pictures are those of the couple laughing together, so remember to laugh and be yourself.
2. WARDROBE – It’s not necessary to consult a stylist when selecting your wardrobe for the session, but it is advisable to wear clothes that work together. There are many websites out there where couples can get ideas on what to wear, Pinterest comes to mind, but generally you will want to stay away from loud distracting colors or patterned outfits. If the bride is wearing earth tones, the groom should as well. Both should be wearing the same style or type of clothing. Many brides want to do several wardrobe changes, I recommend against this, two outfits are plenty for an engagement session. The reason for this is simple, clothing changes take time and distract from the rhythm of the shoot. The focus is on expression and experience, not how many clothing changes can you fit in less than two hours.
3. COMFORTABLE SHOES – Many engagement sessions are done outdoors and this usually means a lot of walking. Ladies, if you’re planning on wearing heels, especially newer ones, you will definitely appreciate having something more comfortable to wear while walking from one location to the next.
4. THE ELEMENTS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND – When shooting outdoors you will want to be prepared to fix your hair and makeup. It would be a good idea to have a small purse with the essential items you will need to do on the spot touch ups, and you’ll want a brush and maybe even some hair spray or bobby pins to control the flyways. If your session is taking place in the warmer months I recommend bringing a small towel to pat the sweat off with and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
5. SCHEDULING – While weekends are preferable for most couples, most photographers are busy shooting weddings on Saturday and Sunday. Weekends are also the times when most people are out and about at the parks and malls or wherever. If you can, try to plan your e-session on a weekday, the crowds will be gone and your photographer will have more time to spend with you because they don’t have a wedding to get to later that day. You will also want to book your engagement session far enough in advance to be able to reschedule in case of foul weather. The time of day is also very important. I advise against engagement sessions in the late morning or mid-day hours. Shooting a couple hours before sunset when the light is soft and more colorful is preferred, and early morning shoots work well, although the light only deteriorates as the shoot progresses into late morning or early afternoon when the sun is at its highest.
Remember, your engagement session is about love and it’s also a chance to really get to know your photographer personally before the big day. By the end of your engagement session you will not only have an amazing collection of images, but you will also be more comfortable in front of the camera on the most special day of your life.