Oh my gosh!
You’ve done it!
You’ve gotten engaged and now you’re thinking “Oh, no! Now I have to get photos!” But fear not my friend, I’m going to share with you my best tips and tricks in how to prepare for your engagement session.
Engagement photos are one of the greatest services you and your fiance can take advantage of prior to your wedding. Not only is this likely the first time you and your partner have been photographed together professionally, but it’s also a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer before the big day. The bonus of really great engagement photos is that you can use them for your save-the-dates and even display them at your wedding reception. While it may feel a little uncomfortable at first being in front of the camera, it’s important to remember to have fun. These photos will last a lifetime so let your love shine through the photos!
When it comes to prepping for your engagement session, there are a few things that I think will help you get the most of your experience. As a wedding photographer, I always work with my clients to prep them for their experience based on the time of year, location and what they ultimately want out of their shoot. Here are my best tips and tricks for prepping for your engagement session.
1. PLAN OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME!
There is nothing worse than feeling rushed because you don’t know what to wear or that thing you wanted to wear is now in the laundry pile. Make sure the outfits you choose represent who YOU are. My couples always bring 2 outfits, one cozy, and one more formal. Make sure your clothing items are flattering, ironed and well thought out. Between you and your partner, you don’t want to “match” you want to be “cohesive”. No one needs to come showing up as twins 😉
2. CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP
To all my brides, this is a perfect time for your hair and makeup trial with your wedding makeup artist! This will not only help you prepare for your engagement session, literally, but you will get to know your artist, see what they can do. Who doesn’t love to be all glammed up for the evening?
3. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. I personally have a list of go-to places for all my couples and some extra fun spots for those willing to venture a little bit further! When prepping for your session, it’ll be important to discuss the time of year as it relates to your location. The location of your session is important as it will help determine the mood of your photos. Think about what works for you as a couple and choose a location that you’re drawn to. For example, if you and your fiancé are both coffee lovers, a cute little coffee shop might be an ideal location. Keep in mind the setting of your shoot and dress accordingly. If you’re going for an autumn/outdoorsy vibe in your photos, head into the forest dressed in plaid and jackets. If you’re going for a beachy vibe, consider a flowy dress that allows for a lot of movement.
4. THINK ABOUT WHERE THE SUN WILL BE DURING YOUR SESSION.
If you’re looking for some romantic, golden hour vibes, you’re going to want to schedule your session closer to sunset (approximately 2 hours prior). Depending on the time of year your session is, daylight savings time will most definitely play a factor. In December, golden hour can be at 3 pm and in high summer it can be 9 pm!
5. YOU’LL FEEL AWKWARD AND THAT’S OKAY.
When in doubt, just make out. Yup, that’s right. Love on each other. Imagine you’re on a romantic date…and I, as your photographer, just happen to be your third wheel. Honestly, if I had a penny for every time someone told me “I’m so bad at taking pictures” or “I don’t know what to do with my hands”…I would be a gazillionaire and not talking to you now. It’s 10000000% okay to be just who you are. The best images come from people just being themselves. It’s my job to know those quick moments to capture in order to showcase the authentic you. So when you’re preparing for your engagement session, put on extra chapstick and know you have a safety net. Being professionally photographed whether it’s for your engagement photoshoot or on your wedding day can feel a little uncomfortable. Trust your photographer and allow them to be creative and guide you. Remember, your photographer doesn’t expect you to be a pro at this. It takes a good 20 minutes to warm up at the beginning of your shoot. Relax and don’t be nervous!
BONUS: MAKE A DATE NIGHT OF IT!
If you’re going to get all dolled up, make a night of it! It’s so fun if you and your fiancé can head out to dinner or happy hour after your session. You’ll both look amazing, feel so relaxed now that the shoot is over! Not to mention, I’m personally always hungry after shoots, so I imagine my couples feel the same.
From getting to know your wedding photographer to feeling more comfortable in front of the camera, there are so many reasons why an engagement photoshoot session is an important aspect of your wedding planning. While the idea of being behind the camera can be stressful, there are so many things you can do to prepare for your photoshoot session and come looking and feeling your best the day of. Have fun the day of your shoot and enjoy your time bonding with your partner. This is your chance to show off your love to your friends and family!