Planning your Engagement Session

Engagements shoots are a must!  Here are my hot takes on how to make the most of this opportunity.

Location, location, location! Work with your photographer to pick a location that matches your couple vibe or wedding aesthetic. Some clients like to do photos at home and then venture out to a location, some like to hike to a spot, some prefer to drive, and some like something pretty and easy. Whatever you decide, keep it authentic and don't be afraid to incorporate your favorite activities in your session. If you love being home and cooking together or taking the dog for a walk, lets capture that! If you are more adventurous and love hiking, let's head to the mountains or the desert. Some locations require permits, so be sure to work with your photographer to get a location that will work with your budget. Some locations are quite popular and may be better at sunrise rather than daytime or sunset.

Consider ideal lighting . You may have heard that there are certain times of the day that are better for photos and that’s all because of the light! Golden hour, which is that beautiful time of day just before the sun sets is when you want to shoot if you’re looking for that glorious, golden light in your photos. Early, early morning light can also be magical, so you may want to consider a sunrise session where you arrive at your first location just as the sun starts to rise. Weather can always play a factor in your session and your photographer can't control it, but they can help you work with it, may it be wind, show, rain, or an overcast day.

Attire is something I am always asked about. Biggest takeaway here, is to wear something you are comfortable moving in and something your feel embowered wearing. If you choose clothes that are too tight, clingy, fussy, you are likely to spend your entire session worried about how you look and what your clothes are doing. When you are worried, that will show on your face i.e. in your photos. If looking at wearing something new, I recommend spending some time in the outfit at home or on a date to see how you like being in it for at least an hour.

Something to think about is how your clothing will photograph during your session. Steam and Iron ahead of time if you can. If you like skirts or dresses, they do provide beautiful movement in photos, if you prefer pants and a top think of having easy accessories with you to add texture to your outfit try a jacket or scarf. Some couples book a longer session to do two looks, one dressy-casual and one more formal.

Consider professional hair and makeup for your shoot. If you feel confident in your hair and makeup skills, you can skip this tip. However, if you are considering a hair and makeup trial with an artist for your wedding day, the engagement session is a great opportunity for that.

Pets! I'm a firm believer that pets are part of the family, and you can't get much more personal than that!  Bring a friend to hold onto your pet so you can get some shots without them too. Work with your photographer to ensure your location is pet friendly. You can also do an at home/neighborhood session to include them.

Hire a professional If it is in your budget. I highly recommend booking your engagement photos with your wedding photographer. This gives you an opportunity to get comfortable and connect with your photographer prior to your big day, making for even better photos from your wedding.  I offer engagement photos in most of my wedding packages, to encourage couples to get comfortable with me before the wedding day.

Happy planning!