What to Expect from Your Engagement Session:
I offer every single one of my bride and grooms a free engagement session, because I consider this session an integral part of the wedding day.
Why do an Engagement Session?
Many couples seek out an engagement session as a way to announce their engagement. I know the second Chris slipped a ring on my finger, I wanted to run out and take photos, to share our happiness with the world! Its a right of passage! 🙂 But there are many more reasons why I consider an engagement session vital to your wedding day.
How Does an Engagement Shoot Work?
First we will set the when and where. I usually like to shoot my engagement sessions in the late afternoon, that way we beat the heat and have beautiful lighting. The where, depends on your style. Are you looking for more of an urban feel, or country feel? Do you want to incorporate one of your hobbies or interests? How about a special place where you first met or have a special memory? Once we have that locked down, its time to pair an outfit with your location choice. Feel free to dress it up, this is a special day!
At our appointed time and place, we will meet up and head out for our shoot. I like to keep our shoot pretty relaxed, we can walk and chat and shoot at various spots along the way. Instead of stopping and posing at pre determined landmarks, I look for areas with beautiful light, interesting backgrounds and compositional elements. Instead of setting you in specific poses, I gently guide you into interactions. That way I can see how you are together and how comfortable you are. My verbal cues will be something like “walk over to the pond hand in hand and talk to each other, ignoring the camera” That way I can capture real moments, instead of staged interactions.
What to Wear at your Engagement Session?
My number one rule is: you have to feel comfortable. If you don’t, it will show. You need to feel natural and yourself, that goes for hubby to be too!
#2: Make sure your outfits are harmonious. We don’t want to be matchy-matchy, but we also don’t want a ballgown matched with shorts and a t-shirt. Look for colors that are in the same color family or compliment each other and your location. If we are shooting at a tranquil barn, jeans and a vintage top might work well. If we are shooting downtown, a cocktail dress/suit works well. Purposefully mismatching your location can also work well. A beautiful flowing gown in a hayfield can be stunning.
#3: Don’t be afraid to dress it up, although I want you to be comfy, I also don’t mean sweats 🙂 A great excuse to go out and get that cute cocktail dress that has been calling your name from the local boutique and put on those new boots!
#4: If you are getting your makeup professionally done for your wedding, now is a great time for a trial run. That way you can see how it photographs and make any changes you need for your wedding day.
#5: Stay away from loud patterns or crazy mix and match styles. While these outfits can be super fun, they can detract from your faces.
What about including the Kids and Pets?
I love including pets, horses, kids in my engagement sessions and encourage you to bring them along if you’d like to include them. Generally I advise we shoot these images at the beginning of your session, and have someone with you who can take them home for the rest of your session.
What about Props?
If you have a special prop you’d like to bring, then I encourage you too. But I suggest you limit it to just one or two. I find the most captivating images are full of expression and not necessarily about props. But if you’ve got a wooden sign with your wedding date on, or have always wanted a shot of you and your fiancé running across a field with a vintage umbrella or bunch of balloons, then by all means- lets do it!
We aren’t Photogenic and look awful in photos….
Im right there with you, thats why I’m behind the camera! But I can honestly tell you, that every person who has said this to me – and there have been many, has been pleasantly surprised by their images. Its my job to make the session as “un-akward and comfortable” as possible. I shoot in a relaxed way and do everything in my power to help you relax.
If you are shooting an engagement session to capture the love between you and your future spouse, then focus on that and your upcoming wedding and everything will be just fine- I promise 🙂