1."Where should we have our engagement session?"
The first question I always get about engagement photos as a wedding photographer is...
"Where should we have our engagement session?"
I most often respond by asking my couples if there are any nostalgic locations that have sentimental value to them. A talented photographer can turn almost any location into something wonderful. I've photographed at train stations, coffee shops, state parks, in homes, and even at the local Target store. Some of these places might not seem "engagement session worthy" at first thought, but my couples absolutely love these photos because the location actually MEANS something to them.
Now, if you don't have any specific locations in mind and you need your photographer's help to decide, you have to first figure out what kind of vibe you want your photos to have. Looking for that super romantic vibe... how about an enchanted forest with lines of tall trees? Or maybe you want photos with lots of adventure and long walks with a view... that screams big open fields and tall grasses to me! Want a chance to get all hot and steamy with your fiance... let's find a gorgeous spot where you can get into the water. Figuring out what "vibe" you want for your photos is going to help you drastically in planning for the entire shoot.
2."What should we wear?"
Remember when I said it's important to figure out what vibe you want for your engagement session and how it's going to help plan your entire process? This is why!
First off, I always tell my couples that in order to feel confident and comfortable in their photos, they need to stay true to who they are. If you never ever wear dresses, this might not be the time. If you feel sexiest dressed to the nines in a complete suit and tie get up, go for it! You need to find outfits that represent YOU.
With that being said, there are some tips to make sure you're choosing items that will look thebomb.com in your photos.
- Don't wear clothing that is cluttered with text or images. If there is a small designer logo somewhere, that's no big deal. But things like graphic t-shirts or clothing with logos bigger than an inch or so will just end up looking distracting. Unless of course you and your honey decide to rock out some band tees, because I'm totally into that!
- Color... it is important to coordinate without being too matchy- matchy. Meaning, don't dress yourselves in the same exact thing. If you're both wearing buffalo plaid, it's going to look too overdone and cheesy. If one of you is wearing a print, pull a color from it that the other person can wear. You can also wear colors that are complimentary or in the same color family with each other. A great tip to figure out what colors go great together is to google search color schemes for the season in which you are having your session.
- Texture, Layers, & Details! A great way to give more depth and interest to your photos is to include articles of clothing with texture like a cozy, chunky sweater. Or, you can add layers to give more options to your outfits by adding something like a denim jacket or a scarf that you can easily add and remove for certain poses. Including small details like rings, jewelry, belts, and other cool accessories allows your photographer to photograph those items from interesting perspectives. Or, you can bring along some props like a champagne bottle or some beer to photograph your excitement for the big day!
- MOVEMENT!!! If you hire a photographer like me, I don't just put my couples in a stagnant pose. I get you guys to move in all sorts of ways. And in order for you to look natural, you gotta wear something that's easy for you to move around in. So don't wear anything that's too fussy that you'll have to end up adjusting over and over again. And bonus, if you wear something like a skirt or dress that you are able to actual physically move, it will for sure add an extra spark of magic to your photos.
3."When should we schedule our session?"
There are two different topics when talking about timing out your engagement session.
First, you need to schedule your session based off of your wedding date depending on whether or not you are using your photos for save the dates or guests book for your wedding. Make sure you communicate with your photographer to figure out their turn around time for your final engagement session gallery and their print products.
Second, you need to decide which season you want to pick for your session. It isn't always a guarantee, but certain seasons will pull different colors and moods. Spring is known for the bright greens and colorful blooms. Summer is when you can get into the water, and don't forget about that mid-August sunflower season! Autumn gives you the most gorgeous earth tones if you get the timing just right. And you can get super cozy with your boo-thang during a Winter session. Just make sure you give your photographer a good bit of a heads up if your heart is set on a particular season so you can get it scheduled before they are all booked up!
4."We did it! Now what do we do with our photos?"
Honestly, this is entirely up to you! As your photographer, I hope that my your photos aren't just chilling out on your computer in digital form. I like to encourage all my couples to print their photos, so I make it easy by including an online storefront integrated right in their final galleries. Aside from printing your photos being the obvious next step, here are some ideas for what you can do with your engagement photos.
- Save the Dates... Nothing gets the excitement going for your wedding like a gorgeous Save the Date with your favorite photo from your engagement session.
- Wedding Website... Creating a wedding website is an easy way for you to supply all your guests with important info and updates about your wedding. Why not include some of your favorite photos from your engagement session?! Just be sure to give your photographer credit by including their links on the pages you include their photos. This goes the same for anytime you post their photos on social media. You never know if one of your guests might be interested in using them as their photographer too!
- Guestbooks... Adding engagement photos to a guestbook is a fun and creative way to encourage your guests to ACTUALLY sign your guestbook. Think about it, if you have a guestbook that has adorable photos of the two of you that they haven't seen before, they are gonna wanna sign it! Just make sure you have your photographer design it with room in the margins for your guests to write some special little notes for you both.