Engagement images make great displays at your wedding or great parent’s gifts. Let’s not forget the cute Save The Dates you can make with them. To me the most important reason for your engagement session is to help you get comfortable in front of the camera and learn what to expect during your wedding day.
For that reason, here are seven ways to make them work for you, so get your virtual highlighter out!
Schedule your session in advanced
Wedding planning is stressful, let’s be truthful here. Rushing to have your engagement session during your wedding month may get it cancelled by your overwhelming schedule. Who wants to be thinking about the long list of things to do during a make out session (wait, you didn’t know that is what an Engagement Sessions is about?!)
If you are sending Save The Date, make sure to have your Engagement Session within 4-6 months from your wedding date. Closer to the 6 months if you are planning ordering a Reception Sign in Book or a Canvas to display at your wedding. Weather changes on us all the time so this will allow you time to reschedule without pressure. Even better, you’ll have a good couple of months to brag about them!
Pick a location that is true to your style
Picking a place with nothing around could be a problem but an awesome photographer can make magic anywhere. Now, picking a place that has nothing to do with your style would be a “disaster”. Are you a Museum/Big city lover? Don’t choose the beach. Love camping and the woods? Don’t choose Downtown Norfolk. Be true to your style and you will love your photos. If you and your Love have different styles, then choose a location where you can get more than one at a time.
The place your Love proposed or where you spend your leisure time together are good options. Your new home or the park you like to stroll is always great too. If you are still stuck, I will recommend some places but since location is a very big part of your engagement images, choose wisely.
Choose the correct outfit
I wish I could tell you this will be easy so let’s try to be simple. No matching clothes (unless this will be one of those cute sports pictures) and no full on neon (we are not making a music video here). This advice is universal:
Bride to Be: Nothing too loose and nothing too tight unless you want to show it off.
Groom to Be: No orange shirt unless you want your girl looking like an Oompa Loompa.
Wear comfortable but stylish clothing. Once again, stay true to your style and personality. Coordinate your colors and use a 3 color palette with one of them neutral. If you are having an outfit change, choose one semi-casual and one semi-formal. If your location cannot accommodate you changing within 10 minutes, skip it. You need to make the most out of your session and taking 20 minutes changing outfits it’s not good! Make sure you feel your best in both of them. They must make you feel awesome.
Take care of your hands
Dirty hands do not look good anywhere. Remember your hands will be on his face and your ring will be photographed while you wear it and by itself.
If you can afford it, consider having your hair, make up, and nails professionally done. That goes for the Love of your Life too!
Can’t afford it? Look up Pinterest.com, they have plenty of ideas for great hair and make up. Close ups are a most!
This is such a biggie! There is no such thing as fashionable late to an engagement session.
ALWAYS arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled session. Light is everything in photography and my style revolves around the sun and sunset times. Making sure you arrive on time will avoid you looking stressed on those first pictures. Since my Engagement Sessions vary from one to two hours, come prepared with a bottle water and a snack if needed. Bring spare comfortable shoes, even if you change them every time we stop! The beautiful sun is always my favorite.
Allow the magic to happen
We all love Pinterest (or am I the only one?). Unless the pictures you see are in the same spot, at the same time of day and season, by the same photographer and the same couple, don’t bring it to your session. Be yourself, enjoy your Love, and make pinable* photographs with all your awesomeness! Others will pin it! *Is this even a word? It sounds weird.
If you see props on Pinterest and decided to tackled them and they come out great, bring them on! (I say this because I always try and fail my “Pinterest’do” – yes, another made up word).
Bring meaningful details to your Engagement Session. The picnic blanket with the wine glasses and cheese if that is something you both enjoy, otherwise it is just plain weird if you guys don’t even drink. The banner with the Save The Date, your favorite team jerseys or the bicycles you guys love to ride are all great examples. Just make sure to bring what is part of your love story.
You have the best prop with you and that is your Love!
Do not freak out!
Worrying about your session will give you pimples, make you awkward or will make your session a nightmare.
You probably don’t take professional photographs every weekend and are shy of submitting your greatness to Americas Next Top Model, but lucky for us, there will be no judges or eliminations. We’ll have a story of love being told with photographs. Come only with the expectation of loving your love like you do every day.
Before arriving to your Session, spend some alone time together. Talk about things you both love and laugh about. Even if it is for 10 minutes before getting out of the car to meet me (see what arriving 15 minutes will get you), sit together and talk, you will come to me ready to have fun. You will then showcase your love the best way possible, by being yourselves.
There you have it. My top 7 Tips to have your engagement (and couples) photos not suck!
My biggest advice is:
I joke, laugh and enjoy my time with all my couples. I come with the expectation of experiencing Love through other people’s eyes. Nothing more. This is not about me publishing a session, getting new clients, or about me at all… This is about you, the way you love and the way you laugh together. It is all about your love.