8 Tips To Nailing Your Engagement Session

If you’re reading this, that probably means that he FINALLY popped the question! I’m sure you’ve been counting down the days until you could actually book and schedule your engagement session! The time is finally here!

Engagement sessions are important to both my clients and I in the fact that, 1. We get to meet before your wedding day. I get to find out a little about you and what gets you excited and you guys can learn how I work and get comfortable with me and in front of my camera. and 2. You’re getting those pretty engagement photos for your save-the-dates and to post all over social media!

Engagement sessions are really quite simple. Don’t try and over think “What to wear”, “Where should we take the photos”, or anything like that! I’m going to give you a few tips to ease your mind, show you how simple nailing your engagement session can be, and get you excited to get in front of the camera!

Tip #1. Weather | The weather is such an important factor of your engagement session. Now as a wedding photographer, I have to shoot in all sorts of conditions (and believe me, I’ve shot in all of them just about.) But having pretty weather can take good pictures to amazing pictures without US doing anything differently. So please, if we choose a date and the weather turns out not so great, be flexible in rescheduling. I tell all of my clients that my bright and colorful style can only be perfectly achieved with sunlight.

Tip #2. Wardrobe | Wardrobe is usually one of the first questions that comes to mind when planning your engagement session. I’m always around to help you choose the perfect outfits! I always suggest my couples starting out with a dressy option. I love the guys to wear a nice suit or button down (something a little fancier than his average button down or flannel shirt). And girls – your options are nearly endless. Whether you spring for that gorgeous, flowy maxi you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest or decide to rent a formal gown from somewhere like Rent the Runway, you can go as fancy or as dreamy as you’d like! Here are a couple of my favorite ensembles:

You’ll always want to bring an outfit change too! For your second outfit, I recommend a more casual (but still classy/pretty) option. We finish out the session in your casual outfit because most of the time, by that point in the session, your hair will have fallen a bit, your lipstick faded; but these are the perfectly un-posed pictures so it won’t matter! These will be our snuggly, eskimo kisses kinda photos and we’ll finish out your session having you feel even more in love than when you first arrived at your session!

Tip #3. Don’t Stress Posing | I promise not to leave you hanging. We’ve all been there. Standing in front of a camera, not knowing what we should do with our hands. Do we look? Should we smile? I take a very natural approach when it comes to my posing and shooting. I love capturing the in between moments the best. We will be sure to catch those traditional poses that are perfect for pleasing the parents, but the real “Pinterest worthy” shots come from that time I told him to whisper his favorite type of lunch meat in your ear. Those are the money shots!

Tip #4. Location | Having shot the number of engagement sessions I have over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to venture here there and just about everywhere for engagement sessions. I have my favorite spots to shoot and I have no problem guiding you to them as we choose a location for your session. To be completely honest, light trumps location. Maybe you’ve noticed from my work (or maybe you haven’t), I’m a very close-up shooter. I love those tight shots that leave the perfect amount of blurred background behind you. The shots that make your skin look creamy, your eyes dreamy and all the other mushy sayings I can come up with. So when it comes to location, don’t worry. It’s truly not as important as you might think. However, if you have a certain spot in mind or someplace that is special to the two of you, throw your idea my way! I love incorporating “you” into your session!

Tip #5. No Expectations | Okay, this one might sound weird. But honestly, go into your engagement session with little to no expectations. Believe me, I want nothing more to give you the photos that you’ve dreamed of since you put that ring on your finger! It’s totally normal to scroll away the day on Pinterest researching engagement sessions and poses. But seriously, leave it up to me and you guys just come ready to cuddle, kiss, and have some fun! I don’t shoot from a list of poses. I go with the flow of the session. It’s more fun that way and it allows for more creativity and true reactions and emotions. But it only works if you show up to your session with an open mind!

Tip #6. Style Your Session | Styling your engagement session is never a bad idea! It could be something as simple as adding a gorgeous bouquet to your session. It makes for the perfect “pop” in your photos, a great background for some gorgeous ring shots and will separate your engagement session from the rest!

Tip #7. Professional Hair & Makeup | There is no better day to schedule your bridal hair and makeup trial run than the day of your engagement session! Most of the time when you hire a professional HMUA, you are going to receive a wedding day trail. See if you can coordinates the dates and times so that you can get all prettied up before your engagement session. Professional makeup really makes a huge difference!

Tip #8. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask | I am an open book and here to help you every step of the way during your engagement and leading up to your wedding! Your engagement session is meant to be FUN (and it will be!) Don’t ever be afraid to throw an idea my way. If you’re not sure if it will portray right in photos, if you think your dog will be too hyper to bring to your session to photograph (trust me, you haven’t met my pup) – literally ask me anything. Getting everything out on the table before the session is a huge help and it will ensure a perfect session for everyone!

Well, those are my tips! I hope they were somewhat helpful when it comes to planning your engagement session. If you’re a bride of mine with an engagement session on the way, please take all of these things into consideration! And if you still have questions (reference #8, send me an email and we can talk it over!)

Happy Monday!

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