Planning Your Engagement Session
Here we will go over some of the things you can expect from your engagement shoot and help you plan for it so you can get the most out of your session. The engagement session is a great opportunity to become acquainted with your photographer before the wedding so that you are comfortable working with each other and comfortable being in front of the camera. We are passionate about photography and we love making photos that people love. We want you to have as much fun being photographed as it is for us to make the photos! If you book your engagement session inside your wedding package, you will get a license to use the photos for personal use, for things like your save the dates, prints, and online.
When to Schedule
Timing can be pretty important when planning an engagement session. If you are planning on using your photos from the session for your save the dates, you want to make sure that you will have time to put them together and send them out at least 6 months to a year before your wedding date. From session to delivery, it takes about 2-4 weeks to receive your photos. And then you want to take the time it takes to have the save the dates made, ordered, and shipped. If you order save the dates through us, it usually takes a few weeks to design them, have them approved by you, and shipped.
Time of day is also really important when scheduling an engagement shoot. If you are having your photos outside and not in our studio (which we recommend), then the best time to have your photos taken is usually an hour or two before sunset. That time changes depending on the time of year. If mornings work better for you, then a few hours after the sun rises can also work.
What to Expect
The Engagement Session typically lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. During that time, your photographer will try to get to know you. We want to make sure that we get a feel for your unique personality so we can capture it in our photos. We will try a number of different poses with you. Some may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but we will show you as we go what the photos look like so that you can see that they look natural and you will feel confident that we are making you look your best. You can expect some of these poses to be repeated the day of the wedding, and it's our goal by the end of the session to make you more comfortable with being in front of the camera and working with your photographer to get the photos you want.
What to Wear
What you wear is entirely up to you and your style and how you want to look in your photos, but we do have a few suggestions to make sure your outfits don't distract too much from each other. You definitely want to coordinate your outfits a little bit. If one of you comes dressed in a bright pink dress and the other is wearing a black and yellow checkered shirt and Jean shorts, we're going to have a problem. A good place to start is casual, but not too casual. Think jeans, with a nice sweater or button down shirt for guys, and jeans with a nice sweater, blouse, or button down shirt for girls. You can of course dress-up more if you prefer. Also, dress for the weather. If it's winter, don't be afraid to wear winter jackets, hats, and gloves, but try to coordinate your colors as much as possible. We recommend you steer towards more neutral or muted colors, such as navy blue, maroon, grey, white, etc. Look at Pinterest to get an idea of what other couple's wear if you're unsure.
Footwear should be to your discretion, and again you'll want to dress for the weather and the location. You would probably want to wear boots if your session was in the snow, but you might wear flip-flops if it's at the beach. Boat shoes or any mildly dressy shoe are usually good options for guys. Flats, flip-flops, boots, or short heels are good options for girls. Girls can also where skirts, but steer clear if it's too short.
You can also use your outfit choices as an opportunity to get creative. If you want your photos to have a certain 'theme', you could try to incorporate that into your outfits. Maybe you're going for a vintage theme, or a country theme, or a sports theme. Whatever you're thinking, be sure to run it by us before the session so we can be prepared and have ideas for photos to try with you, or maybe even collaborate with you to help you with ideas for other props to bring to incorporate into your shoot.
What to Bring
It sometimes helps to come to the session with your own ideas for photos that you might like to try, and you might consider incorporating props or other items that show who you are as a couple, or fit in to your 'theme'. For example, if you want to do a country theme, you might bring cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and some rope. Look on Pinterest for ideas to incorporate things you like into your session so your photos show who you are as a couple. If you find a photo on Pinterest or somewhere else that you want to try, feel free to bring it with you to your session to show your photographer. You can also look through our engagements gallery, and each of our photographers' engagement portfolios to get a sense of some of the things we have done in the past, and see what you like.
When planning for "Save the Dates"; those cards you send out with your wedding invitations to tell people you are engaged and that they are invited to your wedding, think of ways that you can tell your story. Many people make signs that have phrases, such as their names and wedding date, or other cute things like "I said yes", or "He stole my heart, so I'm stealing his last name." You could try something different and bring giant balloons that have your wedding date and the words "Save the Date" on them. Maybe you're both sports fanatics, in which case you could bring your favorite team jerseys to incorporate into a photo. You could bring your dog. Maybe you're total Star Wars nerds and you come to your session with light sabers and Jedi cloaks. Whatever you decide to do, use it as an opportunity to get creative and add your own personal flair to your photos. Of course, you don't have to do any of these things. You could come to your session with absolutely no ideas and we will still make great pictures.
When planning your session, the location can be really important too. We have a few places we recommend that are near our studio, but don't be afraid to choose your own location that is really important to you because it will help tell your story. We do charge a small travel fee of $1 per mile for locations farther than 10 miles from our studio.
When you're ready to set up your engagement session, you can contact our office and we'll be happy to help!