As a wedding photographer, I constantly hear “how do I prepare for my engagement session”. A common question that has a million and one different answers. Of course, you want to be completely ready for your engagement session, but you need to know how! That’s why I’m sharing with you some of my top tips to get the most out of your engagement session. These tips will make sure you’re ready for your engagement session and ready to show off your true authentic selves.
Tips to Get The Most Out Of Your Engagement Session
Communicate With Your Photographer
First things first, communication is key! Communicating with your photographer about your wants and needs is incredibly important when planning your engagement session. If you have a specific vision or have certain concerns with your engagement session, voice that! Your photographer would much rather have you over-communicate, than under-communicate and hope for the best. Oftentimes I will ask my couples to give me a Pinterest board with some inspo. Speaking of… if you don’t follow my Pinterest you’re missing out. The key takeaway is: communicate, communicate, communicate!
Choose A Meaningful Location
One of the toughest choices you’re going to have to make is where to take your engagement photos. While I do have several locations up my sleeve as backup options, I highly encourage my couples to take a different route. I will usually tell my couples to choose a location that means something to their love story. A location that helps tell your love story, more like it. This could be a first date spot, proposal location, where you met, etc. This will not only help show your love like a story, but it will make looking back at your photos that much more meaningful.
Props Are Your Best Friend
Say it with me… props are my best friend! Utilizing props during your engagement session will make sure that you will never get that awkward “I don’t know what to do with my hands” feeling again. Props also help tell your story and add that little extra *oomph*. Some props can include:
- Pizza / Any Other Food
- Board Games
When deciding on what props to bring to your session, think about two things. One, where are you taking your photos? Two, how do these props help tell our story? Do you both love sharing a bottle of wine? Love going on picnics? Use these props to your advantage to help tell the story of you!
When In Doubt, Choose A Theme
I always say if you’re still slumped on ideas always opt for a theme! If you want to step out of the box and try something you never would normally try, your engagement session is the perfect time to do it. Now I’m not saying to jump out of a plane or go diving with sharks. What I am saying though, is to have fun with it. Some “themes” you could choose are a milkshake date, a drive-in movie theater, or even sitting in a vintage car on a rooftop garage. These settings make your engagement session stand out and make it that much more memorable looking back. Plus, you’ll look really cool doing it.
Plan Outfits Ahead of Time
Choosing the outfits for your engagement session can be so tough. I mean choosing your outfits on a daily basis can be a struggle. Now add the pressures of being photographed! Yeah, it’s on. A lifesaving tip is to plan your outfits ahead of time and lay them out beforehand. This also includes getting all of your accessories together too (i.e. hats, jewelry, jackets, and shoes). The reason I say to do this is because it helps you visualize your outfit (and saves time). I even encourage my couples to send me photos of their outfits beforehand for me to double-check. I will share with you my honest opinion and tell you if I think that what you chose will fit the vibes we’re going for in your shoot!
Get Your Ring Cleaned
Please, please, please get your ring cleaned before your session. The last thing you want is to look back at your photos and notice that your ring isn’t shining, or worse… dirty! During engagement sessions, I will typically take up-close photos of that beautiful ring of yours. You want it to be in its tip-top shape! Aim to get your ring cleaned at least a week before your engagement session. That way you can have it sparkling and ready for its moment.
Arrive On Time
Now, this isn’t to say that things don’t happen, because trust me I know. Car troubles or running late can happen and typically I am very understanding of this. However, I encourage all of my couples to try and arrive on time for their engagement session. This is because we are only given a certain amount of time together and if you run late, I can’t guarantee we will have the full allotted time to get all of your photos. We don’t want to rush your session because you deserve all the time to get your dream photos. That is why I tell my couples to leave early with ample enough time just in case there is traffic. Oh, and if you’re having your session during a time where there is a higher chance of inclement weather, prep accordingly.
Calm Your Nerves Prior To Your Shoot
This will depend on person to person, but if you’re feeling nervous about your engagement session don’t be afraid to take a shot of liquid courage. Of course, you want to sparingly do this as you don’t want to show up to your engagement session toppling over. However, if you want to take a shot or two before we get started I am all for it! It helps loosen you up and get you in the mood to have some fun. Feel free to also bring along some tea or coffee to help you feel a bit more relaxed and normal in front of the camera!
Trust Your Photographer
Above all else though, the main thing you want to do is trust your photographer!! Easier said than done though, right? When looking for a photographer to shoot your engagement photos, you want to make sure you find one you trust. Someone who is going to be there with you and walk you through the entire process. Whenever I work with my couples, I am there every step of the way. I am there guiding you, not just during the shoot but throughout the planning process as well. Ask me all the questions because I want to make sure you are absolutely, positively OBSESSED with the final product.
So with all that being said, here were just a few tips to get the most out of your engagement session. You should enjoy this time being engaged with your partner. While it may seem stressful, overwhelming, exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time… well, that’s normal. Feel all the feels and let it all come rushing in. It is totally worth it and I am ready to capture the engagement photos of your dreams.
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