Over the next couple of weeks, we get to hang out with some super awesome couples for their engagement sessions!! We love engagement sessions so much because they give us a chance to truly spend quality time with our lovely brides and grooms, and gives them a couple of hours to just hang out, cuddle, and enjoy one another. We try to keep our engagement sessions very natural and low-key, and truly try to tell a love story with our images. We love engagement sessions so much, and believe so greatly in their importance, that we gift them to our couples when a wedding day package is booked.
Often times, when a couple arrives at their engagement session, they are feeling nervous and apprehensive. They aren’t sure what to do, how to pose, and what to do with those darn hands! So, we thought it would be helpful to talk through our best tips on how to prepare for your engagement session, and how to make sure your love story comes through.
Here are our top 5 tips for telling your story through your engagement session:
1. Trust your Photographers!
This may seem silly, or even obvious to some, but this is absolutely our number one tip. Trust in your photographer is so important, in fact, that we tell couples before we book with them that we are not the best fit for everyone. We tell them that if they don’t trust us completely to tell their story, then we are happy to help them find someone else. We are so committed to building trust with the couples we work with that we will turn business over to our “competition” just so they can have a better experience! So, believe us when we say trust is #1. In regards to your engagement session, trusting your photographers’ expertise leads to more natural posing, more laughter, prettier light, and just all-around prettier photos. Now, this isn’t to say that we don’t want your input. Because, please give us your suggestions, your wants, and all your Pinterest pins! Truly, we want to make you happy and we need that communication! But, then on shoot day, let us guide you into a really great experience. We promise it’ll be worth it!
2. Choose a location/environment that is meaningful to your relationship
This is something only you know. We are so happy to help you figure out a great location. But, we love to shoot couples in places that are significant to them. This could be anything from a local bookstore or coffee shop to the top of a mountain that you climbed together. A lot of our couples just as for “someplace green.” But, we encourage you to look further than that. Green is great! But, is there a reason for that? Is there a look you are trying to accomplish? Did he propose amidst a field of green grass? Here are some questions that could help your process:
- Where did you meet?
- Where do you love to go on your days off together?
- Where did the proposal happen?
- Is there a season or time of year that is important to you?
- Are your personalities more earthy, natural, urban, dressy, or a combo?
- What types of photos really stick out to you when browsing online or our portfolio?
3. Try to keep your poses natural
This one is usually the most difficult for couples to feel like they can accomplish. But, truly it is so simple! During your engagement session, we will encourage you to walk while holding hands, hug, cuddle, whisper to each other, tell jokes, laugh, and kiss. It is seriously so much fun! We will NOT ask you to stand stiffly in a “prom pose” and smile at the camera. So, don’t worry about what to do with your hands. Just try and stay natural!
4. Be intentional with wardrobe & props
Your story will best be told if you select clothing and props that fit your personality and style. Generally, neutrals with pops of color look great on camera, but we’re not afraid of patterns either. We love dark jeans, un-tucked button-down shirts, maybe a vest or a tie for the gentlemen and sweet dresses, dark jeans, layers, and fun accessories for the ladies. Generally, couples choose one casual outfit and one dressier choice. We strongly encourage you to only choose a maximum of two options, just for the issue of time and light. We love it when you bring props that mean something to you. A monogrammed blanket, your favorite coffee cups, wine glasses and your signature bottle of wine, a handwritten love note, or a loosely-tied small bouquet of flowers all add to the session without feeling overdone. Also, pets make perfect “props!” Definitely bring Fido along if you wish!
5. Have a professional do your hair & makeup
Last, but not least, we strongly encourage you ladies to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your engagement session. Every girl wants to feel beautiful in her photos (which will translate to comfort and confidence on camera, by the way) and the best way to do that is to have someone else take care of that hassle for you. A lot of brides will use the engagement session as a trial-run for wedding day makeup and sometimes hair as well. If you show up to your session stressed out because you spent the last 2 hours trying to get your hair to do something it just wouldn’t do, your photos will suffer. You’re worth the splurge!