Congratulations on your engagement! It’s time to officially celebrate your new status with gorgeous images of you and your significant other- and that stunning ring of course! I’ve captured dozens of engagement sessions so I threw together these tips for preparing for your engagement session based on a lot of frequently asked questions and my experiences.
I’m a strong believer in engagement sessions. This is where we find our groove and this is your time to get comfortable with having your photo taken (because let’s be honest, no one is used to having their photo taken!) so that your wedding day isn’t the first time you see my camera. Engagement sessions help me understand who you are as a couple so that I can tell your story in the best way possible. These sessions give you a look into how I work and how we’ll work together on your wedding day to create beautiful images.
This is also your chance to get photos for your save-the-dates, wedding invitations, websites, social media, your wedding guest book album and other reception decor!
But, this is definitely not a rule book. At the end of the day, the location you choose and outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. I want you to relax and enjoy your engagement session. Be yourself. Laugh a lot. Let me take care of the rest!
Choosing your session location:
Consider the time of year
Some locations photograph better at certain times of the year. For example, if you want to shoot at a vineyard, you’ll want to have your session in late summer/early fall when the grapes are fully ripened and trees are still green. Shoot for early spring if you’re looking for lush garden or orchard photos, and mid summer for gorgeous lakeside images.
What do you and your partner love to do? Where do you enjoy spending time? Let’s head there! Think about your hobbies, likes and dislikes and that will help you determine the right spot, and vibe for your shoot. After all, your engagement photos should be a reflection of you as a couple!
Of course, I will provide some location suggestions if needed. I’ve photographed sessions all over Washington state and have some gorgeous locations I like to frequent.
Don’t be afraid to dress up
This is your chance to do it up! There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun!
When choosing colors for your outfits, I usually recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments.
Coordinating the looks
As you’re coordinating your outfit with your partner’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family.
One more styling note
Once you have a few options picked out for the both of you, try them on and stand next to each other in the mirror. Do you love it? Do this a week before your session so you’re not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to wear.
Here are a few things to avoid:
- Anything that shows straps or tags that have to be fixed frequently
- Shoes that are uncomfortable/difficult to walk in
- Tiny patterns with a lot of bright contrast
- Shirts with logos/emblems
- Polos or baggy button-up shirts
- Flip-flops or sandals
- Tennis shoes/sneakers
- Cargo shorts/jeans
- Baseball caps
Other things to think about:
Take traffic into consideration and map it out a few hours before you leave for your session. With my approach to photography and photographing couples, light is everything – and when we’re shooting in good light, I’ll probably be doing some sort of happy dance. That being said, it helps to be on time. It’s likely that your session will be scheduled 90 minutes before the sun goes down, so if we get a late start, that cuts into the amount of light that we’ll have to work with.
Clean your ring the morning of your session! You want it to be as sparkly and bright as possible! On a similar note, go ahead and get your nails done too. #treatyoself
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph orange even when it’s applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully and naturally.
Be sure to eat before your session. Beyond that, consider grabbing a drink beforehand. A beer or your favorite cocktail might be exactly what you need to calm any nerves.
Don’t forget to plan date night. You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? I know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together.
… and those are all my tips for preparing for your engagement session! I hope you got a lot of value out of it.
If you’re engaged and looking for a photographer, contact me! I want to be there for you.