You’re engaged! Yay! Now that means it’ll soon be time for engagement photos! (When? Check this out for my wedding planning timeline for your photography, but anyways.) Engagement photos are a great way to celebrate your relationship and this milestone in your life and below are my 5 tips for a meaningful engagement session. This will also give you beautiful photos for your save the dates while giving you an opportunity to get to know your photographer while getting more comfortable in front of the camera.
I love shooting engagement sessions because the pressure of the wedding day, family, and the hustle and bustle of the dress is absent. Engagement sessions are a time to really showcase your personalities and style as a couple! They can be as personal as you want and you can play up the different elements of your relationship based on the location you choose and the outfits you wear. Some couples opt for a more formal approach while others stay very relaxed and casual. Whatever you choose, make it your own!
With all that being said, here are five tips for a meaningful engagement session:
If you feel uncomfortable in whatever it is you’re wearing, it will show in your photos and dampen your experience, no matter how well everything else goes! Whatever you choose to wear, make it comfortable, true to you and your personal style. If you buy something new, take it out for a test run! Otherwise, you may discover that it’s uncomfortable or you’ll spend the shoot constantly tugging and worrying about how you look in it.
For women, I always recommend things that flow nicely when you move; nothing too tight or clingy that you’ll be re-adjusting constantly. Solids, rather than intense patterns, fair nicely and you can never go wrong with darker colors for flattery. At the end of the day, wear something that makes you feel great!
When it comes to your location, choose spots that are of significance to the two of you! Where do you two spend a lot of your time? What kinds of things do you enjoy doing together as a couple? Think about locations that reflect your relationship and less about having a “cool” location. Should you make a trip out of it and go somewhere epic or sentimental? It doesn’t matter whether you choose to be in your home, downtown, on the beach or out of state. If the location brings back great memories and excites the two of you, that’s all that matters.
Unless you’re a make-up and beauty guru, your engagement session may be a good time to bring in a professional hair and make-up artist. Make-up for photos is different from make-up for everyday wear. You’ll want a little more coverage and saturation, and avoid too much heaviness around the eyes (this could put your eyes in shadow and make them appear smaller in-camera). With a professional, you’ll feel great about how you look and can be confident it will last the whole day. You can also plan your wedding day make-up trial for the same day and kill two birds with one stone.
Rather than putting your engagement session on your calendar as just one more thing you need to do, make a day-long date out of it! This way, you don’t have to rush to and from your photos and can allot more time to really celebrate your engagement and this short time in your life! By making your engagement session part of a day-long date, you’ll also take away some of the pressure of being in front of the camera as you’ll be more in the mood and connected for your photos, which definitely reads on camera.
If you’re looking for soft, romantic golden hour light, you’ll want to schedule your session for the few hours before sunset. During this time, the light is softer and won’t cause harsh shadows that occur at noon when the sun is directly overhead. Depending on the time of year, the time the sun sets can change significantly, so be sure to check this with your schedules when deciding when and where to schedule your engagement session. Overcast days make just about any time of day great and if you want to do something a little different, nighttime or dusk shots can be fun! And for a few other notes, keep the location versus the time of day/season in mind! For example, let’s say you want to take your engagement photos on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Then a weekday morning in the fall or later winter will definitely be less busy than a weekend evening in the summer when all of the tourists are out. The same goes with east or west! If you love your lake house on the east side of Michigan along Lake Huron, then a sunrise session will give you the best chance at a golden hour. Same thing for a sunset session on the west side of the state.
There you have it! My five tips for a meaningful engagement session and a great experience. Are you recently engaged? Let’s chat! I’d love to work with you and help you plan the best engagement session for you.