Engagement Session Tips

1. Create a Mood Board on Pinterest!

Creating a Mood Board on Pinterest can not only help you and your Fiance prepare for the shoot, but it can also help your Photographer immensely so they can have an idea for the style you are looking for and be sure that you are provided with what you have in mind, while adding their own artistic spin. Dont expect your Photographer to mimic the exact photo’s, unless you specifically request this and be sure they are OK with it. Communication is key and having a Professional Photographer will ensure that takes place!

2. Wear something you’re comfortable in.

This might be the most important thing. If you choose clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable, you’ll spend your whole session picking at them or trying to cover up. If you choose something you’ve never worn before, you’ll be worried about how you look in it or may discover it’s actually painful to wear, which will most likely come across in your photos.

Choose outfits that make you feel like a model, or someone famous! If you do purchase something new, take it out on a test run with plenty of time to launder it before your session in case of a spill or other mishap. And make sure it still fits good after going through the wash! As much as you consider how your engagement outfits make you feel, think also about how they’ll photograph during your session.

Some couples also like to bring along a change of wardrobe.  It can help change up the mood and offer more variety to the images as well. And be sure your Fiance likes what they wear as well! Being confident and happy will work wonders when it comes to the end result!

3. Steam or iron your outfits ahead of time!

Speaking of what you wear, be sure to remove the wrinkles from your clothes before your session. Having things like wrinkles retouched in your photos comes at an additional cost per image in many cases and most Photographers would rather not spend more time in front of their computer editing. Save yourself the stress and get wrinkle free ahead of time!

4. Consider professional hair and makeup for your shoot.

If you feel confident in your hair and makeup skills, you can skip on down to the next tip! However, if you’ve never done makeup for photos or you aren’t really sure what to do with your hair, you may want to hit up the salon before your engagement shoot. Photos require slightly more saturated makeup than your every day look so that you don’t become washed out. Haven’t done your hair and makeup consultation with your wedding day stylist yet? It can be a smart move to schedule that consult the morning before your session to knock out two birds with one makeup brush!

5. Make a day out of it.

Why not make your engagement session part of an all day date?! Not only does this give you plenty of time for photos without feeling rushed, but starting your day in this mindset helps you feel connected and romantic as you head into the photo shoot. Start your day with a boozy brunch or coffee at your favorite spot and invite your photographer to meet you there to grab a few shots before changing locations.

6. Set the scene.

Location is everything, so before heading to your neighborhood park for engagement photos, think about what you really love as a couple and what places reflect that. If you relish over making coffee together and snuggling on the couch with some good ole Netflix, maybe an at home lifestyle session is right for you. Or are you an adventurous couple who spends your weekends hiking? Take your photos in the forest or mountains, hiking gear in tow. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your favorite activities like riding bikes or taking a canoe down to the lake. I’ve had a couple go to an Ice Cream Parlor and ate ice cream together because that's where they first met. Feel free to bring along props too.  Bring things along that really reflect your fantastic personalities. For instance, I've had a couple where the groom was a Police Officer and he brought his badge, uniform and patrol car! Don’t hesitate to bring anything that truly reflects you individually or as a couple.

7. Schedule your session around the sun.

You may have heard that there are certain times of the day that are better for photos and that’s all because of the light! Golden hour, which is that beautiful time of day just before the sun sets and rises is when you want to shoot if you’re looking for that glorious, golden light in your photos. It’s important to be aware of when the sun is going to set (you can check your weather app to find this out!) so that you have plenty of time to shoot before the light is gone. The early afternoon may sound like a good time for photos schedule-wise, but keep in mind that the light is much harsher at this time because the sun is directly overhead and this will result in pictures that you may not LOVE. Early, early morning light can also be magical, so you may want to consider a sunrise session where you arrive at your first location just as the sun starts to rise. Sunrise will also allow for a more intimate session as your location will most likely be much less crowded!

8. Hire a professional photographer.

This should go without saying, but you are going to get the best photos by hiring a professional to take your engagement photos. Your engagement is such a short and special chapter in your life and your relationship, and you deserve to commemorate that time with beautiful photos together! If possible, I highly recommend booking your engagement photos with your wedding photographer. This gives you an opportunity to get comfortable and connect with your photographer prior to your big day, making for even better photos from your wedding. This is also why I include engagement sessions with all of my Wedding Photography packages!

9. When in doubt, kiss!

If you hired a Pro Photographer, they should have a lot of tricks up their sleeve to make you feel relaxed and get you into natural looking poses easily. But when all else fails, go for the kiss! This can help you connect with your partner and forget the camera is even around, which makes for more natural photos anyway.

10. Be on time!

Be sure to take proper considerations for traffic, hair delays, and fashion emergencies! ;) If you are late, it can cause a disagreement or add stress to the situation which is not needed! If you show up 30 minutes late, the Photographer might not be able to extend your shoot either and have to end the session at the regularly scheduled time. Tardiness can also affect the lighting that the Photographer most likely planned to have during your shoot. If you have a sunset or sunrise session, there is a very limited time when being Photographed with the best possible lighting. Being on time will help you to have the BEST photography experience for you without any un-necessary stress, and being on time achieves exactly this! :)

11. Forget everything else I just said and have fun!!!!

Marc Daniele