I wanted to write about the topic “Engagement Sessions”. Quite a few couples try to dismiss these sessions with the thought of saving a bit of money on their wedding photography packages. No harm in that, right.
I mean, I get it! I also try to save money any chance I can. But skipping an engagement session with your wedding photographer can do more harm than just saving a few dollars. You may not feel comfortable with your photographer and it is now wedding day which is too late to find a new one.
It is extremely rare to find someone who is super comfortable in front of the camera. Almost every one of my couples start a session by saying they will be a bit awkward, that they don’t photograph well, that they have a bad side, etc. It is normal to feel that way, but there is nothing to worry about. The importance of the engagement session is to help you feel comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. Remembering what you did on your engagement session will help you on your wedding day. Things will come easier and feel familiar/natural to you. Most of all have fun!
The engagement session will also show me how you both interact with one another- every couple is different. You will also get to know my personality, my shooting style, which on your wedding day when you look back and think about your engagement session, you will remember which poses you liked, felt more you and you will naturally fall into them. I will also know if there were poses that you didn’t like. Giving me feedback will help the wedding day portraits be moments you will forever relive every time you look at your photos.
These things are something that most couples do not always take into consideration. Most couples just look at an engagement session to get a few really nice images of themselves to get away from the hundreds of selfies we take over weekend walks and dates. Engagement sessions allow you to express your love and personalities and make great images to use on your save the date cards.
When should we have our engagement session?
This all depends on the weather and scenery you are looking for in your images. The important thing to keep in mind when choosing your session date is when are you planning on sending your Save the Date cards in the mail. I advise doing your engagement session 1 to 2 months before you plan on sending your cards out. This will give you time to get your images edited, finalize your Save the Date design, and get them printed.
You can schedule your engagement session whenever you want. There is no rush to do it as soon as you get engaged, but chances are like most couples once you get engaged you want to set a date for the session as it’s an opportunity to share images with your family and friends. The best times to be photographed are when the sun is not the brightest, so ideally just after sunrise or just before sunset. During the Fall months it means starting your session around 4pm and in the Spring/Summer months starting around 5:306pm. The light at this time will be the most flattering on the skin, and you will not have to worry about bright sun light in your eyes and we might just get lucky with an amazing sunset!
Engagement Session locations
I like to incorporate locations based on the couple’s relationship customs- hikes, walks on the beach, strolling through your favorite city street, your favorite coffee shop, or even maybe the spot where the proposal took place. My engagement session actually took place at Barcelona Wine Bar in Brookline, Ma as that was where we had our first date, and it signifies where we started our journey together. We reached out the restaurant and asked if we could do our engagement session there, and they said yes. We just had to do it in the morning before they opened for lunch. It was awesome =). If a certain indoor location holds meaning, sometimes just a quick email to the owner or manager allows you to utilize the space. Keep in mind some places may ask for a fee to use their space for a set time. Whether you want to go horseback riding, bike riding, kayaking, beer tasting or head down to your local coffee shop, it is up to you and I’m always happy to make recommendations after our initial consult.
kids & Pets
Your loved ones are important, so whether it is a child or a 4-legged friend they are always welcome as part of your session. If you wish to bring a baby or a pet just make sure you bring along another adult to help with them throughout the shoot. The engagement session is mostly about the couple, so it is important to get some photos of just the two of you, but we can always include child/children or pets.
what should we wear
This is the single most common question leading up to the engagement session. I am always willing to provide suggestions on this. I will gladly review photos of your outfit ideas and tell you what will work best. An engagement session is a great excuse to go shopping for something new but find something that expresses your style. Wearing a new outfit will also ensure that they are fresh and not faded and come out amazing in your pictures. I also suggest you bring a second outfit, maybe something a bit more fancy depending on our location, you might want to change halfway through the session.
I always advise to try everything on prior to the shoot, to make sure the outfit is comfortable. You do not want to put it on for the first time at the session where it may feel a bit uncomfortable. If you are wearing high heels, bring along some comfy shoes since we will be doing some walking at the location.
When it comes to outfit colors, I usually recommend sticking to a set of 2 or 3 complimentary colors in your outfits so that you are coordinating, but not to the point of being matchy-matchy. I always recommend solid colors, as they don’t take focus away from you. Look at your outfits like home décor. Invest the time to find outfits that make you both feel comfortable but also showcase your personal style. Having you feel comfortable in front of my camera is super important. A final way to help achieve that goal is to have your hair and make-up done professionally. This makes your engagement session a great time to schedule your hair and makeup trials, and make sure to get a manicure for the close ups of the engagement ring.