The Engagement Session Guide
Engagement sessions are a great way for you to get to know me as your photographer so you will be completely comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day. This Engagement Session Guide was created to help you understand more about the session, why it is important, and styling tips to help you look and feel your best! I will work with you to help determine the best location(s) for your shoot based on your style and the look you are going for. Don’t worry if you are not photogenic or if your fiancé “hates having his picture taken”, because I will make sure you both are looking your absolute best. After the first 15 minutes of the shoot, I promise you will be naturals!
Engagement Sessions Are Meant To Be Fun!
This is the time where we will get to know each other better. You will learn more about my photography style and exactly how I work behind the camera.
I understand that you might be a little nervous. That is completely normal! All of my couples are a little nervous before the session but within 10 minutes of the shoot, I promise you both will become naturals. We will have so much fun together! Just imagine yourselves on a fun date night that is being captured on camera! I will walk you through everything that you will need to do so you will have beautiful portraits while also having fun on the shoot.
Yes, the engagement session includes a few of the “I love you” kissing photos. This will be your time to get close and show just how much you care for each other. All of the photos will NOT be kissing photos but it is great to give your future groom a heads up on what to expect before the shoot.
You Will Become Posing Experts
During your session, I will walk you through every pose. I will make sure you know what to do with your hands and everything! By the time your wedding day finally arrives, you will be completely comfortable having your photos taken! My couples who choose to have an engagement session know exactly what to expect on their wedding day. As a matter of fact, they literally becoming posing experts!
Check out one of my favorite poses below which I call the “dip kiss”. Courtney & AJ nailed this pose on the FIRST try on their wedding day! And yes, you will definitely be doing the “dip & kiss” pose too!
The Perfect "Time" For Shooting
The best time for portraits is 2 hours before sunset or 2 hours after sunrise. My favorite (and best) light for shooting occurs during this time of the day. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early so that your session can begin promptly (I want you to have the full experience). The session will last 1 hour and will produce 70+ images in your gallery. Late clients risk loss of coverage time & images.
When To Schedule Your Session
Plan to schedule your session 6-12 months before your wedding date. This will allow time for save the dates. If you are interested in a session sooner, feel free to let me know and I can give you my available dates. I like to plan ahead because my calendar tends to get booked quickly! When it comes to choosing dates, most weekend dates are typically reserved for weddings. I will definitely give you my weekend dates but please note that if a wedding is booked on that date, we will reschedule the session.
Engagement Session Location
The location for the shoot totally depends on your personality and the style you are going for. I had a previous couple who both played basketball so they went with a basketball themed engagement shoot for the first half and ended with a dresser styled shoot towards the end of the session.
Think about a few things that you both enjoy doing together - that can help determine your location. Do you both like ice-cream or sweets? Maybe an engagement shoot at an ice-cream parlor or local candy shop would be nice! Also, think about a favorite location that you both enjoy spending time together as a couple - such as a park or museum.
If you do not have a specific location in mind, that it totally okay! I will definitely give you some suggestions on different locations that will be great for your engagement session based on your style and attire!
PS - There are some places that I have tried to shoot at that will NOT allow photography. When choosing private establishments (private property, hotels, restaurants, etc), make sure to get permission from the establishment for the use of professional photography.
Tips for Stylish Outfit Selections
Your outfit should be a reflection of who you are as a person. Being confident in what you wear is one of the most important tips I can give you. Confidence definitely shows on the camera.
Some of my couples choose to have two outfits for their engagement session. One outfit is usually on the dressier side (formal gown, cocktail dress, etc.) and the other is more casual and relaxed (sundress, flowy dress & skirt, etc.). If you would prefer both of your outfits to be dressy, go for it! Choose what best fits your personal style and what FLATTERS your body.
Ladies: The camera picks up EVERYTHING. Truth Moment: We ALL have some type of cellulite or parts of your bodies that we are not comfortable with. Some cellulite can be seen through some of the attire that we wear. If you can see cellulite through your attire when looking in mirror, the camera will also see it. Make sure your attire PROPERLY fits your body and figure. When wearing fitted or see through attire, Spanks will become your best friend. Spanks will smooth & tighten - I have been wearing them since 2007 & they have NOT failed me yet. Also, make sure undergarments and bra straps are not showing when looking in the mirror.
I also advise couples to coordinate their outfits. To coordinate does not mean to “match”. Wearing colors in the same color family that compliments each other, or wearing the same color in a different shade is more ideal than trying to wear the exact same color. For example, wearing the same exact shirt in the same exact color will look very much like a uniform.
If one person is wearing an outfit with lots of color and patterns, it is best for the other person to wear a solid or neutral color to tone it down a bit.
Make sure you are both equal when it comes to how formal or causal your attire is. If the bride to be is wearing a cocktail dress, then the groom probably should not wear shorts and tennis shoes. A fitted suit or sports jacket & slacks will be more fitting.
Outfit Tips for The Guys
Hi Guys! The engagement session is also your time to dress up and look handsome. A sports jacket with fitted slacks is always a great start. Make the session dressier by wearing a suit, tie, and/or vest. Try to avoid wearing tennis shoes, sneakers, shirts with logos, baseball caps and baggy clothes.
More Tips for an Amazing Session
• Go ahead and buy the NEW outfit you have been wanting! This is THE perfect time to shop for a special, new outfit. I have even had couples to go on an actual date night right after their engagement session!
• Ladies, bring your engagement ring! I will definitely be taking photos of your ring during this session. And YES, your nails will be shown in some of these photos so make sure they are looking fabulous too.
• Consider having your hair & makeup professionally done. You will feel so much better in front of the camera. This will also be a good time to have a trial run for hair and makeup that you will use on the wedding day so you will see how it looks in photos.
• I do not bring props to engagement sessions, but please feel free to bring your personal props to be photographed during your session. I have had couples to bring special signs, specialized glassware, and more.
• Finally, just relax and have fun! This session is all about you. We will laugh, talk, and enjoy the moment together! After the session, consider having a date night since you are already dressed up!
After The Session
After the session, you will receive your full gallery within 2 weeks from the session date. Your online gallery will last 30 days and you will be able to download all images as well as order professional prints. The option to order an engagement guest sign-in album will also be available. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.