You’re engaged and probably thinking to yourself, “I don’t know how to prepare for engagement photos!”.
I think the scariest part about getting a photographer for your wedding is the engagement session. Everyone feels awkward because they’ve never had professional photos taken of themselves. And let me tell you, I know how it feels. When my wife and I had ours done by our photographer, we totally felt awkward. I get it.
My approach and thought process of an engagement session are a bit different. First off, I prefer to call them a couple’s session. Engagement session just sounds like a photo shoot on Pinterest with chalkboards signs that have cheesy sayings on them. Bleh. Boring! But for the sake of consistency, I’ll keep referring to them in this post as an engagement session.
This session isn’t about it being a photo shoot. It’s about you both taking some time out of your busy work schedule and wedding planning to just hang out with each other. And in the process, you’ll get to know your photographer, see how they shoot, and be prepared for what to expect on your wedding day when working with them.
You’ll have photos to use for your Save The Dates and have beautiful photos of you both to have to look back on. Ones that don’t feel like a photoshoot, but that feel like how you felt in that moment of your lives.
So, how do you prepare for engagement photos?
I’ve put together 6 short tips to help you get the most out of your engagement session.
1. Enjoy the Entire Day
If possible, take the day off work. Try to make an entire day of just being with each other. Wake up slowly, have breakfast and coffee together in the morning, maybe share some Topo Chicos in the afternoon outside, and just enjoy the day. It’ll help you both not feel rushed when we get together for the session later in the evening. And after the session, go have dinner or a drink together. This makes it not about being the day you have a photo shoot, but a day for yourselves.
2. Be Yourselves
I know this is easier said than done, but be yourselves. I like to get to know every couple on a personal basis. This helps put you both at ease. You’ll put more trust in me if I feel more like a friend than a stranger. I’m not going to pose you both either. Poses can sometimes make you look rigid and not yourselves. I’ll direct you both if I need to, but ultimately, I want to capture you interacting with each other. Don’t worry, everyone loosens up within 30 minutes or so. If not, maybe we can sneak in a whiskey shot.
3. Dress Like Yourselves
There’s no need to feel like you need to dress up super fancy for clothes. It’s not like you’re a family living in the 90s going to the mall to have pictures taken in clothes you never wear. Casual clothes are the best option. Something that looks nice, makes you feel good, but also is comfortable as well. Plus, it helps if you dress according to the location or activity. For example, you wouldn’t wear a fancy dress or suit to go hiking. That doesn’t make sense. Going back to my earlier point, just be yourselves.
4. Forget the Location & Focus on Each Other
Don’t think too hard about choosing the location. Some couples tend to overthink this. The session is about you both – not the location. Think of a place or style that’s important to you. Most couples opt for an outdoor location that’s just in/around their home or apartment. If you’re choosing an outdoor location, choose one that’s not a landmark. Landmarks tend to be very busy and difficult to shoot in. Ultimately, it’s about the connection between the both of you – not the location. All I’m concerned with is capturing your connection and having great light to work with.
5. Be Present, Not Perfect
Every couple tells me that they’re awkward and not photogenic. And I get it. Having your photo taken is weird. But don’t focus on that. Don’t worry about poses. Don’t worry about where you should stand or how your hands should be. Just hang out with each other. Enjoy each other’s company and have a great time. The authentic emotions will come out and that’s what I’m after. And if your positioning or hands or whatever need adjusting, I’ll let you know.
This is an important one. This session is about the both of you taking some time out to spend with each other. It’s almost like a date night kind of thing. So, it’s important that you turn your phones off or leave them in the car. I don’t want you to be bothered or distracted by texts, calls from work, or email notifications. This is your time to spend with each other.
I hope these 6 tips were helpful and gave you get a sense of the session and help you plan and prepare. If you want to see more sessions I’ve done, you can check some out here.
If this sounds like fun to you and you’d like to sit down and chat about your session, send me a message and we’ll make it happen!
And if you have tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below.