You said yes, you’ve got the rock on your finger, and now it’s time for your engagement photos! CONGRATS! For most people this is their first exposure to having photos professionally done, which can be a little nerve-wracking. Here’s some of my top tips on how to make the most of your engagement session!
1. Be On Time
Nay, be a few minutes early. I cannot stress this enough. Since I work strictly with natural light, that means our time is limited to the sun’s schedule. I will make sure to schedule our session around times that the lighting will be at its peak prettiness to make you look your very best. Typically that means shooting during what we call “golden hour”. This is that hour/hour and a half before sunset, or that first hour after sunrise. So say, if you are 20 mins late to our session, that will cut into your session time and we don’t get that back. Once the sun goes down, the light is gone and that’s that. Make sure to add some extra time for your getting ready routine and arrive a few minutes early so we can use the very most of our time and get those rad pictures you’ve been dreaming of!
2. Read The Contract
This one might seem kind of weird, but bear with me. Every photographer you work with should have a contract. And it should be in language that is easy to understand. These contracts are basically the rules and guidelines that your photographer has set out, and 9 times out of 10 they are there to help YOU. I establish those things not only for your safety but also to guarantee that you will be getting the best experience I can possibly provide for you within my abilities. Whether it’s limiting the amount of people that I allow you to bring to your sessions or setting a standard that we will make sure to Leave No Trace for our sessions, those clauses in the contract are important. If you’ve got questions or don’t understand a certain one, feel free to ask! That’s what I’m here for.
3. Dress To Impress
The most common question I get asked is, “Okay but…what do we wear?!” Your outfits, hair, and styling choice make a HUGE impact on your photos. They help you fit in with the location, shows off your personalities, and can really add some flair to your photos. My philosophy? When in doubt, dress up. You can wear a t-shirt and jeans any day of the week, but this is your chance to wear that dress you’ve been eyeing for months! (Pro tip: flowy dresses look amaaazing in almost every scenario.) I highly recommend getting professional makeup and hair done for all photo sessions as well. Photos require slightly more saturated makeup than your every day look so that you don’t become washed out. You’ll also feel more confident being all glammed up, so it’s a win win! I send out an extremely detailed style guide to every client that books with me that lays out what to wear in what situation so you never have to be left wondering what to wear! For some starter style tips, check out my blog post on Engagement Session Style.
4. Loosen Up
Every couple that comes to me makes a statement to the effect of, “Oh, we’re so awkward, we’ll never look like those other couples you take pictures of.” To this I say, bah humbug. Literally no one feels comfortable in front of a camera. (Unless you are in fact Beyonce, in which case stop reading this and hire me kaythanks.) Lucky for you, you won’t have to worry about whether you know how to pose, or look cute, or what to do with your hands. My style of photography is very fun and candid, and I will do all the work to make you look great. You just get to flirt and run around and be in love, and I will do the rest. Your job is to be in love, and have fun!
5. Get To Know Your Photographer
I make it a point to either meet up with my clients at some point or hop on a quick Facetime/phone call before our session to get to know you a little bit and give you the opportunity to get to know me! Getting a little more comfortable with each other before jumping right into photos helps so much when it comes time to our session. You’ll be more relaxed, we’ll be able to loosen up and have more fun with the shoot which will shine through in your photos! This also helps to set expectations and make sure we are on the same page. This is especially important if you are eloping, because you won’t have a ton of wedding vendors there besides your photographer. You want to make that you vibe with them and it will help your special day feel so much more relaxed!
6. Make a Day Out Of It!
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard from those in the wedding biz is to make your engagement session part of a day-long 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 tasty brunch or coffee at your favorite spot, read each other cute letters, go out for a cute date after your pics, you name it! Make today about YOU, cause it is!