You're engaged and in the midst of wedding planning. You've booked your wedding photographer and it's time to start thinking about your engagement session. "What should we expect? What should we WEAR? How do we even begin to prepare for our engagement session?!" These are just a few of the questions I hear from our couples who are getting ready for their engagement session with us and trust me, they're totally valid! If you've booked us to be your wedding photographers, you'll receive a copy of my Engagement Session Planning Guide, which covers everything in this post, PLUS plenty more outfit inspiration, and more!
What to Expect
If you're not used to being in front of the camera, that's totally okay! For many couples, an engagement session is the first time they're professionally photographed. I always tell my couples that they don't have to worry about feeling like a deer in the headlights in front of the camera during their session. Before I even pick up my camera to photograph the two of you, we'll go over a few simple poses that I like to use to create beautiful, genuine portraits. We'll chat, keeping things light, simple and fun!
Timing & Location
After you've booked your wedding photographer, whether it's us or someone else, you'll need to start thinking about a when and where you'd like your session photographed. We photograph our sessions in the 1-2 hours after sunrise or 1-2 hours before sunset, since that's when the light is most flattering for portraits. Keep in mind that sunlight changes depending on the season, so don't forget to take that into consideration when thinking about dates and locations for your engagement session. If you're one of our couples, we'll review this in more detail before choosing your session date, location and time!
Choosing a location for your session is also key. Though I'm always scouting new locations throughout Connecticut and surrounding areas for engagement sessions, I adore when my couples choose somewhere that has a special meaning to them, whether it be where they shared their first date, the spot where they got engaged, or even the place they met. Locations with a variety of backdrops always make for a more interesting collection of photos.
What to Wear
As I mentioned before, if you're a #shainaleecouple, you'll receive my full Engagement Session Planning Guide, which covers plenty of details about outfit inspiration. When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. The camera loves neutrals such as blush, tans, soft pinks, faint or muted blues and creams, mixed with heather grays, leather browns, and whites. These colors photograph softer and more romantically, resulting in more of a light and airy look to your images. That softer color palette also fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The goal is to COORDINATE instead of MATCHING each other.
Ladies, if you’re really looking for a soft, feminine look, consider a flowing, maxi-length dress or skirt! The movement of this type of fabric photographs beautifully! I recommend wearing something that flatters the parts of you that you love most and also allows you to feel confident. If you are uncomfortable when you look in the mirror (having to suck in and only like the way you look from one angle), then that probably isn’t the best outfit choice for you. We want you to be so confident in your outfit because we know that you will love your portraits so much more if you’re not worrying about how your clothes fit! Guys, we recommend that you avoid patterns that are smaller than a dime. These small patterns can create strange visual effects in a digital camera. Close-toed shoes photograph well and we recommend avoiding graphic tees and tennis shoes! The most important thing to remember when choosing an ensemble for your engagement session is to wear something that makes you feel WONDERFUL!
Relax and Trust Your Photographer
As you prepare for your engagement session, keep in mind that your photographer doesn't expect you to be a pro at this. If you take nothing else away from this blog post but the following piece of advice I'll be more than happy; when planning for your engagement session, remember it's supposed to be FUN! I always tell our couples that their engagement session is going to be a laid-back, stress-free time that we spend together as we get to know each other a bit! I'll teach you how to pose and engage with each other naturally to get the beautiful, candid portraits that all of our couples love and want! The reasons Arturo and I include engagement sessions in each of our wedding collections is to 1) get to know our couples before their wedding day, 2) create a relationship with them, and 3) help them become comfortable in front of our cameras so their wedding day portraits are a walk in the park! The bottom line is that we want our couples to feel like they're spending time with friends on their wedding day, who also happen to be great photographers!
I hope these tips help to put some of your engagement session worries at ease! If you're in the midst planning your engagement session, don't over think anything; just remember to relax and HAVE FUN!