How to Make the Most of Your Engagement Session
Today, we are rolling out our first installment of Tip Tuesdays, content geared at the to-be brides to aid in planning, being relaxed, and enjoy the engagement season of their lives. First up, we’re talking engagement sessions. For us, our engagement session was one of the first events where we felt officially engaged. It’s a fun time that shouldn’t be riddled with stress and instead just an enjoyable process.
As photographers, the engagement session’s value lies in three places. One, it’s the perfect time for us to get to know you, what makes you guys tick, how you work well together, and what looks most natural. We walk into an engagement session trying to figure out what makes the to-be bride throw her head back in laughter, what makes the to-be groom relax a little more, and the couple shows affection best. Second, it’s time for you guys to get to know how we shoot. We shoot in a very active manner. This means, yes, there will be you frozen for a second just smiling into the lens and getting a classic portrait, but the majority of the shoot is spent a different way. It’s spent frolicking, whispering, taking deep breaths together, and playing games. We “direct” rather than “pose” a large portion of our shoots. Which allows you room as a couple to show us how you would actually cuddle up while watching Netflix or how you embrace after being out of town on work for a week. It allows for the real authentic YOU to come out. But, we know that this is not a common professional photography experience that you’ve had in the past, so we want to give you time to get used to it. Then, once you’re at your wedding you are a professional at “nuzzling.” Lastly, and most importantly, we think engagement sessions serve as a devoted time for you two to embrace the engaged life and just spend it loving on each other. On a normal day, we interact with our significant others between work and life. We kiss goodbye and hello, we cuddle on the couch, maybe there’s a booty squeeze while cooking dinner. But on our engagement sessions, you have a devote hour enjoying your significant other’s presence, breathing them in, kissing them everywhere, and laughing with them. It’s a place to enjoy your engagement away from the stress of wedding planning, an opportunity to show your fiancé that you care, love, and enjoy them, and a dedicated opportunity to just love on them.
With that, we’ve put together a couple of our tips for how to make the most of your session.
First, the boring stuff, logistics. Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive early. We are going to make the light magic for you, but it means we need to start shooting right at the start time. Being late or stuck in traffic never starts a night off great, so leave early and check the roads beforehand. Ladies, make sure to get that ring cleaned before the session to make that puppy sparkle. If your ring place doesn’t do cleanings, most chain stores in the mall will clean it for free, even if you didn’t get your ring there. Just ask. Also, ladies, get a fresh manicure, we will have tons of details shots. We love getting all your arms wrapped up and interlaced which means your nails will be in the spotlight. Remember to think about undergarments that can be covered and don’t require a lot of fixing. Remember, we’ll be playing for most of the shoot, so you don’t want to have to press pause every time to fix a bra strap. Boom, that it’s, let’s get to the fun stuff.
Choosing a location: don’t think of this as a chore, think of it as exploration. How would you describe your relationship? Adventurous? Let’s get to the Quarries in Waite Park and climb rocks, find new paths, and laugh in the fields. Classic? Let’s go downtown and find you some textured buildings, reflections, and huge skyscraper backgrounds. Find a place that uniquely represents you as a couple. We love to help with location selection, so feel free to just give us some clues as to things you like: water, rustic buildings, cool textures, bridges, woods, etc. Lastly, think about if you want these pictures to reflect an season in your life. For example, one of our October 2017 couples, Justin and Lauren, are currently living in Chicago, so we traveled down to them to shoot some classic Chicago landscape. This could be a coffee shop you love, the town you met in, or even inside your house and backyard. The sky is the limit!
We ALWAYS recommend turning your engagement session into a date night afterward, you’re already dressed up so you might as well get dinner and drinks. Take the night to talk about your dreams, your vision for your life, and why you love each other. You can make the night so much more than just getting your pictures taken and instead a celebration of you two. While you’re at it, feel free to grab an adult beverage beforehand. We will do some crazy things. You will feel silly. And honestly, the reaction to that silliness and craziness are some of the best photos. But oftentimes, just one drink (not saying 3 or 4 drinks in and sloppy, but one) will ease the nervousness and allow you two to relax into each other.
It's more than okay to feel nervous. Please know that we do not expect you to be models. Our job is to direct you in a way that helps you relax, feel natural, and be true to your comfortable selves in front of our lens. You do not need to practice poses, study Pinterest pins, or let the nerves take over. By the end of the session, you will be relaxed and most of all, having fun!
Focus. Let all your energy just go into the two of you. Really, this is just a date for you two with us being fly on the walls. It’s not important for ladies to focus on hairs that fall out of place or straps that need readjusting because that happens in real life. It’s important for you to focus on squeezing your partner tight, laughing with abandon, and sharing all the sweet kisses possible. Enjoy!
Have questions? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to chat engagement sessions.