I know that looking forward to an engagement session can be exciting at the same time nerve wrecking and overwhelming. If you’re a super model and get your photos taken professionally, you are the rare exception and won’t be needing to read this entire blog. But, if two you are like me, you may feel a bit awkward and unsure about being in front of the camera. The best engagement sessions I’ve ever photographed have been with people that were so nervous and anxious beforehand, then as the session went on their chemistry took the wheel and just made it so easy and natural. Walking into an engagement session requires a balance of preparedness, creating a space for natural and fun interactions, at the same time feeling real emotions.
So, we’ve picked a time and a location for our session. Now, all we need is to help you prepare for our date and have a great time! To help you feel more comfortable and prepared for our session, here are 10 tips and suggestions to remember:
1. If you’re hiring a makeup and hair artist for your wedding day, set-up a trial-run for your engagement session. Not only are you going to look your best, but this also gives you the opportunity to get to know your make-up artist and see how your makeup and hair can look in photos before the wedding day.
2. Clean nails, hands, and feet if you are wearing open footwear. In your engagement session, I love getting close up details of how your hands hold each other, or your beautiful engagement ring. Some brides get their rings cleaned too
3. Props can be a wonderful supplement to an engagement shoot when kept tasteful, minimal, and complementary to your personalities. Keeping props as simple as a favorite quilt or a loose handful of flowers can add visual interest to the session and inspiration for the photographer without taking away from your interaction
4. Leave the shot-list from Pinterest at home. As a photographer of genuine emotions, there are just things I cannot and do not want to stage. Your love and interaction towards each other should be a natural one. Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest is great for inspiration and finding ideas. And I welcome your pin board before our engagement session. It gives me an idea of your style as a couple. After the planning and during our session, I don’t want to set expectations on you and how you should pose, or feel or interact. I want this to be fun for you both!
5. Show up with an open heart and mind. This is my favorite tip. As your photographer, I meditate on this mantra before I wake up the morning of your session, when I’m driving to meet you, and while I am photographing you. I know this sounds cliche, but it really works. Try to enjoy this time away from work, or a busy schedule and start your day with doing something that you both enjoy together. If you like working out together, or eating brunch together, or getting a beer together, do those things! It sets the mood right in creating moments that are not forced or stiff.
6. Be on time or even a little early. Not only does this make us all feel unrushed, but also because I am a natural light photographer. The sun is my light director, so I alway suggest photographing at certain times of the day to get the best possible light and in turn beautiful photos. Please plan for traffic, finding parking and makeup touch ups when the time comes for you to head to the engagement location.
7. Empty your pockets and remove hair-ties from your wrists. I am guilty of having these things on me all the time. In photos, they may become a distraction.
8. Relax and have fun. I don’t expect you to be a pro at this. I, however, have done this so many times and that is why you hired a pro like me! Let me help you along the way.
9. If you feel like your partner is a little nervous, encourage each other by telling your partner they look hot, or sexy or gorgeous, or handsome or beautiful. Tell them how much you love them! Trust me, hearing it from you will make them feel confident.
10. Treat this time as if you were going on a sweet, romantic date with each other, except in the first part you have a third wheeler (me!) I would even suggest going on a date afterward since you’re dressed and all. Celebrate on being engaged and looking and feeling great with the success of our engagement session