5 Engagement session tips to get the most out of your session. Engagement Session Tips from a Photographer.
It’s no secret that engagement session photos are some of my absolute faaaavorite photos to shoot. Not only are they a great way to get photos of you looking all awesome and wildly in love, but they’re also an incredible way to get to know your photographer and get a sense of how they work before we just waltz in on your wedding day!
So here are some of my favorite tips to keep in mind to absolutely rock your engagement session so that you can have an awesome experience that truly adds to your story together!
Gone are the days where an “engagement session” has to mean you dress up in stuffy clothes that you’ve never worn before, have to put on a starchy dress shirt, or walk around a manicured park in stilettos. Engagement Sessions are about capturing your love for each other before your big day, how are you supposed to focus on your love for each other if you can’t even sit down in your new blue jeans and still breathe properly!? If you feel uncomfortable, you’re going to look uncomfortable. No avoiding it.
Please, do yourselves a favor and wear the things that make you feel like YOU. If your usual outfit consists of Birkenstocks and an oversized band tee, or even just a flannel with jeans? Rock it! Now that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up, but make sure whatever you decide on is comfortable to move around in and you feel confident wearing it. My favorite recommendations outside of things you feel comfortable in are to keep it to neutral colors, simple patterns, pack multiple options, and bring extra layers & accessories to mix and match!
2. ADVENTURE > CONVENIENCE
While yes, going to the nearby park is still going to be beautiful and traveling can feel time-consuming, you are only engaged once – live it up a little! Think about some spots that are significant to you, like a lakehouse you spent your summers at or a city you took your first vacation together to! Or choose a new spot you’ve always wanted to see together that you’ve never been to but has been sitting on your travel bucket list. Nobody says you can’t make a little getaway or day out of it! Most photographers (including myself!) are always ready and excited to adventure right alongside you, so dream it up and let’s make it happen.
3. INCORPORATE THINGS MEANINGFUL TO YOU
Your dog, your other dog, and your third dog.
Jk (sorry cat people) (also not really fully kidding, please bring your dog) but incorporate something into your shoot that is important to you! Nobody says your pictures just have to be of you guys standing around in a beautiful area alone. Incorporating something you love do to together or bringing something that is meaningful to you can bring extra depth to your engagement session and make it more personal in capturing your real story together. For example, if you guys have a standing paddleboard date every Saturday, why not spend some of your session taking photos in the water with/on your paddleboards? Or if you have an old Honda Motorcycle you love to ride around on, bring it along and get some photos with your bike! Is your favorite weekend activity to just snuggle up at home and relax? Have your session done in your home! Do whatever it is that will make your photos show who you are, it will make them so much more special.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE YOURSELVES
As photographers, trust us that we TOTALLY understand that being in front of a camera can feel intimidating! All of us collectively have probably heard “but what should I do with my hands” more times than truly fathomable haha. But just as important as the ability to plan a session that’s true to yourselves is actually being yourselves! Don’t be afraid to snuggle into each other a little tighter, steal some kisses, whisper some jokes into each other’s ears, give your parter a little pinch on the butt, run your hands through their hair, things that feel true to you! These photos are meant to truly capture the way you feel about each other in such an awesome time in your lives, and they just won’t do that justice if in every photo you’re standing stiff and smiling at the camera. So even if you’re a little nervous, try your best to shake it off and just focus on being with each other!
and last but not least….
5. HIRE THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOU
Hiring a photographer for your engagement (& wedding!) photos is such an important decision. These are the photos that will be with you for the rest of your lives to tell the story of your wedding day and this great adventure together. So, make sure that you pick the right person to help tell your story! It’s so easy to get caught up in the lowest prices and number of instagram followers, but there’s no photoshopping looking uncomfortable. You want a photographer who truly values you, your wedding day, and the experience you will have working together. So make sure the photographer you hire is somebody who will go out of their way to get to know you, make sure you feel super comfortable and stress-free, have a good time with you, and who will capture your adventure authentically!
WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT! Now you can wave adios to those awkward and stiff sessions of the past and embrace a photo session that is not only true to your story but will be an awesome experience to add to your journey! Now go out and plan a kickass session, you professional models you. Happy adventuring!