February 29, 2016
In the last six years of being in business I have witnessed such a jump up in wedding client’s experience with me, simply by offering complimentary engagement sessions with every wedding package. Engagement sessions are such a small portion of the wedding experience with your photographer, but in my opinion, one of the most important elements! Besides just the fun of bay watch running through a field with the love of your life (a true bonding experience) and having additional cute and casual images of you together, it benefits you in so many other ways!
This is a time that you can use to truly bond with your photographer. As a photographer, it can help me learn what you do and don’t love about being in front of a camera. It will allow you to see how your photographer poses and directs you as a couple, but also show you what the end result will look like. For example, I direct my couples in a kind of quirky and unique way, one that may leave you feeling absolutely ridiculous. Like, this girl is definitely crazy, how could any of this look good on camera? BUT, then you receive the final images of your engagement session and realize it was all done to draw out your real and candid selves!
This way when we go into your wedding day and (sometimes) only have 20-30 minutes to capture you as a couple, I’ll know how we can get the most out of those images! Plus, after your engagement session we are bound to be bffs 😉 so it makes it easier to have me around for 8+ hours on the biggest day of your life!
With that being said, I think a lot of times couples don’t always receive the full advantage from their engagement session! I want to point out a few key things to help your engagement session mean more to you, or to help you love those casual pictures 10x more!
Professional Hair & Make-Up
While engagement sessions are the perfect time to bond with your photographer and SO, it can also be the perfect time to bond with other vendors too! Professional hair & make-up can make a world of difference in photos. You could take advantage of your hair and make-up trial for the upcoming wedding day and schedule it the same day as your engagements! OR even go out of your way to book an additional appointment specifically for your photos!
BONUS: If you are a floral freak like me, ask your florist to join in on the fun! Rock an amazing floral crown or simply just carry a bunch of cascading florals for one of your outfits!
Put Time Into Your Outfits!
This is so crucial! Whenever clients ask me what I think they should wear I always suggest something comfortable and something YOU! I am obviously a huge believer in being yourself so I think that should be the first thing to look for when picking out outfits! Comfort comes next. By comfortable, I mean a few things! You should feel beautiful, meaning if you have any insecurities or feel you can’t move around in an outfit then it just isn’t right! I want you and your partner to feel beautiful (or handsome) during your engagement session and if you are worried about how your clothes are fitting, constantly pulling them down, or only being photographed from a certain angle, then it will show in your images! I want you to be able to have fun, laugh with your love and in the end love the experience and the images!
I also put together an Engagement Style Board to offer suggestions and show what outfits look great paired together! Sometimes it can be super easy to plan your outfit, but then what will they wear to “match?” This board is a visual of all my favorites and must shoot outfit pairings!
Add Sentimental Elements
A lot of times I try and convince couples to do this with locations or items! Where was the place you had your first date? Or the place you first said I love you? Maybe, we could even shoot inside your home that you two share together like that adorable valentines lifestyle session or Taylor & JJ’s session! Were you gifted a bottle of champagne when you got engaged? What do you two do to spend time together? These are all questions you can ask yourself to get the wheels turning and get creative with your session!
Make it a Date Night
Now that you are all dressed up, the pictures are over and the sun is set, what now? Make it a date night! This is the perfect moment to celebrate each other and enjoy an evening to yourselves, especially to take a break from the stress of wedding planning. Even if it’s just to grab ice cream after, you deserve it!
I think this is the most important one of them all! In a world where our lives are plastered all over social media that it can be hard to remember this! We see this couples perfect engagement and that couples awesome style, but the truth is, you are not them!
One of my brides for this fall, Taylor, began planning her engagement session with me. I admired her most, and knew she was my kind of bride, when halfway through planning she scratched everything and said “this just isn’t us!” They switched up what was the Pinterest perfect engagement for an at home cozy, “Lazy Day of Love” kind of shoot! Taylor & JJ spend most of their time in their little cottage and took the time to realize that this was way more meaningful to them for their engagement session!
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