So you got engaged! Yay! Congratulations!!! Now what? It’s time to start planning your perfect wedding! Along with finding a venue and hiring vendors, scheduling your engagement session should be one of your top priorities. Most of my clients use their engagement photos for their save the date announcements and wedding website. It is so important to get your engagement photo session scheduled as soon as possible.
As a wedding photographer, I love engagement photos because it gives me an opportunity to get to know you guys so you’ll be more comfortable on your wedding day. You’ll know what to expect and can count on a great experience and photos that you will cherish forever!
I’ve decided to write this blog to help couples prepare for their engagement photo session from a photographer’s perspective. It will not cover every detail but hopefully, you will find my advice helpful! Here we go!:)
1. Decide on the location of your engagement session
Location, location! So many options to choose from! As a photographer in North Carolina, the sky is the limit! We have mountains, lakes, trees, the ocean, and everything in between!!! Raleigh, NC has so many great locations for engagement sessions including an abundance of local parks for your dream outdoor photo session!
I recommend scheduling your session around the golden hour, which is 1-2 hours prior to sunset. Some couples like the city feel, some couples love nature, and some love the comfort of their own home for a more casual, lifestyle engagement session. It is a personal preference and it is okay to ask your photographer for ideas too! I have a bunch of my favorite locations that I adore around RTP and I am sure most photographers do as well!
2. Choose your outfits
When it comes to choosing what you are going to wear, you should think comfortable but classy! I love it when the bride-to-be wears a flowy dress for her engagement session! I think it is flattering and photographs so well! For grooms-to-be, a button-up shirt and jeans with nice shoes would be my favorite choice. A blazer is optional. I often ask my clients if they need help choosing their outfits or if they have any questions regarding wardrobe choices.
I generally suggest choosing neutral tones and pastels and avoiding logos and too many patterns. If you are wearing a pattern, make sure your partner wears a solid color. Another piece of advice I give is to choose a color scheme and go from there. Pinterest is amazing for looking for ideas on what to wear for your photo session. Adding accessories like a hat, scarf, bracelets, etc. to your outfit is a great choice because it adds visual interest to the look you’re going for.
Choosing your outfits, you should also keep in mind where your session will take place and what vision you have for your session. Not every outfit will go with every location. Regardless of what outfit you choose make sure you try it on ahead of time to ensure it fits well and you feel good in it. Also, make sure you iron or steam your outfits. As a photographer, when I see clients wearing clothes that need ironing I want to cry! If you want to look like million dollars without spending that kind of money Rent The Runway is a great way to go!
3. Experiment with props
If you love props, make sure to bring them to your session. I’ve had couples bring wooden letters with their initials, Mr&Mrs signs, custom wine bottles, signs with the wedding date (for save the date cards of course!), balloons, bikes, musical instruments, etc. Etsy has so many great ideas to explore while wedding planning! I love it when couples bring their dogs to the engagement session! I find it so sweet and even though some of the pups do not want to cooperate during the photo session I still love photographing them!
4. Pamper yourself
Planning and preparing for your session so you look and feel your best is the key to great engagement photos. Getting your hair and make-up done for your session is a great confidence booster and will make it easier for you to get ready. Also, most make-up artists recommend a trial before the wedding day anyway, so an engagement session is a perfect occasion! Also, make sure you get your nails done since that beautiful engagement ring will definitely get some attention during your engagement photos! In addition to these, it is very important to stay hydrated so your skin looks great and to get a good sleep before the session.
5. Communicate with your photographer about your vision for the photo session
If you are planning something unique, make sure to get your photographer involved. She/He might have some ideas that are helpful or might see obstacles you missed. I always like to know what my clients are planning to bring. I get excited too!;) It is very popular to make your wedding and engagement uniquely you, so many brides and grooms to be like to use personal touches in their photos. If you are a fireman, a photo in front of your truck is a great idea! If you are a musician – yes play and sing to your other half during the engagement session! If you’ve met working at a movie theater, let’s see if we can do your engagement photos there. Do you have a vintage car – yes, please! Sky is the limit and I love it when my clients get creative and put time and thought into planning their engagement session!
6. Make a day out of it!
Getting ready for a photo session takes time and it is not good to feel rushed, so if you can, plan your session on a weekend and make it the only thing you do that day! Take your time to prepare and make sure not to be late! After the session makes a reservation for a date night with your loved one!!! Doesn’t it sound like a perfect day?!
I hope you found this blog post helpful and feel a bit more prepared for your engagement photo session! The bottom line is if you’d like to have memorable engagement (and wedding!) photos hire a photographer that you trust will take great photos of you and will provide a great experience doing so! Brides.com has a great article with engagement photo ideas, check it out here! Or check out the engagement photos I’ve taken here.
Ready to get inspired for your wedding photography session, check out this beautiful wedding in the Napa Valley winery.