I spent a good amount of time searching my blog for an engagement prep oriented blog post. I guess I've never written one? Or I've done a bad job of tagging blog posts (which is may be more this then anything else.. Oops!). Anyway, one of the biggest to-dos during your wedding planning process is your engagement session. Often used for save the dates, I encourage couples to get this one the calendar shortly after booking. As we all know time moves quite quick (especially during wedding planning) and realizing you're only 2 months away from your wedding without having scheduled it can be frustrating.
Engagement sessions can be nerve wracking though. "What if we're awkward?" "what do we wear?" "how do we choose a location?". Those are all valid questions and are questions that I often get asked. So let's jump into all the ways you should prep for your engagement session. But I also want to include, this session is your practice run for your wedding day. It's supposed to be relaxed, love filled, and stress free. Letting yourself be fully present and simply enjoying those nose to nose snuggles (because it's totally normal to do that in a field) is something I encourage. Remaining relaxed and comfortable is a great way to get images back that feel like YOU.
01. C L O T H I N G:
This is a question that I often get. What do we wear? Simple answer. Whatever you're most comfortable in. Choosing clothing that you feel confident in helps translate that confidence to your images. If you're self-conscious of your arms, I wouldn't suggest a tank top. If you feel like a queen in dress. Rock it girl! Most couples have two outfits, one more formal and one relaxed.. BUT if you're not a formal couple, don't force formal. If your guy is a jeans and nice shirt kinda guy, don't force him into something stiff that doesn't reflect his personality.
02. L O C A T I O N:
The second most common question I get asked. How do we decide where to do our session? Will you help us? Heck yes I will. I do have a bunch of locations up my sleeve but I do also encourage couples to utilize a location that is meaningful to them. If you met downtown Madison then working around the capitol is great. If you're a rural couple who enjoys hiking and being one with nature, let's work at a state park. A location that you're emotionally invested with will give your images more emotional substance. If that makes any sense ;)
03. T H E S I G O T H E R:
So your significant other is lessthenthrilled about the photo session looming on the calendar. Working in front of a camera is simply not their thing and they're giving you a little flack about it. First off, totally normal. I think most people don't really enjoy being in front of the camera & that's okay (I know I sure don't). My biggest piece of advice here is show them a few of your favorite engagement sessions. Have them look through the images so they can get a feel that the whole session won't be stiffly smiling at the camera. You know your sig other best. Explaining expectations up front can make it way more enjoyable for them.
04. B E O N T I M E:
Chances are your session is slotted for 2 hours or so before sunset. This is the best time of day for yummy diffused light but it comes with some predicaments if you're late. As a natural light photographer, the sun is our only source of light so as soon as she sets, we're out of light. As mentioned earlier, engagement sessions are relaxed and stress free. If either party is late, that can be mega stress-inducing since we'll be pressed for time against the sun.
05. M A K E U P & H A I R:
One thing that you should consider is having your makeup trial (& even your hair) on your engagement session date. This way you can see how everything translates to photos. A tad bit heavier makeup photographs better then your daily routine. So seeing your engagement photos afterwards would give you and your makeup artist a good idea on tweaking your wedding day makeup.
06. R E L A X:
This one seems obvious but the one I want to stress the most. Unless you've had professional modeling experience, it's OKAY to not know what to do in front of a camera. Where does that hand go? Does my hair look okay? Those two questions and the million more running through your head is why I'm here. If you're focused on other things beside your significant other you'll be tense and tight. Relaxing and trusting your photographer is crucial. Also, if your your noses are together and that makes you laugh.. LAUGH. Falling into those emotions helps your images to have that candid feel everyone so loves!