I LOVE engagement sessions! They are fun, filled with laughter and they give me such an insight into the personalities of the couple as well as what the wedding day is going to be like. We encourage all of our brides to do an engagement session if they can. I tell them to think of it is a trial run, a great opportunity to get to know us a little more, see what its like to work with us and get an idea of what to expect on a wedding day.
But before learning what to expect on a wedding day, I want to talk couples through what to expect on the engagement session. We get lots of questions about engagements; How long is the session? How should we dress? What should we be doing the whole time? Will you tell us what to do? How many images will we get? How many outfits should I wear? Where is the prettiest location? And more. These are all great, and valid questions, so I wanted to devote a post on what to expect during the engagement session.
MOST IMPORTANT BIT OF INFO #1
WE SUGGEST YOU PICK AN ACTIVITY
The most common question we get is something along the lines of "We've never had photos done before or we don't really know what we are doing, so are you going to be directing us the whole time?"
We always suggest that couples come up with an activity for their engagement session; whether that is getting coffee and chatting, mini golf and pizza, ice cream and long boarding, a picnic with board games or making breakfast together it's completely up to you. We suggest you come up with a fun date idea and we document it. We still do some posed portraits, but this way you are engaging in an activity TOGETHER, your laughter and smiles will be genuine (guys, I only have so many jokes, so I can't make you laugh and smile for more than like 2 hours). Then after the fun 18 rounds of mini golf, or the 10 frames of bowing we can go and do some posed as well. That way you are getting photos that are incredibly unique to your personality and very genuine, as well as the classic, timeless posed images.
We find that this set up makes for the BEST and most natural and comfortable images for couples. If you have trouble coming up with something, let us know, we have a super fun questionnaire that you two can do together to give us an idea of what could be fun to do for an engagement session.
Idea for unique engagement sessions:
An evening at Dave & Busters
Dressing like a scene from your favorite movie
Trip to the Zoo
Carnival/Theme Park Visit
Adopting a Pet
Enjoy a Backyard Picnic
Rent Paddle Boats
Go Berry Picking
Visit a Museum
Plant a New Garden
Spend a Day in Your Favorite Book Store
MOST IMPORTANT BIT OF INFO #2
LOCATION DOES NOT MATTER/BACKGROUND DOES NOT MATTER
I would rather shoot in an alley than up on a mountain with a blown-out sky and wind. The reason is lighting is so much more important than the background. Our lenses are professional, quality lenses, so the background has a softened look to it creating a centered look on the two of you, so the background doesn't matter. Proper lighting and a comfortable setting (no wind, few people, comfortable temperatures) are more important than the location and the background.
Expect the Session to be 1-1.5 Hours, sometimes less, sometimes more.
When we arrive to an engagement session, one of the first things we do is chat and say hello and catch up a bit. We want to make sure you are comfortable, relaxed and frankly, we wanna know how you are doing before we begin. Sometimes couples are REALLY feeling it, they work it like runway models and love it, other times, they are shy and not sure what to do and you can see that in photos, so we want to know where you are at before we being.
That being said, sometimes if you are feeling great, we'll shoot for 2 hours, other times if your cheeks are burning from smiling so much, we can call it a day after an hour. It's really up to how you are feeling and what sort of images we can get in that time frame.
Wear whatever you are comfortable in (but try to match..sorta)
If you are wearing something that you don't feel SUPER fabulous in, you're not going to feel great. Wear whatever you want that makes you feel comfy (with that being said...try not to wear pajamas) and gorgeous! If couples ask if they should match, well tell them sure, match a little, meaning wear colors that complement each other, shades of green, fall colors, reds and blacks, whites and pinks, similar feels; casual or elegant, etc. If you want to color coordinate, DO! It's not nerdy (matching track suits....thats another story), complementary colors are appealing in photos, so match up some colors and styles for a flattering image.
We suggest no more than 2 outfits, anything beyond that is taking time away from shooting and simply messing up hair and makeup. If you really love three outfits, we make it work for sure, but we suggest 2.
Expect 60-80 images returned
From and hour long engagement session we usually post 60-80 images on your gallery to view. If we had to do a lot of hiking to get to the good spots, it might be less, if we got started right away and we were nonstop, it might be more.
More than anything, we just want you to LOVE you photos and enjoy taking them!