How you can Prepare for your Engagement Photography Session

You just got popped the big question (or perhaps you're the one who asked) and now your adrenaline and excitement are pushing you to look at everything wedding and engagement related.  So when it comes to getting an engagement photography session, you have some homework to do!  First, you need to figure out when you want to do it.  Do you want to do it the same time of year as your wedding, or are you wanting to do them in opposite seasons?  

Whether you are getting your engagements done first thing after the big announcement, or getting them in the middle of the planning process by your wedding day photographer, engagement sessions have their own obstacles and stressful nuances to deal with. So we've done some thinking and some asking around, and we've come up with some helpful information that can ease the worry and stress of having a fantastic engagement photography session!  

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1. In Such Apparel

This could be a fun time to play dress up... just saying!

When it comes to outfits, most couples will go with two; one being casual and one being dressy.  It is best to try to coordinate your outfits instead of actually matching (Hey if that's your thing though, go for it!).  You can visit Pinterest for some outfit inspiration, but remember to think about your location and how it will relate to your outfits (your photographer should be able to help with this). The groom should avoid wearing things with writing unless it is purposeful or an inside joke between the two of you.  

Certain accessories can enhance the photography as well. Bold jewelry, bright colored shoes, a nice watch, scarf, etc. No matter your outfits of choice, you should make sure you look great and are comfortable enough to make it through the session!

 

2. What Did You Expect?

Luck favors the prepared!

It is always better to come into a session of any type prepared.  You should spend some time talking with your photographer about how the shoot will go.  Locations, outfits, timing, shot style, etc. should all be talked over and worked out before you arrive.  While most professional and seasoned photographers can come into a session blind and still manage a great shoot, knowing what you and your photographer are expecting to happen and being on the same page makes for a much more enjoyable and relaxing shoot.

 

3. Ready the Groom!

 Yes, he does have to come! Yes, he does have to wear that! And yes, he does have to show a little PDA! 

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It is very common for the guys to be a little less "enthusiastic" about getting their picture taken, but alas, it's that time!  So pay very close attention brides, because you know your man better than anyone else, and chances are he needs your help! Prep him by first explaining why you want and need the engagement session (we are assuming at this point you do actually want one).  Let him see and feel your excitement about it; that should help start easing him into it.  Fill him in on what's going to take place. Make sure he knows what is expected of him and show him a few engagement photos from your photographer to help him get an idea of what you are looking for from him.  Do you want him to be sweet and romantic, sexy and suave, funny and lighthearted, a mix of all of the above?  Fill him in ladies! The more he knows, the less eye-rolling you'll get during the session!

We have never had real complaints from our guys, and most of them say it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought and that they even had a great time...  But, if guys were aware of what was going to happen, it might not take the photographer as long to get them comfortable during the shoot! 

 

4. Leave It To The Pros!

I'm not a photographer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

Your photographer is not expecting both of you to come in and be models, so relax!  Everyone wants to look their best and have great pictures, but remember it's the professional's job to make that happen.  For most couples, it takes about 20 minutes to really warm up and be themselves in front of the camera, so don't fret if you aren't feeling super fluid with each other right from the get go.  A good photographer will get you loosened up and cozy pretty quickly... So try not to be too nervous going into it; you'll do just fine!

 

5. All Dolled Up!

Just 5 more minutes babe, I promise I'm almost done!

Some brides like to do a trial run of their hair and makeup for their engagement session, however if you are also doing a bridal, I would suggest doing something different. But either way this is a great excuse... I mean, opportunity, to get your hair done and get some new makeup to try! (Treat Yo'Self!) The goal though is to not go too overboard or do something that is not in keeping with the theme. You can always go the simple route with makeup; foundation, a little blush, mascara and lip gloss, and maybe just a touch of neutral eyeshadow. But if you're not makeup savvy, you can either venture to a makeup counter in your nearest mall or have your wedding day MUA create a soft look for your engagement pictures. 

 

6. Where to, Miss?

Location Location Location; it's all about the real estate!

This will depend greatly on where you live unless you plan on traveling to do your engagement session.  Here in Pensacola on the Gulf Coast, we get a lot of people who want one of their stops to be the beach... but that's obviously going to be different if you live elsewhere, like near the mountains or something along those lines. You'll also want to think about what time of year you want your pictures done, as certain locations/facilities only open or may close during specific times throughout the year. A lot of times couples want to shoot at a place that's special to them; maybe it's where they met or had their first date.  If that's something you want to do, just keep in mind that while it may be nostalgic for you guys, depending on the location it may or may not make for the prettiest pictures.  

 

Some extra spicy little tidbits... a bonus if you will!

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Be on time!  That should speak for itself; if only to keep you and your significant other from feeling rushed and stressed out before you even get there.

Don't overthink the session.  Don't try to plan and envision the whole thing, just think about where you want to go and what you want to wear, and let the creativity of the photographer guide the rest. That's what you hired them for!! 

Don't be afraid to say YES... And NO!  Yes, we would love to sneak over behind that closed off area for some awesome shots... No, we don't want to hold out fingers in the shape of a heart in front of our faces.  It's your session!