YAY! You are engaged and you’ve booked your photographer (or at least you are planning an engagement portrait session). Congratulations!!! For a lot of couples the engagement session is the first couples portrait session they have done. What do we wear? Where do we do pictures? What should we expect?
Engagement Sessions are some of my favorite sessions! So, I thought I would share some tips on how to prep for yours in the hopes that you have a blast!
1. Pick a Photographer
Some photographers offer engagement shoots as part of their wedding packages (casually raises hand). Other couples would rather not commit to the whole enchilada and treat the engagement session as a way to feel out a photographer. Or maybe you want to do a destination session and you need to find someone local to that area. No matter what, you need someone with a camera and who can share your vision or has their own vision you love!
2. Pick a location.
I offer suggestions to my clients for locations. Photographers know about permits, remote spots and where the light will be good for your session no matter the time of day or year. I ask my clients what type of “feeling” they want. Do you want to be itty bitty with the landscape as the big wow or do you want this session to be all about your connection? What backdrop do you want? Urban? Mountains? Rural? Fun? Eclectic? From there, I can offer suggestions for a few awesome spots. I really like spots where we can get a couple of different looks in one space. Sure, you can have a full session in a 10×10 space, but do you want to spend an hour like that?
3. Wardrobe time!
What do people wear for engagement sessions? Seriously, I’ve had couples in suits and cocktail attire and others in jeans and tshirts. Think of it as a way to introduce the world to you as a couple, as a unit. What are you hoping to portray with that image?
I suggest that women wear gowns with a bit of flow to them if they are looking for a more formal or bohemian vibe. As your photographer, I have a client closet that I open up and can also help you rent some gorgeous pieces for your session. Men almost universally look good in dark blue jeans or slacks (I kind of hate how easy it is for them). Just be aware of it. If you feel like the pants are too tight or bulging a bit, the camera doesn’t hide that. Same with skirts that are on the short side. These sessions often include different positions and activities. Being worried about your clothing might make it a bit harder for you to enjoy and I want you to be having fun because your pictures will show that!.
4. Don’t forget the ring.
This seems like a no brainer, but plenty of couples forget their engagement ring on the day of their session. So, set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget it.
5. Have clean nails.
You will be showing off your ring, and I work hard to capture detail shots (such as the way you hold hands). Clean nails, even if they aren’t painted, will make you feel a bit happier with the end result!
Props are a ton of fun for sessions. I’ve had couples bring signs, balloons, blankets and champagne and more. We can incorporate whatever is
meaningful to you into your engagement session. Also, champagne helps some people with their nerves while also being a super cute way to display the engagement ring.
7. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time.
When my clients are on time to these sessions, they are typically way more relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you will be able to enjoy the session which leads me to the next tip…
8. Treat your Engagement Session like a date.
What do I mean? Get excited about it, take the extra five minutes to primp and be ready to really fall in love with your fiance’ all over again. This session is about you, your love, your relationship. Plan dinner afterwards, or at least coffee. You won’t regret it!
9. Get to know your photographer.
For my clients and I, the engagement session is where we get to know each other. I share bits about my love story and I want to hear about theirs. This is our opportunity to get comfortable with each other before I follow them around all day with a camera. Lean in and really have fun with them!
10. Have fun!
Going back to treating this like a date. I want my clients to have fun. I want them to play, joke around and really be themselves for their engagement session. You guys fell in love with each other and I want to see the expressions that make your heart melt. I know how to get us there, but I want you to have fun. Even if you don’t like portraits or you feel self conscious… Tell me going in but be prepared for me to let you know I have never had a client say that and not get amazing images. Your engagement session is an important part of your love story and I can’t wait to photograph it.
Mary Elizabeth Fabian is a photographer and owner of MAJECK. Her focus is on telling stories and capturing emotions that highlight moments in time. To book her for your engagement session or wedding click here.