10 Ways to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

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!

6. Props.

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.

That ring though!

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!

Your engagement session should be fun!

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.

Let’s #createMAJECK!

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.

C&J

Boho wedding portrait at Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Styled Elopement

Corinne and Jeremie met in high school and have been sweethearts ever since. Jeremy is a Marine Vet and Corinne is Active Duty Army. They reached out to me because they had eloped with no wedding pictures and she wanted beautiful images for them to have to cherish. By the time Corinne found me, they had already been married for 18 months and had two little ones at home. It was important to her to have images of their love to display and have their children look at whenever they wanted.

Corinne chose an inclusive package – the dress, flowers, location planning and all portraits were

Showing off her dress!

included.  I helped her plan every detail for her boho wedding portrait dreams to come to life. This is one of my favorite aspects of being a photographer, being able to hear a vision from a client and help create it.

When we first discussed their session, they told me that they would be moving soon and really wanted to capture Garden of the Gods as part of their journey together. With the location chosen, it was time to pick a dress. I have a client closet with dresses always available as well as the ability to rent high end gowns and boho lace dreams at multiple sizes and price points, when a client has a dream, I try to make it a reality. When we met for their session, I helped Corinne get dressed and perfect all the little details, including the flower crown for her hair. This is where she told me that she was now 8 weeks pregnant with baby number 3. This session was such a wonderful celebration for them!

We spent two hours together across three locations and I was impressed with the ease of their relationship and Jeremie’s desire to make his wife happy. He wasn’t really into public displays of affection or pictures in general but knew that this was important to her, so he was happy to do it. Being able to capture the loving way he guided her when she went without glasses for her portraits and the way he caressed her hand as they sat together made me feel like I was watching a Nicholas Sparks film in front of my eyes. Love like that exists and it was easy to tell how connected they are as a couple.

The day of this session had been massively stormy and Corinne was terrified that she wasn’t going to get her pretty sunset she had dreamed up. But the clouds cleared just in time and it ended up being one of the most beautiful Colorado sunsets I have witnessed all summer. As they watched the sunset, we finished our portraits and parted ways.

An Epic Colorado Sunset

I love to plan sessions like this and capture the intimate moments between couples. Because of this, I have set my rates and created payment plans to make sessions like this affordable for couples who want to elope or didn’t get professional pictures of their wedding. If you would like to learn more about my elopement packages or working with me in general, contact me here to start the conversation. I would love to hear your vision and give a little insight to help make your session one to fall in love with and your portraits something you cherish for the rest of your lives together.

Special Thanks to Samantha Jessup for assisting me with this post.

Smile!

Imagine meeting someone new and scary for the first time and then being told you need to smile for them. This person is up in your face with a big camera and you have never met them before in your life. Mom looks a little anxious and isn’t holding you – so you are worried because let’s be honest mom needs to be closer. I imagine this is what our kids deal with when they have photographs done with a new photographer.

It’s awkward for us as adults, but for kiddos it might be down right scary. My job is to help them overcome that fear and have fun! As a mom, I have some experience in this department. I’m constantly chasing my kids and capturing magical moments in my free time. This isn’t because it is my job, it is because it is my passion. I am daily working on improving my skills because I want to offer the best possible results for clients. Kids can tell that I like them and even after a quick twenty minute Mini session, I have them coming out of their shell.

Miss Lina was the shy and not so sure about this strange lady type. So, I set out to have fun with her on her 2nd birthday photo shoot. It was incredible to see her go from the typical coy and unsure smile of a toddler searching for her mama to a bright eyed smiling beauty! So, don’t worry too much if you have a kiddo who doesn’t love to smile. Either I will help them out of their shell or we will get memorable photographs of them discovering the world around them.


Welcome to Baby G-M

I recently got to photograph a lovely family who recently moved back to Colorado. Mom and Dad are expecting their second and their little guy was a bit camera shy. It was okay and he warmed up by the end!

Meanwhile, we got some beautiful shots of this growing family in just twenty minutes! That’s right – a mini session is enough to get 5-10 great shots of your family if you are on a budget or short on time. My maternity sessions are meant to be affordable… I was a young mom without a lot of spare cash with my first two children and it wasn’t until I had my third that we photographed that incredible period of our life together. For $40 you can have a twenty minute session with 5-10 edited images returned, so contact me today!

Enjoy these sneaks! (My personal favorite is definitely Big Brother holding Mom & Dad’s hands taking a look back!)


Events

Do you photography parties and other events? I get asked this question quite a bit. You spend a lot of time planning your baby’s birthday or graduation party and you don’t want to worry about getting good photographs of the set up and cake smash!

I totally get this, which is why I absolutely will work with you to photograph your event! KJ recently turned one and his grandma wanted to be sure that the family had great photos of the smash on his birthday! Mom spend lots of time working on the decorations and theme – “One I Am” and it was a Dr. Seuss Masterpiece!

The smash cake was INCREDIBLE! The decorations and attention to details spoke for themselves and this little guy had a blast! So, yes, I do events. Message me today to talk about your needs and my rates!