What do you get when you add the two of you with me? FUN! As cheesy and corny as it sounds, the number one comment I receive after a session is “I had so much FUN today!” Awww! The Engagement Session (what I like to call a Love Session) combines all of your favorites — your favorite location, your favorite outfits, and your favorite person — what’s not to love? I can pretty much guarantee a Love (Engagement) Session with me will be among your favorite days of the engagement period. Factor that in along with buckets full of great couple pics and this shoot becomes a must-have for any to-be-wed.
When to Schedule an Engagement Photography Session
Engagement photography sessions are scheduled prior to the big day — offering us all the opportunity to work together and do the get-to-know-you stuff out in a real, live shoot. For the nervous nellies out there, stepping in front of the camera can be a daunting task, so this is a nice way to baby step into the wedding day photography. And for the rest of you who just can’t get enough of having your picture taken (you know who you are) sessions offer a legitimate way to get the fiance in front of a lens again. The great photos taken at your engagement session will undoubtedly wind up all over the place — on your save the date cards, your wedding website, your ceremony programs, a reception slideshow, your sign-in table, the local newspapers, and even at the rehearsal dinner in the form of a gift to your new mom & dad. I would book about 6 weeks out from your specific date, as dates book up quickly – especially for dates between August and September for those holiday cards!
Typically, outdoor locations with colorful, urban, and country settings make for ideal engagement photos. This means I travel to you…or to somewhere in the middle! If out of town travel is needed, I try to fit your session request into the schedule for an engagement shoot in YOUR hometown.
As far as places to shoot — I’ve done everything from urban areas to open fields. Popular choices everywhere include parks, gardens, beaches, and more urban downtown areas. Whatever the location is, I always encourage my clients to make it personal whenever possible … if the location is special to you in someway, so much the better. Every so often we are able to include the site of the proposal in our shoot — making for a sentimental favorite everytime.
Time of Day
Assuming it’s a sunny day, it’s best to shoot either really early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening as the sun sets. This gives the gorgeous golden lighting that I probably talk about too much. That said, don’t vary too much from your typical schedule. (Read: Never interrupt naptime!) Don’t worry if your session happens to be on an overcast day – sometimes that makes the most beautiful diffused lighting. It’s soft and doesn’t create harsh shadows. And it makes your skin looks gorgeous!
What to Wear
I want you to wear what YOU think you should wear! I want you two lovebirds to express yourselves. For some clients, this might mean a dress & heels for the bride or a suit & tie for the groom… for others this means those favorite ripped up jeans and tshirt. Whatever you decide on, it’ll work…because it’s you.
Some general guidelines — wear something comfortable. We do a good bit of moving — sitting, standing, hugging, kissing, to name a few. You’ll want to stay flexible — wear something you are comfortable showing from all angles. Sometimes, our couples need two different outfits to get the job done. That’s OK too! Pick something you love – or even a few somethings — that you are comfortable and confident wearing, and the rest will fall into place!
That’s really what the engagement session is all about — finding a way to ease the initial awkwardness of being photographed. I help you work through the nerves and get to ‘the good stuff’ right off the bat and by the end, I promise to leave you looking forward to the next time.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s more to it than just looking suave for the camera. There is a global sense of relaxation and confidence that stems from the Love Session as well; Families really feel at ease when they see a set of stunning images of the two of you BEFORE the wedding day. When moms & dads have confidence that things are in good hands, EVERYBODY tends to relax & trust the process.
And of course there is a direct benefit when it comes to couple shots on the wedding day — once you’ve been through an engagement session with me, you’ll have a really good sense of how I operate. This simple understanding can be critical when the light is fading from the evening sky, and you guys are chomping at the bit to get to your reception.
Other Things to Consider Bringing Along
Please feel free to bring any special props that you want to include that have meaning for for the two of you. We will try to incorporate them into the picture!
What to Expect During the Session
Upon my arrival, I would find the best photographing spots and the best lights.
Please note that during the session, there may be several clothes change, and that we would try out various poses (thus, please expect some changing outdoors if we’re in a field).
What Expect After the Session
In a couple of days, I will send you around two photos as a quick preview and would share some on my blog. Then, we would spend roughly two weeks time to carefully select and post-process the photos from the session. An online private gallery will be send to you for your preview and selection for your session package prints, photos or additional order. Upon receiving your order, it would take roughly 2 weeks to have your session prints and digital images ready. For custom items such as gallery canvas, custom framing, or albums, it may take 3-8 weeks (depend on the ordered item).
Thank you for allowing me to be a guest capturing your love story! I look forward to meeting the both of you!
Check out my latest Kansas City Family Photography sessions here.