How to get the best engagement photos
Engagement sessions are so much fun! Ever wonder when you should schedule them and what to wear? Read below for some helpful tips to get the best engagement photos.
I love doing engagement sessions. Here are three reasons why they rock:
1. We get to work together without the pressure and added complexity of the wedding day
2. We can practice the prompts and posing ideas for the wedding without any time constraints or an audience
3. Engagement sessions are fun! They’re all about enjoying your time together. It’s like you’re on a date, and I’m just tagging along taking some portraits. That’s how all your dates go, right?
But behind every great engagement session is a lot of planning. Here are some top tips to make your e-session successful and easy, and make sure you get the best engagement photos:
- Do you both have a location that’s meaningful to you and your relationship? Maybe where you met or had your first date, or became engaged. A little park you love to go to, or a coffee shop you frequent together on weekends. These make fantastic locations for the best engagement photos!
- Sometimes the location limits what you can do there; for instance some of my clients want to go to rocky or steep places. I’m all for it but remind them that there won’t be a way to move around safely, so if they want to get less posey and more prompted images, they should choose a spot with wide, open and flat areas.
- If you plan to bring a pet, make sure your location is pet friendly. Many town parks do not allow pets!
- As much as it stinks, think about the weather and a back-up plan. Or, schedule a rain date!
- Are you looking for an iconic, well-known place, or an off-the-beaten-path location? Do you want something edgy (like Keith and Anne Marie chose when they picked a fort with tons of graffiti everywhere) or something refined?
- Time of year matters. The beach in January? Not that great. I speak from experience!
- Talk to your photographer! At this point I’ve photographed a bajillion engagement sessions at loads of great places. I usually help my clients narrow down their ideas.
- If you want to use the images from your engagement session for your wedding website and/or save the dates, I recommend booking it at least 7-8 months out from your wedding date. That way, your images will be edited and delivered with plenty of time to use them in the planning process!
- I try to book portrait sessions 1 hour before sunset. That time changes throughout the year since the days get longer in the summer, and shorter in the winter. I always look up the sunset time on a portrait date to get an accurate time to plan the session around.
What to Wear
- Choose clothing that you feel comfortable in. I can’t stress how important this is. If you don’t love the way you feel and look, that will come across in the images. You know your body best and probably have a good handle on what styles look best on you. Go with your instinct, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a neutral opinion to help narrow down choices.
- Consider your location when choosing an outfit. For instance, if you’re doing a low-key beach engagement session, choose something you can easily move around in and is water/sand friendly.
- Bring appropriate footwear. If you’re planning on a mountain session, wear comfortable shoes and pack the heels to put on once we reach our destination.
- Coordinate. You don’t need to match, and adding complimentary colours and textures brings in a lot of visual interest to images.
- Don’t pick neon or super bright colours. They cast colour onto skin, which is really hard to remove in post processing.
- Don’t plan on more than two outfits. Many of my clients bring something elegant, and then a more low-key outfit.
- Choose classic over trendy. The most stylish new looks tend to be short lived trends, but the tried and true classic looks will never go out of style. Clothing can really date images so I recommend choosing timeless styles.
If you’ve already chosen a hair and/or makeup artist, consider planning your hair and makeup trial for the day of the engagement session. That way, you’ll get a chance to try out your look in action at your engagement session.