It’s been a while since I’ve shared a blog post but I’m back this week with a new blog series!! I currently have brides in all stages of the wedding process – those who just got engaged, those who are well into the planning, and those whose wedding is just a few weeks away! So I’m starting a series about planning and preparing for your wedding at every stage. This week I’m starting with one of the first things you do when you get engaged – your engagement session! If you’re already married – these tips also work great for anniversary sessions which are such a fun way to celebrate your relationship 🙂
I include engagement sessions with my packages and I highly recommend doing an engagement session with the person who will also be photographing your wedding! Many people do an engagement session right when they get engaged with a local photographer or a friend. While those pictures are beautiful and special, the engagement session with your wedding photographer is about more than just the pictures themselves. When you do an engagement session with your wedding photographer you will not only get pictures to cherish, but you will also learn about how your photographer poses you, get comfortable in front of their camera, and get to know them more as a person. All of these things make the wedding day portraits so much more relaxed and fun! Engagement sessions are usually 1.5-2hrs and there is plenty of time to warm up and learn what poses you like best. However, on your wedding day you sometimes only have 20-30 minutes for portraits! So, even if you’ve already had some engagement portraits taken, consider doing an extra engagement session with your wedding photographer for these reasons!
Once you have your photographer, the next thing to think about is the season you want to take your pictures in. If you have a longer engagement you will have more freedom with this, but usually there is at least a 3-4 month window during which you can take your portraits. I photograph engagement sessions 1.5-2hrs before sunset to get the glowy light that my clients love! This timing will vary throughout the year – in the summer, the sun sets super late (sometimes around 8:30pm) and in the winter it can set as early as 4:30pm. Of course there are weather extremes to consider in the heat of the Texas summer and the cold winter, but the temperatures are not the only differences in the seasons! Engagement sessions in the winter typically have less greenery in them, in the fall there are usually bright orange and red colors, and in the spring and summer there are bright greens and florals. If there is a particular location or scenery that you want that could be impacted based on the time of year, this is definitely something to consider when planning the date out!
Now to the questions I get asked most often about – what to wear! For most engagement sessions, you will wear 2 outfits (maybe 3 if it’s 2 hours!). I recommend one that is dressier and one that is a bit more casual. But, I’ve noticed a trend of people dressing up a bit more for both outfits! Engagement pictures are definitely a fun reason to dress up in some nice outfits that you maybe don’t get to wear often and if you want to go dressy for both I think that’s great! For ladies, flowy dresses are usually very flattering and can make for some fun movement in photos. As a couple, you want to make sure that your outfits look good together, but you want to stay away from looking too match-y. Wearing more neutral colors makes this super easy, especially if one person is wearing a more bold color.
Once you’ve decided on the outfits, the next step is accessories! Fun accessories can add something extra to your look and bring it together. It’s also an easy way to add a pop of color if your outfits are more neutral toned. Some couples will even bring a small bouquet of flowers or a flower crown as an accessory!
My final tip for your engagement session is to relax and be comfortable! These photos are supposed to reflect you, so make sure you wear something that is comfortable and that makes you feel beautiful! Once you get to the session, it’s my job to instruct you and make sure you look and feel your best in the photos. It will probably be awkward at first but most of my couples end up warming up to the camera and by the end they realize that they actually enjoyed taking pictures!!
Below are some examples of engagement sessions I’ve done recently. These couples did a great job of following the tips I gave above and I love how their outfits work together in these photos!