I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
February 9, 2019
I get a lot of questions before my couples go into their engagement sessions, such as outfit choices, location ideas, nerves on how to pose, etc. Read below some helpful tips to get ready for your engagement session!
The most asked question about engagement sessions usually involves outfit choices. What style? What color? What do we avoid? I suggest my couples bring at least two outfits. Maybe one is more casual, maybe one more formal, maybe one more comfy, or maybe one more eclectic. Up to you! The ultimate rule for outfit choices would be that it must be something you are comfortable in, and feels like YOU. Being fashion forward is always key, but it must be something you feel right in. I would try to avoid busy patterns. I personally prefer solid colors, but then again, rules are meant to be broken! It’s best if you are coordinating with your partner. You want to agree on a theme and stick to it! Such as sticking to neutral colors, instead of one person wearing vibrant patterns and the other wearing earth tones! To decide on what route you want to go with your outfits, consider your location backdrop. Will we be shooting in the woods? (Earth tones?) Will we be in the desert? (Maybe a pop of color to stand out?) Or downtown at a bar? (Maybe not go with the long flowy dress for that one? Something more casual instead?) Another thing to think about would be hair and makeup! Engagement sessions are a GREAT time to try out your trial run for your wedding makeup and meet your wedding day hair and makeup team. Especially if we are shooting in harsh conditions such as sun and wind, professional makeup will be key!
2. Location! Location! Location!
Choosing a location is actually a huge part of the engagement photo session process! If your love and relationship evolved in the city where we will be shooting, its always fun to start at a spot that means something to you. Whether it be a coffee shop, a bar, or a park; the more meaning it has to you, the more sentimental! If you are unsure of what kind of location you want, I usually ask my clients what sort of “vibe” they may be going for. Urban? Woodsy? Beach? Desert? Coffee Shop? Once I know your aesthetic, I may actually have some of my favorite spots in mind! I do a lot of location scouting, always searching for that yummy golden sunset light. A good photo spot depends on many factors, so just let me know what you have in mind and I’ll tell you if I know of any great spots that fit your criteria. Or we could always go searching for a new fun spot!
3. “But we aren’t professional models!” How to pose.
Ironically, I *love* when I hear from clients that they are “awkward” in front of the camera! I find that these couples end up laughing at themselves the most during the shoot, because of how “awkward” they feel. Genuine laughs make for a great photo op! I always tell clients that the first 10 mins or so of the shoot may seem like a “warm up” and you may feel a bit stiff. That is TOTALLY normal and expected, but by the end of the shoot we will be running and rolling around laughing and having a great time! We definitely loosen up together.
I also tell my couples that it is MY job to pose you, so no need to worry! Since I am aware that not everyone is a professional model, they may not know what poses to do. I give all of my couples prompts and poses. I like to call them “posed actions”, because I give you direction with different actions such as pulling your partner in close and putting their hair behind their ear before going in for a forehead kiss. These actions really loosen up the couple and gives them something to do rather than “trying” to look pretty for the camera. And if something isn’t working, we move on to the next thing! I try to get lots of variation between soft, sweet and romantic poses, to fun and silly actions!
4. When is the best time to do an engagement shoot?
The timing of your shoot may depend on a few factors. If you plan on using these images for your Save the Dates, then definitely take that into factor that you will need some time to get the photos back (2-3 weeks) before you can actually order the invites. Save the dates can go out anywhere from 5-8 months before the event. So schedule your engagement shoot accordingly!
Seasons and weather may be another factor to scheduling your shoot. Living in Southern California, we have “May gray” and “June Gloom” with over cast skies that time of year, (which can also be a great mood to shoot in!), as well as more rain in the winter months. Just some things to think about! Also, if your location is a touristy spot, it might be helpful to pick off-season dates, or even a mid-week day! I find that Mondays and Tuesdays usually have less people in parks and beaches.
5. Make it personal and unique to you!
Remember that this is YOUR session and we are focusing on your unique relationship! Why not bring in a bit of yourselves to the shoot? I love when couples bring their dogs to their shoots. Or if you both loves breweries, lets start at one! Or if you both skateboard, why not incorporate that into the day? There are no limits! And no idea is too out there. I think the more personal you can make the shoot, the better.
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