The Experience | Engagement Sessions
After every. single. meeting. with future brides, I go home squealing and so, SO excited for the next time I get to see them: the engagement session! I'm a pretty big believer that the same person should do both your wedding and engagement photos, and I don't normally do one without the other.
Two reasons why:
1. There is a cohesive look between your engagement and wedding photos.
It's really nice that all the professional photos from this period of your life look like they belong together. It looks better on your wall/in your guestbook/on save the dates/etc.
2. They're the key to ultimately getting great wedding images.
It's super important to know the person you're going to be with constantly on one of the most important days of your life! I want to get to know you BEFORE your wedding, and the engagement session is a fantastic excuse to hang out and get to know each other. If you do this session with another photographer (or don't do it at all!) you miss out on building this relationship… which is a bummer.
Since I think this is so, SO important, I include a complimentary engagement session with every single wedding I shoot. (And also because I like you.)
Here's a few things to expect:
1. I love for my clients to choose their own locations.
I could do this for you, but I feel like the images are MUCH more special if they're taken somewhere that means a lot to you and matches your style (for example, if you're a city girl and love the urban look, going to the lake would be silly)! If you can't think of anywhere, that's okay - I'm totally willing to make suggestions and help you find somewhere you'll love!
When you're deciding where you'd like to go, think about what do you like to do together. Let's go somewhere you can do an activity you both enjoy! Seriously. These types of photos are my FAVORITE. If you love playing video games and cooking together, I'll come over and we can do that! My goal is to show who you are as a couple, not necessarily get the best image of you holding each other and smiling at the camera with pretty scenery behind you. (though we may do that too! :) Be as creative and "you" as you possibly can - no idea is too silly! For real. I'm pretty adventurous. Some ideas: A picnic. Playing on the beach and building sandcastles. Picking fruit or flowers. Playing in the snow. Going fishing. Flying a kite. Going to a restaurant or coffee shop. (maybe even the place you went for your first date!)
2. I usually schedule engagement sessions for two hours before sunset or sunrise.
The light is prettiest then, the weather is nicer (especially in the summer!), and it allows us to do some fun flash photography stuff that we typically don't have time for or can't do at the wedding.
3. Feel free to bring a change of clothes.
Most people will bring a casual outfit and a more dressy one to change into halfway through. This is great, and allows for you to have two different 'looks' to choose from. A few words of wisdom: make sure you pay attention to your patterns! It usually looks best when one of you wears a pattern (think plaid or floral) that the other person wears a solid color. It's also great when your outfits are coordinated, but not match-y. Also, please stay away from wording or images on your clothes….. and feel free to wear suspenders if you're so inclined. I'm all about suspenders.
4. I'm SUPER laid back.
I tend to take my cues from how the two of you interact. With some people, I'll give very specific instructions on how to pose and where to look, and with others, I'll just suggest something to do together and shoot you as you naturally interact. I understand that people are different and need different things to feel comfortable. Ultimately I'm just trying to accomplish #5….
5. I love natural looking images of couples just being together and loving each other.
This is what I'm aiming for, and why I give you so much freedom to interact naturally. It just looks better. Trust me.
I totally get that you're not a model and the idea of having someone photograph you is fairly terrifying (or at least it was for me!), so the engagement session sort of acts like a trial run of your wedding day... without all of the pressure. After the engagement session, you're pretty much a pro at all of the posing stuff, so when I show up to the bridal suite the morning of your wedding and pull out my camera, it's not awkward. We're already friends, you're confident that I'm going to make you look good, and it's MUCH easier to get natural and genuine images throughout the day! [/expand]