How to plan the perfect engagement session!

Engagement season is upon us!

Lately, you may have noticed lots of bling and excitement  in your news feeds. It’s because its that time of year again; engagement season! Over Christmas, New Years Eve, and Valentines Day lots of couples get engaged and start the wedding planning process. One of the many items to plan is the engagement session. So lets talk about engagement pictures!

What is an engagement session?

An engagement photo session is a portrait session with you and your soon-to-be significant other that is done prior to the wedding day. So, why do so many couples do them?

Here are a few reasons I often hear from clients:

-We have never had professional pictures and want to ‘practice’ before our wedding day.

-We need pictures of us for our save-the-dates and wedding website.

-We want to use our engagement pictures to ‘officially’ announce our engagement on social media.

-We want to make sure we work well with our photographer.

-We just want an excuse to have pretty pictures made.

These are all great reasons and I couldn’t agree more (especially testing out your photographer and practicing poses before the wedding day). You definitely wouldn’t wait to try on your wedding dress (for the first time) on your wedding day, would you?!?! So why would taking pictures be any different? Especially since the pictures will be one of the main ways you reminisce about the wedding day, years from now.

Things to think about while planning your engagement session!

Personally, I love when couples incorporate parts of their lifestyle or interests into their engagement session. Whether its hobbies, your career, traveling, other shared interests, your fur babies, or really anything that makes you who you are … the possibilities are endless!

I usually encourage couples to start with a main idea (such as your favorite city or maybe your favorite thing to do as a couple) and then plan the session around that main idea. Pre-visualize and think about what you want the final images to look like (are you and your fiance on a mountain overlooking a city, enjoying a glass of wine at your favorite restaurant, are you kayaking down a river… what do you want the final images to look like?). Once we have determined & discussed this, we can get to work planning it out!

Other details about the session:

-I encourage couples to bring three outfits that range in color, style, and dressy-ness (for variety). Also, feel free to bring any props that you may want to use (a nice blanket or quilt is wonderful to have for seated poses especially if the item has sentimental value). Also, comfortable shoes to walk in is a must!

-Picking outfits out can be stressful! A good rule of thumb, is to pick outfits that make you feel confident and that will hold up over time (you can’t go wrong with classic colors and patterns). Here are some examples!

-The background/location will likely make the biggest visual impact on your pictures. So picking a location that fits the look/style of what you want the images to look like, is key! Also keep in mind that destination engagement sessions can give you a totally different look (and they are super fun)!

-Typically I block off 2-3 hours for engagement sessions (one hour of shooting and 1-2  hours for changing outfits, changing locations, and etc…).

-Engagement galleries typically have 75-100 final edited images. And the images take around 2 weeks to be edited (so make sure to factor this in if there is a specific time you need the images by).

Want to see more examples or learn more about planning a great engagement session? Check out our FAQ or email us with any questions you may have!

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