Why an engagement session?
The engagement session is offered in every wedding photography package. It allows us to better know each other. So the day of your wedding, I will not be a stranger anymore. So it is quite a stress relief! Thanks to your engagement session experience, you will feel more comfortable with me and in front of the camera. You will also understand more easily what to do (and especially not to do)! So the results will be much better the day of your wedding!
Where does the engagement session take place?
Mostly outside. It has to be in a place you like and where you feel comfortable.
It is better somewhere with not too many people and with a beautiful landscape. It could be next to a lake, to a river, on a beach, next to the castle, on your granddad’s field, on the top of a mountain, on a rooftop, Twin Cities downtown. Or you can choose a more unexpected place: a ranch with horses, a street full of graffiti, a museum, an opera, etc. It will be the same for your photo session location.
When does the engagement session take place?
It could take place months before your wedding, or a few days before. There exists no rule. Nevertheless most of couples chose to do it months before in order to confirm their choice regarding the photographer.
How should we dress for the engagement session?
Here again, there exists no rule. Most of the couples are dressed with casual clothes. Of course I strongly recommend that you coordinate colors.
However, some couples want to be dressed in a more sophisticated way with beautiful and elegant dress and suite. And, some other couples use a wedding dress and a wedding suit. This last case happens quite often with Asian couples, easily allowed by the cheapest price of Chinese dresses.
Here a quick list of tips for your clothes selection:
Neutrals color works almost all the time. Neutral color start from the black to the white, with all nuance of grey in between.
Coordinate your contrast
Bright color (or bright neutral color) contrast with dark color. The gaol is that there is not a big contrast between both of you. If one is dressed 100% Black, and the other one 100% white, then it’s a big contrast.
Coordinate your colors
Color could take a lot of places! Sometimes too much. Especially flashy colors. The goal of the color is to bring a warm atmosphere, but it should not turn the attention from you. It does not mean that you should avoid colors or flashy colors! It means you should coordinate. So, if one of you wear a color, the other one should wear the same one too. You can also play with combination of 2 colors (usually with a neutral color, or with a complementary color). Example : you chose blue as your main color. Then you can add black or white, or yellow (or close).
Avoid dark tones for bad weather
A cloudy day will make the thing look like dull. So, I strongly suggest that you avoid all dark tones during bad weather, and that you prefer bright colors (like white, or pastel color).
Avoid clothes with patterns
Pattern can very quickly catch all the attention. So you may love this beautiful dress with colored birds, but avoid patterns for your photo session !
Clothes and wind
Winds blowing through a dress can be very beautiful and elegant. So if you have a long prom dress (that doesn’t look too much princess dress), please bring it. Light clothes that take the wind will create pictures with more dynamism.
Clothes define your identity
Whereas you are more traditional, more chic, more romantic, more bohemian, rockier, more rebels or more eccentric, clothes means something. So if you have clothes you really like to wear, even if it does not seem to be “engagement session clothes”, don’t be afraid to bring them. That is what will make your engagement look like who you are.
You can bring several outfits
Engagement session is not a fashion show. Nevertheless you can easily bring 2 outfits (or 3 but not more).
Heels or not hells?
The most important is that you feel comfortable in your choses. If there is some choses with heels, you want to use (with your prom dress) bring them.
Usually the man is higher than his wife (on the pictures it provides the guy a protective figure). So I you have the same size as your fiancé, wearing 10 inches high-heels is maybe not the best idea.
Clothes that fit you
That is a little bit obvious.
Chose clothes that really fit you. If you bring clothes that are too tall, or too small… we will see it on the pictures.
If you are a plump
If you have a plump body, take advantage of it, and show you curves ! Curves are beautiful ! Specially if you have some larges hips, use the contrast with your waist. And don’t be afraid to show your arms.
In other words, to hide your body with large clothes that will deserve you.
Use Your Engagement Session’s Pictures
If you do it a long time before, you can use pictures of your engagement session to design your save-the-date card. You can also use pictures to make a projection the D-Day.
Pratical question about engagement session
Do I need to make-up and go to the hairdresser?
No rule. I now strongly recommend you to go to a good hair stylist. Don’t but 1 pound of gel in your hair! Your hair have to stay smooth and natural. They need to move in the wind. I don’t want you to have a Stormtrooper hamlet on your head! 😀
The common mistake : fixe one part of your hair with gel, and have the other part of your hair moving freely.
Makeup artist and hairdresser can really change a face (for the best with a professional or the worst if you are not used too).
But here again there is no rule. You decide what you want, what you feel more comfortable with.
Most of Some experimented girls can easily do their makeup by themselves (when it’s a light and easy one). If you have a good hairdresser you love (and trust), it could be a good opportunity to go. A good idea could be to test your makeup artist and hairdresser in the morning, and keep it during the afternoon for the photo session!
The common mistake : don’t put to much make up (photography is not theater). If you have to much make up that will be even more obvious in the pictures.
If you put some fondation on your face, don’t forgent you neck.
Should we bring some accessories?
If you want, you can bring few of them, like props, to make some “funny” pictures with. It could be a good way to have fun.
But most of pictures will be more “naturals”, focused on you, with no accessory.
Here a quick list of props that could make funny pictures for your engagement session :
- Colored Smoke bombs. It will last 2 to 3 minutes. It will provide a colored and funny atmosphere.
- Sun glasses (just to pretend)
- Frame (yes the classical picture with the frame)
- A bottle of champagne and glasses to share with at the top of the mountain
- Blanket ( to keep you warm, or to set on).
- An old and amazing American car or motorcycle (that we can use as background).
- If you share an activity, something that remember this activity (ex : golf club).
We have a dog, can we bring it?
Yes. We may not do all pictures with him, but it could be funny.
Share an activity you like.
The thing I try the most to capture during engagement session is complicity. Complicity is what makes the based on which is built love : without complicity, there is no love.
My way of catching complicity is by creating a situation where it can happen. I ask you to do things, to share moments together. So if there is an activity you love to share together it could be a very good idea for your engagement photo session.
Of course all activity won’t necessarily work in pictures, but tell me and let see what we can figure.