This brand new engagement tip blog post is looonnnng overdue! I wrote this blog post (9 Tips to a Successful Engagement Session) over six years ago and I wanted to re-vamp it and bring some new thoughts and tips to the forefront. Since the last post, I’ve been able to do so many engagement sessions and photograph some wonderful weddings. Every time I learn something new. Photography is an ever evolving industry; not only on the technical side, but also on a personal level.
You are probably here because you’ve booked an engagement session (hopefully with me!) and you are at wondering, what’s next? The following tips will help you not only have an amazing engagement session experience, you’ll take away a new sense of confidence and you’ll have create some new fun memories with your significant other!
1. Location Choice
One of the first things I educate my clients on when it comes to their engagement session is their location choice. I suggest choosing a location that has meaning to them. Is being in nature something that brings you both joy? Do you have a favourite hiking spot? Are you up for adventure and exploration? Are you looking for some gorgeous views? Is there a favourite coffee shop, bookstore, or city scape that brings meaning to you both? These are all important questions and will help in narrowing down where we should do your engagement photos. I have lots of suggestions of gorgeous photo locations as well!
2. What to Wear?!
Choosing the right clothes will help set your engagement session up for success. I always suggest wearing something that you feel comfortable in but also something that makes you feel beautiful. If you plan on doing a fair bit of walking, you may want to take along comfortable walking shoes. Then you can switch them out for your photo shoes. Most of my clients choose to wear a more formal outfit to start and then will switch up for something more comfortable and casual later in the session. Both are great choices and will help you feel amazing during your engagement session. I also have a Pinterest Board (linked here) which can help with deciding what to wear.
3. Hair & MakeUp
Along with what to wear, hair and makeup are another thing to think through when it comes to an amazing engagement session. Ladies, book an afternoon of pampering and treat yourself to hair and makeup. A lot of brides tend to book their trial runs of hair and makeup the same time that they are going to do their engagement photos. I think its a great idea! And for the guys, making an appointment to get a hair cut a week before the session would be a great way to prepare for your photoshoot.
I usually make a point of getting an up close shot of the beautiful engagement ring. To make it extra sparkly and clean, be sure to stop by your jeweller to get a fresh new polish! This will help it stand out and elevate its beauty! Another pro tip: make sure you get your nails done so when I get close and personal with that ring, your nails are nice and trim and tidy!
5. Time of Day
Choosing the right time of day for your engagement photos can make all the difference in the outcome of your images! I recommend always to start your session about an hour to hour and a half before sunset. This ensures we can get that ‘golden’ magical light that makes everything breathtaking. This is my favourite and most popular time of day to conduct photo sessions.
Most of my couples have never done a photoshoot before and often they say they are super nervous and even may say that they will be awkward in front of the camera. I help change that narrative and have implemented four easy poses that I teach each of my couples the beginning of each session. We do variations of each throughout the time spent together. I also make sure there is constant movement. I’ve learned over the years that movement helps create those natural interactions which in turn create beautiful images! At the end of the engagement session, my couples feel empowered and always have a wonderful experience!
7. Getting to Know You!
I always incorporate lots of questions, both before and during the engagement session. Questions help me get to know you better. I desire to learn what matters most to you. While I’m spending time getting to know you better, you in turn are learning what its like to work with me! I always call these sessions, trial runs for your wedding day. Engagement sessions allow me an inside view into your personalities and this helps in preparation for capturing your wedding day.
I love incorporating your fur babies into sessions. The one thing that I do suggest to all my couples is that they wait to incorporate our furry friends until we are about halfway to three quarters the way through the session. This way you have time to get comfortable and have fun and then we can incorporate them into some photos. Having someone else (either a parent or a close friend) come along to take care of your pets while we are capturing photos is also a great time and stress saver!
This is an important aspect of each engagement session! While I do gently guide you throughout our session, this part is up to you both! Be present with one another. This session is your permission slip to be as lovey dovey, crazy affectionate, and as quirky as you both want to be! I know it’s easy for me to say, ‘pretend as if I’m not there’ but in reality, that’s exactly what I want you to do. The camera (and me!) is just one extra element so don’t let that trip you up, just connect with each other as authentically as you can!
10. And Finally, Have Fun!!
This session is about capturing you together! Remember what first attracted you to one another. Was it a beautiful smile? Did you notice a twinkle in their eyes that you saw across that room? Do you love cuddling and being near to one another? Are words of kindness important to you both? Do you enjoy playing and having fun together? Let’s create a session where you both can be you…and let’s have fun!
If you are ready to plan for your engagement session and are looking for an Alberta Wedding Photographer, send me a message! I can’t wait to get to know you more and hear more about your story!
Kristin Sarah Photography is a professional wedding photographer and is located in Lethbridge, Alberta, and specializes in Wedding and Family Photography. Serving the areas of Southern Alberta, Calgary, and beyond.