Hey there Ladies and Gentlemen!!
Let's talk about Engagement Sessions! As a wedding photographer I get asked a lot of the same questions pre-engagement session and I have vowed to sit down and write all the ins and outs for couples down. What do we wear? How many outfits? How many images will we get back? All of these are legitimate concerns however I would dare say they are some of the smaller issues to tackle when it comes to the making of a great engagement session.
To me there are some vital key ingredients for making a session awesome! Not matching clothing is certainly high on the list but there are plenty more higher. First off, I tell my people to wear what they are MOST comfortable in! For one, most people don't like being photographed but then to be photographed while you are wearing the most uncomfortable clothing just takes it to a whole new level. So first off, get cozy!!! Like find what you feel absolutely awesome in and wear that! And just make sure it "blends" well with your partners choice of clothing. Again, no matching, just blending. Say it with me now, "no matching, just blending". Perfect-o!
I heard once a quote by a football player or something that if you look good you feel good and if you feel good, you sell good. Maybe he wasn't a football player. Maybe he sold stuff but the point is, the better you feel, the better you will show up to the occasion. So focus on that!
So my next point is probably my most repeated request, "me and my soon to be aren't photogenic people at all. Will we be able to get good pictures?" And to this I say, "if you come ready to flirt and have a fun time, we will make all the pretty pictures your heart can desire. See, I absolutely 100% have a job to do and that job entails making you guys look fabulous!! BUT your job is to show up and be ready to engage, interact and have fun. I have had the opposite on every range of the spectrum-- the fiancé is ready to go watch the football game, the could isn't PDA kind PDA kind of people, on and on the list can go.
So if I had a word of advice it would be to relax and make the most of your hour long session with your favorite person on Earth- your soon to be spouse! If you can come into the session with this outlook then I guarantee you will be able to see a beautiful gallery on the other end of that engagement session. Have fun, do things that you normally wouldn't, make the most of your time and invest in these memories that will forever be yours.
Another piece of practical advice I always give is, 'what's signature to you guys as a couple"... this question is one rarely thought of but to me is one of the MOST important for crafting an awesome session. Do you guys love the outdoors? Do you guys have a favorite activity you do together on the weekends? A favorite spot y'all go to enjoy? Once they start thinking of this, we are getting somewhere.
I want couples to feel their best and that means doing the things they love. I mean who is already NOT loving being in front of the camera? Lots of people!! So why make it more difficult by doing things that are foreign to you and being places that mean nothing to you.
For instance, I have some couples that love playing video games together. So what did I tell them? I asked them to bring their game players and we would incorporate that into the session. They had a blast and we got beautiful shots of them enjoying one another and what they would NORMALLY be doing on a weekend together.
For these two lovebirds, they loved the lakefront in this certain part of town. We drove a hour away for them to play in the water, chase their pup around and frolic under the oaks. This was what they would normally do with their spare time and it lent for a great session because they felt very comfortable doing anything out there where they loved so much. So if you are already thinking, we are boring. We don't have anything we do together, etc... I would challenge you to think a little longer and find a space or activity that you might be overlooking because it is so ordinary to you guys.
Now that I am thinking of it- I photographed one of my couples eating tacos and drinking margaritas because THAT IS WHAT they loved to do together!! So definitely just take a minute and think of what's signature to you guys and roll from there!
And that might just entail kicking off your shoes and playing ball with your pups. And to me, that is picture perfect memories to be captured!