Today, I’m answering a frequently asked question: How to prepare for an engagement session? I’ve talked about the importance of the engagement session and I’m excited to get deeper into the prep! Photographers do their best to make the engagement session fun and carefree but there are also ways for the couple to ensure it on their end. Here are 7 tips for a successful engagement session!
1. Choose a meaningful location
The backdrop for your engagement session should reflect your style and represent you as a couple! Is there a specific place or type of backdrop that means something in your relationship? Hampton Roads has a TON of variety for engagement session locations: urban, rural, beaches, historic, artsy, etc. Your engagement session should be a fun experience so think about what type of location you’ll enjoy walking through together 🙂
2. Coordinate outfits
It would be stressful trying to find something to wear the day before your session so plan your outfits in advance! You don’t need to be ‘matchy-matchy’ but try to choose outfits and accessories that coordinate. A second outfit is always welcome! Many of my couples opt for a casual look and a more dressy look. The most important factor is that you choose outfits you feel comfortable and confident in. For outfit inspiration, check out this post on What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos!
3. Get dolled up
If you’re doing a trial run for your wedding day makeup, scheduling it before your engagement session is a win-win! Or feel free to do your own hair and makeup if you choose! You know how amazing you feel when you get all dolled up so it’ll definitely boost your confidence for the session. Another tip is to get your ring cleaned so it’ll have that extra shine in the ring shots!
4. Prepare your groom
This is an important one! Many grooms aren’t excited as we are to take pictures so managing your man’s expectations is key! Let him know where you’ll be taking pictures, how long the session will last (1-1.5 hours) and what kind of posing you’ll be doing. Show him a few blog posts from your photographer so he won’t be surprised when he’s asked to ‘nuzzle’ or look at you and laugh! I start every session with a brief explanation of how we’ll be posing but he’ll feel more comfortable if he’s already seen my work!
5. Be on time
I mentioned in my wedding photography glossary post that I shoot all engagement sessions during the golden hour (starting up to 2 hours before sunset). This timeframe gives the most even, flattering and golden light! Once we pick a date and time for your session, please be on time! Starting late can result in loss of sunlight and we want to optimize that time as much as possible 🙂
6. Relax and have fun
Engagement sessions are FUN! You are going to spend months wedding planning but this evening should be not be added stress. It should be a carefree experience. You’ll get to know your photographer, get comfortable posing and be photographed spending time with the one you love!
7. Make it a date night
You’re all dressed up, in a flirty mood and the night is still young. Go out to nice dinner after! Going into an engagement session knowing you have fun plans after will also lift your spirits!
I hope this helps you prepare for your engagement session and know it’ll be a fun experience! For more wedding planning posts, feel free to browse through the For Brides category! To view recent engagement sessions, click HERE.