You’re Engaged! Now What???
It's time to start thinking about your engagement session! The best part is that this session is entirely about you two. Take some time to consider what you truly love doing. You can plan a shoot that is completely in line with your style and relationship, whether you're climbing to a hilltop or having a beer outside your favorite local brewery. So, let's get together and run around town (or the woods, the beach, or your living room!) while capturing this moment in your journey together, no matter how large or small it is!
There are a few key elements that go into crafting your dream shoot. All of these things are adjustable and may or may not apply to what you want or require, which is totally fine! As always, if you have any questions or even a crazy idea for something, don't hesitate to contact me — chances are I'll be entirely on board!
The first thing to think about when scheduling an engagement session is the time of year you want to do it. Some of my couples want their engagement session to have a completely different look than their wedding day. Perhaps it's a different season or simply a location you won't be able to find on your wedding day. The exact date of your engagement is determined by your personal preferences for the photos.
Regardless, we typically spend 2-3 hours together during the session (this includes any travel time between sites, which should be factored into your plans), and my editing turnaround time is 3-4 weeks.
It's important to consider what kind of mood you're drawn to as well as what represents your relationship. If you already have a location in mind, that's fantastic! If not, I'm always eager to go scouting for new spots. Let's start with the basics: do you want to do it in the mountains or in the forest? Lakes or glaciers? Is it better to go to a coffee shop or a craft brewery? We won’t stop looking until we've identified and selected a location that's perfect for you. If that means hiking 5 miles to a spot with incredible views that you and your partner adore, go for it!
I have a lot of recommendations, so if you need assistance deciding where to go for your engagement session, please feel free to ask! I have a lengthy list of favorite spots with one sure to complement your tastes to enjoy the perfect session. From views of mountains, trees, farmland, lakes, and the ocean, I can help you find everything your heart desires! I enjoy shooting in the vast outdoors, and the further away from the general public we can get, the better! On the other hand, if you like a more metropolitan vibe, I also enjoy running around the city. There are plenty of fun tiny passageways and brick walls to discover, as well as a cute bar or restaurant to stop in for a refreshing beer or beverage (before, during, or after, I don't mind)!
If you're a step ahead of me and have already started thinking about where you want to go for your session, I'd love to hear about it! I always make a point of asking if there are any locations that are particularly significant to your love story. Maybe it's where you went on your first date, where you proposed, or where you go for a daily stroll or dog walk!
This is where the magic happens. Typically, the best glowy evening light is captured two hours before sunset and onwards. Alternatively, you can get up before sunrise (probably with a strong cup of coffee!) and shoot for those hours immediately after the sun rises. Don't worry if the day doesn't bring you any sunshine. Overcast and foggy skies can be quite stunning as well.
As we begin preparing your engagement, I'll look up the time of day you're considering so that we can organize your session accordingly. The idea is to have a certain location in mind for your desired time so we can avoid traveling between areas during that time.
What To Wear
Surprisingly, one of the most common worries when organizing an engagement or photo session is what to wear. To make it as simple as possible, I normally recommend two outfits: one you would wear on a nice date night and one for a more informal occasion. One clothing change (in conjunction with a location change) is okay, but any more will break the shoot's natural flow and eat into our photographic time. It's also okay if you only want to wear one outfit! If you ask, I'm always happy to make wardrobe recommendations!
But, my major recommendation is to wear something clean and comfortable that makes you feel confident and badass. Sometimes that means ordering a new outfit, but I strongly advise you to go through your closet and bring out your favorite and tried-and-true pieces. Comfort is also important when it comes to footwear. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes because we tend to do a lot of walking and moving during these sessions and stopping to change shoes cuts into the time and the flow of our day.
Hair + Makeup
If you want to schedule a hair and make-up trial before your wedding, now is the time! The engagement session is an excellent opportunity to put your beauty team to the test before the big day!
On the subject of makeup, unless you wear a full face on a regular basis, I believe that for your wedding or photo session, less is more. If you're used to wearing no makeup or just a light tinted moisturizer with mascara, don't go for big false lashes, deep contour, and overdrawn lips; you won't feel like yourself.
The same may be said of your hair. Just because other couples do it, doesn’t mean you have to wear a formal up-do or have "wedding hair”. Do whatever makes the most sense to you and will make you feel confident on your wedding day and in your photos!
One of the most common worries I hear! When this concern is brought up, it typically means "I've never had professional photos taken before" or "I'm awkward/nervous in front of the camera" and it's one of my favorites to answer because I always say, "It doesn't matter!"
You won't be stiffly posed or nervously standing in an uncomfortable position long enough to wonder what your hands are meant to do. I'm sure you've had enough of that with school photos. Expect to be reminded of the power and beauty of your love story by laughing until it hurts and running around like weirdos. I will never try to change you into something you aren't; instead, I will give you the freedom to be the fullest version of yourself because I believe that's where beautiful imagery emerges. This isn’t a photoshoot for Vogue, you’re much more interesting than that.
You'll leave with hundreds of photographs that will capture your love for each other. Believe me when I say you're going to look amazing!