Most photographers include an engagement session in their wedding collection as a dress rehearsal for the wedding day. Here are some engagement session tips to make the most out of your session, create images that show off your personalities, and get you ready for the big day.
Booking Your Session
There are a couple things to consider right away before you book your session date.
- What are you going to do with the photos? So many options! We’ll talk more about this later.
- Do you need Save The Dates?
-Make sure you give your photographer enough time to get them designed and ordered!
- Does season matter to you?
- Is there a specific location that is special to the two of you?
- What type of aesthetic are you most drawn toward? Urban, rural, mountains, something creative and bright?
Prepping for an engagement session should be more fun than stressful. Think about what elements you can add to make the photoshoot unique to you two as a couple. There might be something you enjoy doing together or shared interest. It could be as simple as getting coffee together. We could shoot at your favorite coffee shop and take a stroll downtown to capture a regular day in the life.
Some of my couples have had really great ideas to make their session stand out. Michele and Chris threw colored powder at each other!
Props for Save The Dates are pretty common and can be a simple way to tie the engagement session to the colors and theme of your wedding day. Here, Janie and Nathan posed with a sign to announce their wedding date to their guests.
Don’t forget to clean up those RINGS and NAILS!
Manicured nails and a clean ring make a big difference in engagement photos. You want to show it off, right? Those little details will pull things together and make your photos look crisp and fresh. Photographers like to get close ups of hands and rings, so make sure you’re prepared!
- Multiple wardrobe options. Think similar tones, not matchy matchy colors. If you need help selecting clothes and shoes to bring, please reach out! LAYERS are super helpful and flattering no matter what season it is. Layers will give you multiple looks with one outfit.
- Blanket to sit on or snuggle with. You might be asked to sit in some weird spots. It’s best to have a barrier and an extra stylish touch!
- Engagement ring and manicured nails. It doesn’t have to be professional, but your hands will definitely be on display.
- Appropriate shoes– I know it’s tempting to wear heels (please still bring them), but remember that we are shooting outside and not all surfaces work well with all shoes. If we are shooting in the winter, boots are a MUST. Check out Alyssa and Nick’s winter session for more ideas and tips.
- DOGGOS! I personally love photographing couples with their dogs for engagement sessions and weddings. Here are some tips for shooting with your dog. The biggest thing is to arrange someone else to handle and transport your doggo.
BLANKETS! You’ll see them in most of my engagement sessions.
When you are out with your partner, are you more often downtown? Hiking? Somewhere quiet or fading into a big crowd. The location of your engagement session (and wedding) is one of the biggest things that will set the style of your shoot.
The location you pick has many different looks based on the weather. Be careful choosing a season. Spring is typically pretty drab in WI with empty trees and brown grass, but there are some gems in the area. If you are set on shooting in spring, maybe consider scheduling your session downtown.
Jess and Cody had their session on the family farm. There were so many options, it was hard to cover them all. We photographed near the big barns, in the woods, on Cody’s custom bike ramp, and at the pond in a canoe.
Have a unique idea? Let’s do it!
- Hot air ballon
- Your personal property
- Green house
- Helicopter to a remote location? I’m all in!
Biggest Engagement Session Tip: Have FUN!
Don’t forget what an engagement session is for. It’s about announcing your engagement to those you care about and CELEBRATING the two of you as a couple! Let your photographer worry about the details, you can just relax and enjoy. Be yourself!
Session is over, now what?
Waiting to see your images is the hardest part of any photography session. At WMP, we get a you preview right away, and the rest of the gallery within a week.
Now that question is coming back. What are you planning on doing with the photos? Here are a couple ideas.
**CANVASES–These can be used for your home, a gift, and can be put on display at the wedding.
**PRINTS–Yes, everyone needs prints. Remember there are others that are probably interested as well. Parents, grandparents, and others would love to get copies of your photos.
**SAVE THE DATES–Especially if you have a lot of out of town guests, save the dates are a great idea. WMP has a few options for save the dates. 5×7 card printed on both sides with envelope included or rectangular magnets. Custom options also available.
**GUEST BOOK–Guest books are a great way to document your entire engagement session. Not everyone gets a chance to see the engagement session, so this is an awesome way to share. Include blank spaces to leave room for your guests to write and you have a gorgeous book to look back on. Check out Jess and Cody’s guest book layout below. Imagine each image is a left page and a right page, flipping through a book.