As a professional photographer, my biggest complaint with engagement sessions is they often tend to be boring. Fake poses & fake expressions usually leads to photographs that feel flat and lifeless. You may look great in the photo, but it doesn’t make your heart sing at all.
With that in mind – I’ve put together a quick list of my top 5 tips to design an intentional and fulfilling engagement session!
1. Define who you are & think about what you love doing
When planning our engagement session I always ask my ALP couples… when you guys go out on a date – or do something that feels special and fun… WHAT do you guys go do?
The absolute best engagement sessions I’ve been on have revolved around who the couple is – and what they enjoy doing most. I’ve photographed engagement session in hot-air balloons, on tops of mountains, & even in ice cream shops in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.
I’ve even flown across the country to photograph engagement sessions in some of the most beautiful parts of Colorado. You can check out that adventure here…
All of these engagement sessions have the same thing in common. Each one features the couple doing the thing they love most. It’s not just about an epic location – it’s that there’s something special about these locations to the couples.
2. What to wear to the engagement session
My favorite photos are the ones where the couple looks and feels like themselves. Wearing an outfit you’re comfortable in will only accentuate your style and personality. No matter what you wear, if your clothes make you feel like a million bucks, your happiness will show through and influence the overall mood in the photos.
If you’re buying something new for the session, be sure to give it a test run (HELLO date night!) and be sure to try it on after sending it through the washer and dryer to avoid day-of surprises.
Also be sure to leave your cell phones, keys, and other stuff in the car! There’s nothing worse than a great photo ruined by awkward cell phone bulges out of jean pockets. For the ladies, be sure to leave purses in the car too. You’ll feel much more comfortable without having to haul it around during the shoot.
3. Hair & makeup isn’t a must, but you will thank me later
Since getting professional images of you and your fiance is so rare, take the opportunity to hit up the salon instead of handling hair and makeup yourself! Haven’t done your hair and makeup consultation with your wedding day stylist yet? It can be a smart move to schedule that consult the morning of your session to knock out two birds with one makeup brush!
4. The best images tell a story
The best photos don’t just capture what people look like…they show who they are and how they feel about each other too.
Location really helps tell the story about a couple. Before just heading to the local park for photos – think about what you really enjoy as a couple. Are you avid hikers? Consider an engagement session in the mountains. Do you enjoy making great coffee and snuggling on the couch watching Netflix? Maybe an at home session is for you. Either way, be sure to choose a setting that reflects who you are. This will not only help the story, but it will also provide a more relaxing location for the session.
5. Schedule your session around the sun!
The word PHOTO(light) GRAPHY (to write) actually means “writing with light”. Be sure to think about the best time of day when scheduling your photo shoot. The afternoon might be more convenient time to have the session, but the sun is high overhead during the afternoon giving harsh shadows and washing out colors and contrast. Those engagement photos you’re drooling over on Pinterest were all shot either early morning or early evening to get the best light.
Since the evening time provides crazy amazing light, an important tip is to make sure you’re on time for your session! You only have so much time before the light is gone – so if you’re 30 minutes late, that’s 30 minutes of images you’re going to miss out on!
Bonus Tip – Get excited and expect to have fun!
Try not to be nervous about the shoot! I know most photographers work hard to create a fun experience for their couples. I know my mission as an engagement photographer is for couples to leave the session even more in love than they were at the start. This is an important event for my couples because it gives me a chance to discover what you love about each other and what’s important to you in your lives. This helps your photographer really know how to document your wedding day in the best way possible.
Your wedding lasts one day… but your images last forever
Here at Angled Light Photography we believe marriage is an amazing adventure, and your wedding is the jumping off point. We’re here to inspire & encourage you as you begin this journey of a lifetime!
If you’re interested in having Angled Light Photography document your story please check out our portfolio & wedding films. Also feel free to check out our podcast called Weddings from the Pros! You can find it everywhere you get your podcast.