So you’ve booked a photographer you love for the wedding day, set a date for your engagement session… Now what? If you don’t know what you’re “supposed to do” next, you’re not alone. It’s becoming less and less common for our generation to have professional portraits taken, so getting your portraits taken is more often a foreign experience for couples. Have no fear! I’ll walk you through the basics so you can feel confident and prepared.
Select your outfits. I have a whole post on outfits in the works, but for this one I’ll give the short version. I advise my couples to pick 2 outfits (some photographers allow more, some less so check with yours to be sure) to wear to their session. One more casual and one more dressy look. To keep the focus on your selves and not your clothes, avoid any large logos or branding, overly busy prints or very large jewelry. Above all, you want to pick clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident. If those 4 inch heels look amazing, but kill your feet and make you super uncomfortable in the 5 minutes it takes to walk across a parking lot, they aren’t going to work for an hour long session.
Select your location. I have a good rotation of beautiful locations for engagement sessions, but my favorite places to shoot are ones that hold significance to my clients. So that gorgeous trail you love to hike together? Let’s do it! Your favorite sidewalk cafe? Yes! The only stipulation is that if it’s a private business, it’s always good decorum to ask permission before the day of the shoot. Most places are happy to accommodate great customers, and even happier to receive some images of their business later.
Pamper yourself. Now is a great time to treat yourself to a little TLC. Having someone else do your hair, makeup, or nails will take some stress off you and ensure a worry-free look. Many brides choose to schedule their hair and makeup trials before their engagement session so they can see how the makeup looks on camera. If a stylist isn’t in the cards for the day, be sure to put a little bit more makeup on than you normally would- nothing too crazy, just a touch more blush or a slightly darker eye look so it shows up on camera.
Be prepared. Be sure to have your clothes laid out, shirts pressed if needed, socks matched, etc. the night before your shoot. All the little things can add up on a busy day and, if not accounted for, can make you late to your session! Many times, sessions are scheduled in “the golden hour,” which is the hour before sunset when the light has a particularly flattering and beautiful quality to it. The downside is, if you’re late, that time can’t be made up since the sun will have set. To ensure a full session, preparing ahead of time and arriving on time is your best bet!
Trust your photographer! I don’t expect my clients to be models, but it is my job to make you look like you are! I have spent a lot of time learning and practicing posing and direction for everyday camera-shy folks like you and me. This means you can relax! I’ll let you know if I need you to move your hand or turn your head, you just focus on having fun with your betrothed, dressing up and spending time together… which brings me to my last point.
Have a night out! You’re both all dolled up, why not make the most of it! Go to a show, try that new restaurant, go bowling, whatever floats your boat. It will be the perfect way to end the night.