Updated: May 22, 2020
Ready to plan the perfect engagement session? Wedding planning can be stressful, so let me help you alleviate the pressure of that to-do list with my Top 5 Tips for Rocking Your Session!
1. Go Pro
Weddings are expensive. I totally get it. I know it is tempting to ask your cousin who just got a cool camera for Christmas to do your pictures. And, let’s be honest, I know I’m a photographer so OF COURSE I will say, “You need to hire a professional to do your pictures.” But let me briefly explain why hiring a professional is probably the most important tip to make your engagement session perfect: when you hire a pro, you are not just getting a nice camera; you are hiring someone who has spent thousands of hours studying and practicing perfect lighting, posing, and editing and can help make recommendations and suggestions. You are choosing someone who can truly capture that love between you and your fiancé without any stiffness or awkwardness that often comes with those who lack experience and training.
2. Be simple, but be unique
In a Pinterest world, it is so easy to spend hours and hours looking at different poses, outfits, and creative ideas for your session (let's not even get started on what your actual wedding board probably looks like!). It can get overwhelming. The good news is, if you Go Pro, you will already be working with someone who has creative and field-tested ideas for posing and will make you and your fiancé feel comfortable in front of the camera. Instead of creating a list of fifty different ideas you hope to capture, try to think of one really unique moment for your session. It could be bringing along a vintage bike, popping some champagne, buying that sweet vintage couch, or setting up a picnic. Honestly, it could be as simple as bringing a basket with flowers. Rather than planning for a ton of different ideas, think of one moment during your session that will be unique and totally you and your sweetie.
3. Think outside the box
One thing that can make your session so different and yet SO YOU is location. Photographers always have locations in mind, but it is always so cool when our clients think outside the box and find a place that maybe they only have access to. Spend some time with your fiancé brainstorming locations that are limited to the public. Do you have a family member who owns a farm? A friend with a lake house? Access to a private airport? What about the coffee shop or hiking trail where you went on your first date? One of my all-time favorite engagement sessions was on an incredible farm at the top of a mountain in Chattanooga. The property had a huge field, a lake, and a barn that was a hundred years old. Because my clients thought outside the box, they were able to provide a location for their engagement session that basically only they would have, making their session so much more special.
4. Go all out
Have you seen a dress on Instagram or in a boutique that you absolutely love but you can never think of a place where you would actually wear it? An engagement session is the perfect time to seriously go all out. Get the ballgown, buy the tulle skirt, put him in the suit! You can even rent a high-end dress on websites like Rent the Runway or, my favorite, rent a Reclamation dress. For all of my engagement sessions, I provide my clients with a style guide that covers everything including what outfits I suggest per locations, but, location aside, you can never go wrong with a beautiful dress.
5. Finishing touches
I have discovered something unique about myself: I can be in my pjs with no makeup, and three day’s worth of dry shampoo in my hair, but if I have my nails done, I feel so put together! Having a fresh manicure and some gel on my nails gives me a confidence that I just don’t get when I do them on my own. For your engagement session, treat yourself. Go get that manicure to show off your ring or hire a makeup artist to do your makeup (sometimes photographers might even have discounts for these services! My clients actually receive 10% off makeup when they book a session). Plus, this might be the perfect time to do a dry-run of your wedding hair or makeup!