Engagement Session Guide
Engagement sessions usually last 1 to 2 hours and are likely to be on a weekday and ideally in the evening - as close to sunset as possible. The best light is "golden hour" which is 30-45 mins before the sun sets. To check sunset times, I love this nifty site and use it religiously whenever I am creating timelines or scheduling sessions. However, I know it's not always easy to request for time off whenever you want, so I’m always up for shooting any time of day and I do have some Sundays available.
Scheduling the date for the engagement session will vary on what you would like to use the photos for. If you will be using the images for your "Save the Dates" then we'd need to schedule these at least 6-7 months prior to your wedding date as these invitations are usually sent out at least 5 months before the wedding. I recommend scheduling your session at least 5 -6 months out from your wedding date for Save the Date purposes. But if that's not possible or your booking me closer to your date, I'm happy to try and fit you in as fast as I can and get you your images sooner rather than later. But it all depends on my wedding season and to be fair to my other clients too.
These sessions are about celebrating your love and life together, who you are together as a couple on this new adventure. It's also chance to "unlearn" how you've previously taken photos up until now. For most, this is probably the first time you've had your photos professionally taken and unlike selfies - you don't always have to be posed and looking at the camera. These sessions aim to capture moments that tell your story and illustrate the love you share.
My sessions are laid back and go with the flow type. I don't typically pose people and so if you don't hear any sort of direction from me - know that it means you're already doing everything I'd like in terms of the photos and or "posing". The result of this session, is a collection of photos to share with friends and family. Aside from having photos of the two of you, this session is when we really get to know each other, have you two become more comfortable in front of the camera and how I work. You’ll quickly get a feel for how I give direction to capture you naturally. It’s the perfect way for us to learn a lot about each other’s personalities & my quirks!
After you've received your session gallery, I’m always open to any feedback you may have in case we need to change anything for the wedding day portraits. Some couples prefer less kissing photos, sometimes the sessions lead people to discovering their “good side.” Whatever it may be, the engagement session is what you can call a great practice run for the wedding day photos. The wedding day will also go much easier and smoother, if we’re all comfortable and know what to expect of each other.
In terms of location, I always ask my couples to choose a place that is meaninful to them.
Permits are sometimes required so check the policies for any place you have in mind. Typically, we can get away with shooting without a permit even if one is required (however that's not typical if you're in wedding clothes), but it's good to be aware that we might be asked to leave if we're there too long.
What to wear
Like the location, your outfits should also be a reflection of you. Generally I think it's a good idea to bring at least two outfits. One outfit thatis more casual and the other just a step up - like outfits for a fancy night out for dinner (which also I would suggest making a reservation for after our session to complete your night).
I’m flexible with whatever you’d like to wear. This is your session and I recommend no more than two outfits in order to maximize our time together. If you want to bring more it’s totally fine, but we may not get it all in time, especially if we are traveling to a couple of locations!
What not to wear/bring
Avoid baggy or too tight clothing, stripe patterns and be sure to bring a comfortable pair of shoes to change in and out of because we’ll probably do a bit of walking. Also, try to avoid any clothing that may show visible straps, tags, or semi-transparent clothing that could reveal undergarments in the right light! I always suggest NOT to buy anything new just for this day - unless you've tried it on, wore it and loved yourself wearing it. Remember, comfort is key!
During the session, plan on only carrying the bare minimum. If you can, leave purses, bags, cellphones, etc in the trunk of your car, or I can carry them for you or my assistant can help too.
This guide was written to give a few tips to help plan for your session, but it’s in no way a rule book. It’s just a few pointers to help you in the right direction to make sure you’re ready for the camera. But this is your session. Make it personal, make it about you...... and remember, above all else, be yourselves and have fun with it.