An engagement session is where we can get to know each other a lot better. You will be able to see how I work behind the camera so you can feel much more relaxed in front of it. These five tips are just some suggestions of how we can get the best from your engagement session.
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Get to know each other
Pick a special location
Select the right outfit
Make a day of it
Variety is key
Download a summary PDF
Get To Know Each Other
To get the most out of any shoot, whether it be your engagement shoot or your wedding day itself, I make sure that I get to know you both and you get to know me as well as possible. Me getting to know you will mean that I can create images that are meaningful to you because not every couple is exactly the same. On the other hand, getting to know me will allow you to feel more comfortable during the shoot so that the images we create are as natural as possible.
This is not something that will happen straight away and might take an hour or so to really get to know each other and to all settle into each other's company. This is why I feel that an engagement session is so important because it allows us to spend this time before the wedding so that we are not spending valuable time getting to know each other on the big day. I also know how much stress you might be feeling on the morning of the day and the amount of anxiety that will be building up inside of you.
To get to know you both better we will just have some general conversation but some questions I might ask along the way may include things like how you met, how long you've been together, who popped the big question, etc.
Pick a Special Location
The location that we do this engagement session at is extremely important. I love the outdoors and I have spent a lot of time travelling the country so I do know stunning locations. However, this location needs to be one that means something to the both of you. The more special the location is to you, the more personal and unique the images will be. Yes, this shoot is to get to know each other but it is a photoshoot after all so we might as well get some stunning images out of it…!
Anyone can go for a walk in a beautiful location and capture some images. That is why we need to ensure this location is one that when you look at the photos for years to come those special memories and emotions come back to you both. It is things like this that will make your engagement session images the absolute best they can be.
Select The Right Outfit
It is very normal for a couple to automatically think that they must get dressed up in their best tux and ball gown because they are going for a photoshoot. Please, if this is not what you normally wear and you are usually found in jeans and a hoodie, wear this! I can’t stress enough that what you are wearing on the day will inherently change the emotion you feel when you look at an image. No matter how nice an image is, if you look at it in a year or so and think “what the hell was I wearing?!”, then we haven’t done it right.
I have mentioned it before but I will continue to mention it - we want these images to be as natural and as genuine as possible.
BIG TIP - what do you wear to go out for a walk at the weekend with each other or the family? Wear that!
This isn’t a fashion show, I know, so we won’t be doing outfit changes all day. The engagement session will normally only last about an hour anyway. What I would suggest though, is if you want to throw in a couple of different jackets or hoodies to chuck on throughout the photoshoot then this will allow us to get a bit of variety and will result in more images for your online gallery. Things to avoid, though, would be overly patterned tops as these can often be quite distracting. Also, try to avoid big logos as these can often become outdated and can also be quite distracting.
Make A Day Of It
Ok so yes we will be taking photos but your engagement shoot does not need to simply just be a photoshoot. Why not make the most of the day and make it a day to remember? If you like to have your hair and make up done then why not get an appointment in the morning with your favourite salon? If you have a trial run with your make-up artist or hairdresser then we can combine this and do it all on the one day so you can look and feel your absolute best on your engagement session.
Before or after the shoot, why not head to your favourite restaurant in the area for some food and a couple of drinks? If you want to have your dog join in on your shoot, please do! But also, check out the local dog friendly pubs around the area I am based so that they don’t miss out!
Variety is Key
This is the best way to be able to build a gallery full of stunning images from such a short shoot. We can create variety in a number of ways, including picking a location well. For example, we can pick a local woodland with a loch or reservoir nearby so that we can get some images in the woodland as well as going down to the water’s edge to capture some different looking images.
Another way we can create variety is to change up the outfits slightly. As I mentioned earlier, maybe you want to bring a couple of different jackets or hoodies so that we can capture variety this way.
As I always say, I want to capture images in the most natural way. This engagement session is about making you both feel comfortable as it will likely be the first time we meet in person. I will always have some poses in mind though to break the ice and to break down those initial barriers that might be there so that you become as relaxed as possible in front of the camera which will result in more natural images. These poses are ones that will make you both laugh and smile. They are not ones that you might automatically associate with a portrait photoshoot, for example.
Bonus Tip: Have Fun!
This is, more than anything else, a time for us to get to know each other. There is absolutely no pressure on getting the best images. We are going out a walk as friends to enjoy ourselves and have a chat about your upcoming wedding. It might so happen that I will grab some images of you both laughing, carrying on, enjoying yourselves, and having FUN!
This blog post goes into quite a bit of detail and I can’t imagine you will want to read through it all again, especially when you have a mountain of other things to be doing. So I have created an easy to read PDF download summarising all the hints and tips listed above. Download it here.