I love engagement sessions. They’re one of my favorite things to photograph. Why? I feel like they’re a perfect way to get to know a couple, know what works well for them, and make something that captures who they are. Engagement sessions are included as part of all my wedding packages. I think they’re they’re just too valuable to skip. Engagement sessions give us the chance to work together ahead of time. That means we can build more of a connection. We can see what works well for you specifically, making for a better experience come wedding day.
Engagement sessions give you the chance to show your personality and capture this chapter in your life together. To plan the perfect one for you, keep reading for my tips below!
A lot of couples like to use their engagement photos for save the dates and their wedding websites. If that’s you, it’s customary to send these out 8-12 months ahead of time for a destination wedding and 4-6 months ahead of time for a local wedding. Plan your session with enough time to have it photographed and delivered. If you plan to use engagement photos on your save the dates, leave some time to design and order them. The busiest times of year are Spring and Fall with weddings and other portrait sessions. That’s why it’s a good idea to reserve your spot early. Contact me a couple months prior to when you would like to schedule your session.
The best time of year to take engagement photos really depends on your location. However, I recommend sometime between late May and early November for outdoor portraits. This gives you the best chance for leaves on the trees and more reliable weather. For indoor sessions, you’re really not limited to a time of year. I tend to shoot more indoors in the winter or if there is a rain plan in place. Overall, there are options that can fit just about everyone’s style.
No matter the time of year, I stick to the same rule of thumb for the best light in photos. For outdoor portraits, I always like to plan around golden hour. Golden hour is the hour after the sun rises or before it sets. It gives you the best chance for glowy portraits and the most flattering light. My wedding packages all include a 2 hour engagement session. I typically plan them around sunrise and sunset. If you happen to have an overcast day though, don’t worry! Clouds soften the sun’s light creating a soft box effect.
After booking with me, I send my couples two questionnaires. One is for all of the wedding details and the other is to get to know them better and find the best engagement session location. After I can see more of a couple’s taste and what kind of vibe they’re going for, I send them a shortlist of suggestions.
I leave plenty of time for outfit changes. What tends to work best is dividing the session into two parts. Some couples opt for a more casual outfit for half of the session and a dressier outfit for the other. I’ve had couples choose outfits based on their wedding color palette. Some couples have even chosen something that on par with their wedding dress code.
Choose outfits that you’re most comfortable and confident in. You’ll carry yourself differently if your outfit feels flattering and fits well. Remember to pick clothing that doesn’t need a lot of fuss or readjusting. We’ll be moving around through your session.
Want more outfit ideas and inspiration? Check out my engagement session outfits board for tips and examples.
I hope this was helpful in getting ideas rolling for your engagement session! What questions do you have for planning your session? Leave a comment or send me a message and I’ll be happy to help.