For those of you who don’t know, engagement season is here! What that means is for all of you newly engaged couples it’s officially time to start planning your engagement session. Over the years I have heard the woes and cries of how difficult it is to actually execute the quote on quote, “perfect” engagement photos.
However, throughout my years as a Chicago wedding photographer capturing love stories, I’ve learned a few things here and there. Here are my tips on how to best prep for your engagement session.
Determine Your Vision
In order to make sure that you’re making the most of your time with your photographer, you need to determine what type of photographs you’re looking for in the first place.
In order to get those *perfect* photos, do some brainstorming on what perfect looks like to you. Are you and your boo spending your session time at the place you first met? A place with a beautiful view? How about a cozy in-home session?
By taking some time to determine what type of session you’re looking for, that’ll will set up the next section of your preparation: logistics.
Confirm Your Logistics
First things first, you’re going to want to confirm your logistics before doing anything else. In a nutshell, this means making sure you’ve got timing and locations down pat. For your photographer, you’re going to want to make sure that you have confirmed the start time and location. You absolutely don’t want to be showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time, ya know?
Next, this applies if you’re planning on doing an outfit change halfway through your engagement session. You’re going to want to confirm with your photographer how you will be going about this outfit change. Is your photographer going to be providing you with a changing tent (I always have mine with me!). Or is there a bathroom close by for you to use? These are things that are going to be important for you to know ahead of time before getting to your engagement location.
On the other hand, for couples, you’ll need to keep in mind a few things as well. Knowing whether you are driving or taking public transit will determine the timing and when you’ll arrive at your desired location. Also keeping in mind travel time and accounting for traffic will be a necessity, especially in Chicago.
Additionally, consider booking a parking spot in advance of arriving or budgeting in extra time for both parking and the walk to your start location. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re able to make the most of your time with your photographer!
What Are You Wearing
Easily one of the most important, but difficult decisions, will be determining what you will be wearing to your engagement session. Typically, most wedding photographers recommend wearing neutral colors and avoiding busy patterns. This allows for the focus of your engagement session to be on you two and not the pattern or colors of your clothes.
If you’re struggling with what clothes to wear to your engagement session, then communicate that with your photographer! Your photographer would much rather have you ask for their opinion/suggestion rather than winging it. Your photographer will also let you know what they think will best compliment your location, their editing style, etc. Basically, communication is everything!
As a more general tip, always always always wear clothing that makes your feel comfortable and confident. If you’re fidgeting with that almost-too-short dress all night your discomfort will take you away from what’s really important – capturing memories with your favorite person!
Choose clothing that you can move around in and like from all angles – most photographers will take you through prompts from every direction.
At the end of the day, wear what you feel most like you in.
Focus On Your Mindset
You’d be surprised how much your mindset can heavily influence how you feel and even look during your engagement photos. Going into your engagement session with a positive mindset and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience rather than stress about it is key.
It’s of the upmost importance especially if you’re looking for those cute in-the-moment candid shots of you two. It can difficult to make that happen if you’re still feeling the residual stress of not finding parking or clothing making you uncomfortable. Take this time to really focus on each other and I promise it will be worth it! The more you can forget a camera is there, the better. 🙂
For many of you, this may be the first time getting professional photos taken since your senior photos. You’re likely a little nervous and that is completely normal!! Communicate this with your photographer and let them know how you’re feeling. Stepping in front of the camera can be a vulnerable experience and a good photographer should be constantly reassuring you throughout your time together.
Additionally, if you’re feeling a little insecure about something on your body, let your photographer know! This will allow your photographer to help shoot strategically. Not only will you be looking good, but you will be feeling good as well.
All of this adds up to you feeling relaxed and getting the best photographs from your time with your photographer.
Consider Your Save-The-Date Plan
One thing that many couples forget about when it comes to planning their engagement session is their save-the-dates. Whenever I work with my couples, I always ask to see if they have a specific vision for their save-the-dates. That way, I am able to tailor your sneak peek photos to what you are hoping to have your save the dates look like.
If you’re planning on using your engagement photos for save the dates, here are some things that you should consider.
- Are you picturing a specific pose like a standard smiling at the camera shot?
- Do you want your photos to have lots of space around you two and the background to put your text over?
Coming prepared to your engagement session with a vision will allow you to send your save the dates once you receive your preview gallery in a week. Rather than waiting 4-6 weeks for your full gallery.
How to Best Prep For Your Engagement Session
While you can’t prepare for everything, having somewhat of a plan when it comes to planning your engagement photos will save you so much time and stress. Hopefully with these tips on how to best prep for your engagement session, you’ll be feeling as calm as a cucumber. Ready to get the engagement photos you’ve always dreamed of.
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