When it comes to engagement sessions, it can be hard to know how to prepare, or even what to expect! So we’re sharing 8 tips for your perfect engagement session, from the pros themselves! Featuring some of our favourite photographers in #yyc and surrounding area! They’ll share with you the best ways to plan and prepare for your engagement session, and how to make it comfortable, authentic, and unique, for you as a couple.
Choose a location that means something to you
“The first thing I recommend when booking your engagement session, is to choose a location that is dear to you. Due to the busyness of a wedding day, quite often couples don’t have the opportunity to visit one of their favourite places for photos. So why not head there for your engagement session? Your photos will mean so much more if you choose a location that is special to you both.
Malorie Reiter Photo
Consider the mood and style of session that suits you best as a couple
“If you both really love the outdoors, then go on an adventure! If you’re outgoing and love a good laugh and a good time, then explore that side of you: jump into the water, run towards each other, give a piggy back, have a pillow fight, go for a hike, set up a tent in your backyard! If you’re a couple that appreciates the more quiet, romantic things in life, then go on a walk and enjoy nature, talk about your day, look into each others’ eyes. Get close and wrap your arms around each other. Feel each other’s skin, use your nose to show how much you appreciate the other person! Don’t feel intimidated. Trust who you are as a couple and the camera will capture that.
You could also try silly things like pretending you are a Pretzel. How would a pretzel hug another pretzel? Yes, it sounds ridiculous but it works, I promise! Try it at home in front of the mirror, you’ll thank me later!”
Juan and Angie
Pick outfits that complement each other and your surroundings
“Choosing the right outfits for your session takes thought and intention. Your clothing directs the mood, and should complement your surroundings.
Try coordinating your outfits to create a cohesive look, but avoid matching completely. Staying on a more neutral side keeps the images timeless, and allows the photographer to capture YOU, and the beautiful space around you, without your outfit being a distraction.
If you feel stuck, bring a few options to your session and work through them with your photographer. We love to help, and are familiar with what photographs well to give you the best results!”
Be intentional and really focus on each other
“Unlike your wedding photos, your engagement session will likely take place on a regular, busy day. The challenge then is to settle into focusing on one another and getting excited about the commitment you’ll be making in the near future.
Our suggestion is to treat your engagement photos as a date of sorts! Take a moment to breathe before the session starts, acknowledge that it won’t be exactly the same experience as on your wedding day, but it can be a lot of fun to spend intentional time together. This might look like driving to the session in the same car, listening to music you both like (before and during the session), sharing a beverage of choice during your time together, and not taking it too seriously!”
The Toth’s Photo + Film
Schedule your session around the light
“There are so many options to take advantage of incredible lighting conditions. We love to take our couples out just as the sun rises or sets. Then you’ll be able to have dreamy golden light in the evening, or magical blue light for early morning. The afternoon may be the most convenient time, but keep in mind the sun is directly overhead which is workable, but not ideal.”
Virginia & Evan
Be Your Most Authentic Selves.
“When it comes to relaxing and being your true self with your partner, here are some things to consider to help you achieve the most authentic photos possible.
Bring or do something that you know guarantees a good time. Love your dog? Bring them! Is skinny dipping your jam? Find yourselves a quiet lake, and jump in! Drink some lattes or beer to warm your insides and bring out some giggles for those perfect candids.
Feeling super affectionate? Don’t be afraid to show that to your partner! This engagement session isn’t about curating some fake way or portraying your relationship… allow the real you to shine! Over all, just focus on you and having a good time!”
Do what comes naturally.
“It’s completely normal to get uncomfortable when someone puts a camera in your face! What I like to do with couples is, rather than pose you, I like to capture some candid lifestyle photos of you just walking away from me, then back again, and really just allowing you to do what’s natural to you! At the beginning, the best thing for you to do is just interact with each other and get used to the sound of the shutter and me third-wheeling. It doesn’t take long before you’ll relax. If your photographer wants particular poses or angles, they’ll help direct you! And later in the shoot, these poses will come a lot easier and look more genuine. Also, nervous laughter makes for some of the best smiles! A scrunched nose never gets old.”
Leave your expectations in the car.
“I know how many expectations can come along with an engagement shoot. This is such a beautiful and exciting season of life, that you want it captured perfectly and you probably have some expectations going into this session about what it will be like – or maybe you have no idea what to expect and your nerves come from the unknown. But honestly, what is most helpful is to let all those expectations go as you get out of the car. Embrace the spontaneous, the wind, the rain, the laughter, whatever unfolds.
Every shoot is unique. And it should be all about you and capturing your love exactly how it is on the day.”
The main thing to remember when planning your engagement session is that it should be about you! Think about who you are as a couple, what you have fun doing, what you’re comfortable with, and what makes you happy. Every couple is different, so do something or go somewhere that means something to you. You’re there to celebrate your love, so have fun!
The more authentic and genuine you are during this session, and the more you love on one another, the more memorable your engagement session will be for you. And the best part? It will end up being the perfect session for YOU.