Part 2 – Tips for Your Engagement Session
Fargo-Moorhead and Lakes Area Brides
With fall right around the corner, many of my couples are planning their engagement shoots. And so….I thought I would share some of my favorite tips for your engagement session! This might be your first time taking professional pictures since senior photos in high school, and planning a session can be intimidating! However, with a few easy tips, you’ll be on your way to images that you’ll cherish forever.
1. Think Through the Purpose of Your Shoot
It’s important to pre-determine your use for these images. Are you using these images to tell the story of your relationship? Are you using them for save-the-dates or canvases for the walls of your new home? Knowing the answer to that will help determine what location and style you want for your session. When you know what you need, choose outfits and locations that will accomplish your goals!
2. Get Your Hair and Makeup Done
Ladies, I can’t stress this enough! Hiring someone else to do your hair and makeup will alleviate so much stress the day of your shoot. Chances are you wanted to do a couple test runs with a stylist before your wedding day anyway! Get the afternoon off and give yourself the time to leisurely get dressed and ready for the evening.
3. Consider All Seasons
We are approaching fall when many sessions will feature changing leaves and fall color. However, here in the Fargo-Moorhead and Lakes area, we have something to offer in every season. Your session can be done lake side in the summer, with apple blossoms in the spring, or with a cozy snowfall in winter! Think outside the box and shoot at any time of year.
4. Dress Up!
It’s great that we live in a casual, Midwest area. But don’t let this stop you from dressing up for your engagement shoot! Dresses are totally on-trend and lend a feminine and romantic feel to your session. Wear a flowing dress with a beautiful drape in an outdoor setting, or wear a structured, fitted dress with heels in a downtown setting. Make sure your groom is dressed to coordinate. If you’re in a dress, make sure he’s in a suit or sport coat…..or at least a dress shirt and tie!
5. Plan Two Outfits
Besides a dressy outfit, you’ll want a casual outfit. Jeans and a cute top are perfect. Choose neutral tones or naturally deep colors, and avoid all shades of neon as they totally wreck skin tones. Patterns are okay, but if one of you is wearing a busy pattern, the other should wear a solid color to balance it out. Coordinate with each other. No matchy-matchy. Here’s my ever-growing Pinterest Board for Session Outfit Ideas!
6. Prepare to Be Close
Know that you will do a lot of walking, hugging and cuddling during your session. A good photographer will read your vibe as a couple and not push you past where you’re comfortable. If either of you are shy about public affection, rest assured that shooting these types of images will feel a lot more natural than you might think. It’s actually way worse to stare awkwardly into a camera saying “cheese!”.
5. You Don’t Need Props
I find that the reason most couples want to bring props is because they want unique images from the session. Here’s my opinion: hire a good photographer! Getting unique engagement images has more to do with your location, the emotion present, and the skill of your photographer than what tangible objects you bring. If you really want to use props, I recommend keeping them as natural as possible. Bring your special pets, fresh flowers, or clothing accessories such as a scarf or pashmina to wrap around your shoulders.
6. Make a Food Plan
Nobody is happy when they are hungry. Take care of yourself the day of your session and make sure to eat something before your shoot. If you are meeting up with your groom shortly before your session, pick up some food for him on the way. This is so important and will avoid anyone getting “hangry”.
7. Empty Your Pockets.
This is especially for the guys. Go through your pockets and get rid of your cell phone, wallet and keys so your pants pockets lie flat.
8. Have Fun with It!
Look at your session as a date — a new experience for you both to enjoy! Being in front of the camera can be exhilarating, and the more you laugh, be silly, open up, and have fun, the better the images will be. Feel free to flirt with each other and get lost in the moment. If you’ve hired a great photographer, trust their creative process and you will see magic unfold.
This is the continuation of our Wedding Planning Series! I hope you enjoyed these tips for your engagement session.