I typically get quite a few emails from my clients wondering exactly what happens at an engagement session. Engagement sessions are a wonderful way for you to begin to feel comfortable in front of my camera, for me to see how you interact as a couple and for us to just hang out and get to know each other a little bit more! I thought I’d post a little FAQ addressing some of these questions about what to do/expect. Hopefully you will find this helpful!
What should I wear?
This is probably the question I get asked the most. I typically tell people to wear something that you feel comfortable in and that is an expression of who you are. Solid colors usually work the great, and some patterns, like stripes and plaid work very well too. Bold colors, like black, white, pink, and blue work much better than neutral colors like beige.
Another thing to think about is what color your fiance will be wearing. Typically, if you wear hot pink and he’s wearing red, it’s not going to looks that great (unless you’re going for a Valentine’s Day theme!). So try and choose contrasting colors. If he wears red, you can wear white. If you want to wear yellow, have him wear blue or black. And finally, you’ll want to keep the style of clothing in mind as well. If you’re going with jeans and a t-shirt, you don’t want him in a suit!
Keep in mind where your engagement shoot is. 99% of the engagement sessions I photograph take place in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. So if you’re planning on a nature inspired engagement session, 4-inch stiletto heels might not be easiest shoes to wear as we’re tromping through a field!
Here are a few examples of outfits that worked great for an engagement shoot!
When should we schedule our session?
I schedule engagement sessions Mondays-Thursdays (as you can imagine, my weekends get quite full with weddings!) and can sometimes do a weekend session if that is the only time that works for you. There are certain times of day when the light is beautiful and I always aim to schedule during those times. The best lighting is when the sun is not directly overhead (stay away from noon!). Depending on the season and time of year, anytime between 5:30am-7am & 3-8pm, you’ll get beautiful golden light.
Another thing to think about is the season you would like your engagement session in. Many people love fall because of the beautiful colors in the changing Colorado trees. Winter offers a beautiful white backdrop that I absolutely adore! And spring and summer are obvious favorites as well because of the beautiful Colorado wildflowers, green meadows, and glorious sunshine. Often people will schedule their engagement session in an opposite season from the one they are getting married in. So if you’re having a June wedding, consider an October engagement session.
Can I change into more than one outfit?
Absolutely! Layers work really well if we’re going to be in a public area, so that you can change without having to completely strip down! Bring along a shirt that you can easily slip over your first layer. You can change as many times as you want, it doesn’t matter to me!
Where should we go?
Oh gosh, this is a tough (and fun) one to ponder! Colorado is full of beautiful places to go. It’s hard to say that one area is better than another, so I usually tell couples to think of places that are special to them. Is there a certain park you love or hiking trail you frequent together? How about the place where you had your first kiss?
If you still come up empty handed, don’t worry! Like I said before, 99% of my engagement sessions take place in nature somewhere. We live in such a beautiful state, why not take advantage of the spectacular scenery?! I love exploring new places and I usually have a running list of places I want to shoot an engagement session at, so please feel free to ask me for suggestions, I’m happy to help out!
Can we bring our dog to our engagement session?
Absolutely!! In fact, I encourage people to bring their pets! I know how important pets are, they’re members of your family and they deserve to have their picture taken too! I absolutely adore taking pictures of pets, so watch out, you might just end up with more pictures of your furry friend than you! Just double check with me about the location that we’re going to because some places like Rocky Mountain National Park have restrictions on pets.
What can I do to make sure the pictures turn out great?
Well, as the photographer, that’s my job, but you certainly can help the process!
The most important thing is to be comfortable and have fun! The more you laugh, hold hands, hug, kiss, and have a great time, the better pictures you will get back. I know that quite a few people are camera shy, but if you don’t ever smile, you probably won’t see any pictures with you smiling. So relax and celebrate this time in your life! =)
Since I am a documentary photographer, I do not do extensive posing, but I will give you a good amount of direction. Often, the best thing to do is just forget that I’m there! Just focus on your time with your fiance. It may feel incredibly awkward at first, but I promise the pictures will turn out fantastic if you just relax and have a little fun. =)