Stacey and John took quite the trip to meet me in Cape May on Memorial Day weekend. After spending this time with them, I learned that this is only the beginning of their trips together. They'll be tying the knot in Las Vegas, meeting me back in Jersey for a reception and then high-tailing it to Florida! At any rate, their tenacity to push through the rain with me certainly showed me that they can do anything they put their mind to and it pays off beautifully.
First Step: Deciding When and Where
When choosing the ideal season for your engagement session, you want to first consider if you’d like to use your photos for Save The Dates. If so, you want to make sure you have your session 8-6 months before the wedding to ensure sufficient time to create, print and mail your cards.
Chilly, snowy engagement sessions are rarely done therefore always unique! To balance out the monotone backdrops of gray days, I suggest wearing bright colors or choosing an industrial location with lots of textures to play with. Pretty twinkly lights are usually in abundance during this season! Obviously, you’ll need to dress quite warm or find a bright, indoor location.
Pretty, lovely spring. If you time your session right, you can catch all sorts of blooms. Bluebells and cherry blossoms are just a few of my favorites.
This is an awesome time to do beach engagement photos! Inland locations provide plenty of greenery and blooms to play with as well. I typically plan our sessions for sunset so that you’re not out at the hottest part of the day but you’ll still want to try avoiding the hottest days of summer. You simply won’t feel your best in oppressive heat.
A client favorite for so many reasons! The weather is typically nice enough to be outside in comfortable fall clothing and the turning leaves provide a stunning backdrop.
Step Two: Location
Once you pick your season, your location sometimes becomes obvious. For other times, consider the answers to these questions as potential locations:
Where did you meet?
Where was your favorite date?
Where did you get engaged?
What are some of your favorite things to do together?
Do you share a love of books? Let’s head to your favorite book store!
Do you live out of town? I am so there!
Step Three: What To Wear
Most importantly, you'll want to pick something you’re comfortable in. If a clothing item is uncomfortable or you’re not sure if you like the way it looks, your concerns will read in your expressions. Always choose something 1) You’re comfortable in. 2) You know looks good on you. 3) That is appropriate for the weather. Always try your intended outfit on before the shoot! It doesn’t always look the way you imagined and trying it on will give you enough time to explore other options.
Coordinate but don’t ‘match’. You want to make sure that both of your are wearing clothing that fits well together. Make sure that one of you is not going formal while the other is going casual. Additionally, tie your clothing together by choosing one color you can both wear in some capacity. This helps you appear connected without a ‘matchy’ look.
You can choose to have one outfit change during your engagement session. Many people like to change to vary the photos with one formal and one casual outfit. Remember, you’ll need a place to change!
Step Four: What To Bring
I love an unencumbered photo session. Sometimes having a bag to worry about can take your mind out of the moment. But, sometimes, it's best to think ahead and be prepared!
If you’re changing: Remember your second outfit and corresponding accessories.
If it’s cold: Bring along a jacket to bundle up between shots.
Fur Babies: If you’d like to bring along your pup (Or cat, who am I to judge?), do make sure to bring a leash and treats. Ideally, you’ll also want to bring a friend or family member to watch your fur baby for the shots where we want just the two of you. You know your pet. If your pet is the type that may cause trouble with strangers or other pets, you’ll also want ‘an escape plan’ for your pet and sitter. This could be as easy as having them sit in the car or even coming to the session separately so they can leave if necessary.
Real Babies: We love when parents include their kiddos in their engagement sessions! We suggest bringing a babysitter to watch your child for the shots where we want just the two of you. It’s also nice to have the babysitter come in a separate car in case your child becomes upset or wants to leave. Then you can have to option of not worrying about them becoming tired or (heaven forbid) full-blown cranky.
Props: Occasionally people like to include ‘props’ in their images. If you have something in mind, don’t forget it!