Did you recently get engaged and you're considering whether or not you'd like to have engagement photos taken? Or did you schedule your engagement session already, but you're not sure what to do next? Read on below for some tips on preparing for your "e-session"!
When to Schedule Your Engagement Session
While there's no mandatory time to hold your engagement session, if you'll be using your engagement photos in your Save the Date design, it's ideal to hold your session at least 9 months prior to your wedding date. This will ensure that you receive your digital images from your photographer with enough time to order your Save the Dates and get them in the mail to your guests at least 8 months before the big day. If you need some recommendations for Save the Date designs, or you'd like something custom made up, I can help you there! Often, I work with clients to design their Save the Dates incorporating their e-session images and they use their session print credit towards the purchase of them.
The best times of day for an engagement session are within two hours of sunrise or sunset. If you're not sure when that is on the date you have in mind, you can look it up online or ask your photographer. I'm always in tune with those times, and my booking software even automatically tells me as I schedule with my clients... that's how important that magical "golden hour" light is!
Selecting the Perfect Location
Is there a certain place that holds meaning to you and your fiance? Maybe the location of your first date, the spot he proposed, or a place you like to spend a lot of time at together. Holding your engagement session somewhere that is meaningful to you would add an extra personal touch to your images. These photos are meant to document your special and unique relationship.
Another important tip that is often overlooked when selecting an engagement session location is the following: consider your home decor. After all, your beautiful images are intended to be printed and framed where you can enjoy them in your home for years to come. So, think about your home's color schemes and style when considering a location that will set the mood for your photos.
One final consideration regarding location is your wedding day theme. Are you going for a nautical vibe? Maybe hold your session at a local marina or yacht club to tie in your theme, like Krystee and TJ did with their Tuckerton Seaport engagement session. Will your wedding be at a barn or other rustic venue? Find a more historic spot with character like Chelsea and Dan's Batsto Village engagement session.
What to Wear for Your Engagement Session
Similar to location choice, your clothing selection should say something about who you are and vibe with the setting you're in. Stick to what you would wear naturally. The more comfortable you feel in what you're wearing, the more it will reflect in your images. Not many people are "naturals" in front of the camera, and it can take a little bit to get warmed up to. If you add an unflattering outfit or a new pair of uncomfortable heels to the mix, it will make for a less pleasant experience!
When it comes to wardrobe, think neutral and classic with a pop of color and avoid too many crazy patterns. I typically recommend that only one person sport some stripes or plaid, while the other's color selection is pulled from the colors in that pattern. You can go casual or fancy, or bring along a change of clothes to switch things up midway through your session!
How to Plan for Your Engagement Session
It's an excuse to get dolled up! Take advantage of this time to test out a potential future hairstylist or makeup artist for your wedding day by scheduling your hair or makeup trial for the day of your engagement session. It will help you feel more confident in front of the camera if you look your best.
It's also an excuse to go shopping! Getting in front of the camera is also a good reason to go to your favorite store and pick up a new outfit or two and a few accessories. Have both of your outfit options pre-planned and ready to go before the date of your session so you're less stressed the day of. If you're ever unsure of your selections, you can always send over a few photos of what you've put together to your photographer for approval.
Bring along a prop or two. There's no requirement that you bring anything but yourselves to your engagement session since, after all, it's all about you two. But, if you have a certain vision in mind or you want to incorporate something special to you, feel free to bring some props along!
Get your bling cleaned. Whether you do it at home or bring it to your jeweler, don't forget to get that stunner on your left ring finger cleaned up and sparkling before your session! Just like yourself, you want your ring to look its best for its close-ups.
What to Expect During Your Session
A typical engagement session lasts between one and two hours. During this time, you can expect to be yourselves, have a lot of fun, and come away with some beautiful photos of you two to share with family and friends!
If you're recently engaged and want to find out more information about scheduling an engagement session in the New Jersey area (I travel too!), reach out to Nicole by filling out this form.