It is crazy to think that Spring is on it’s way & I couldn’t be any happier. With spring comes newly engaged couples, & as a Northern Virginia wedding photographer it results in capturing a lot of engagement sessions. I absolutely love this time of year! Today on the blog I will be highlighting ways you can prepare for your engagement session, as well as what you can expect from one.
Why An Engagement Session?
Participating in an engagement session is extremely important before your wedding. I always tease with my couples that it’s like having a practice run before your big day. Some couples will opt out of the engagement session simply because they feel like they don’t need them. Whether you need tangible photos or not, you still need an engagement session. It’s not just for having access to pretty images, but it’s about the experience. An engagement session allows you to get to know your photographer before the big day. This way you can grow a level of comfort, and most of all trust with your photographer. By having an engagement session, it also allows the photographer to get to know you. This way your photographer can see what makes you click as a couple in order to bring those images to life. Now when your wedding day approaches, you will know exactly what to expect from your wedding photographer when it comes to style and posing. This will also help you feel more at ease in front of the camera, which will in turn give you more naturally looking photographs.
If you’re a bride who is a little anxious about how your groom is going to react to this whole “picture” thing, you are not alone. I will admit that I was one of those brides, as my husband still to this day hates having his picture taken. However to make a long story short, I ended up worrying over nothing! If you have a groom who is camera shy or just hates having his picture taken (because let’s face it, this is how most guys are!) here are some simple steps you can take.
Do your homework. First of all, I would highly recommend sitting down with your guy & showing him 2-3 of your favorite engagement sessions that I have photographed. Spend some time together scrolling through a few blog posts, which will allow him to gauge what his expectations should be. Also, once he sees how much you love my style when it comes to posing, I’m sure he will be more willing to go with the flow of the session. Happy wife happy life right? 😉 If your groom is nervous about reenacting some of those romantic poses, you can assure him that I strive to make it playful & fun to help bring out those natural emotions.
Another recommendation is to allow plenty of time to get to your shoot! There is nothing worse than when a couple arrives late, & they have been arguing in the car. That is definitely going to put your groom in a bad mood! Also, be sure to show up on a full stomach. Depending on the time of year, most of my sessions are scheduled in the late evening. Being hungry results in being “hangry”, so make a date night of it and go grab a bite to eat beforehand. Just be careful not to spill any food on your outfits 😉 Another option would be to bring your outfits with you & change after your dinner date. Trust me, you will thank me later.
Lastly, be patient with your groom. I’m sure this is their first rodeo, & I’m sure they will be just as nervous as you are-if not more. As much as I believe you will both enjoy your session with me, keep your expectations low. Do not assume that your groom is going to have a good time…because chances are, they would much rather be at home watching sports (or something along those lines, lol). Your groom is there for YOU, because he knows how much this season of your lives means to you. He knows how important it is for you to have these memories captured. So brides, be patient with your grooms & trust in me to bring your photographs to life.
What Should We Wear?
This is a common question I get asked, & one that should be taken into consideration. With this being said, don’t over think it! Most couples will come with 2 outfit changes, one being more casual while the other is more dressy- totally up to you! Also, it isn’t necessary for you & your fiancé to be “matchy matchy”, however, you want to make sure you are dressed in a way that complements each other nicely. Stay away from large, bold patterns, logos/symbols on your clothing. It is best to stick with solids, & wear colors that won’t clash with each other (also, try to wear colors that complement your skin tone!). If you are unsure, then stick with something simple. Say for example the outfit you chose is blue, have your fiancé also wear blue but just in a different shade. If one of you is wearing something that is more busy (like a floral pattern for girls, or a checkered pattern for guys) then have the other person wear something more simple. You don’t want your outfits to be too loud or busy, as it won’t photograph well- sometimes simple is better 😉 Ladies, wear your make up just a little bit heavier for photos & don’t forget to accessorize! Another great tip for the ladies is to have your nails done, & wear layers whether it be a cute cardigan, a scarf, boots, etc. This always makes your photos a little more interesting. Another tip? Ladies, have your engagement ring cleaned if you feel it needs it. We will be taking some up close shots of that beautiful rock! 😉
When it comes to deciding on a location for your engagement session, most of the time couples will reach out to me for ideas. As happy as I am to make suggestions, I always ask the couple if they have a location that may have sentimental meaning to them. It could be a location where you had your first date, maybe it’s a favorite spot you like to visit, or maybe you just have a particular spot in mind because of it’s picturesque location. The location can play a key role in bringing your images to life, while also adding sentimental value to your engagement session.
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