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Tips for Your Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are so much fun! I know there are some people out there who will disagree with me, but most of them even end up telling me it wasn't actually so bad by the time we're done. There are some things that I always throw out there though to help make sure the session is a fun experience for everyone.



First, the obvious.

Be sure you've scheduled your session far enough in advance to get in with your hair stylist for a refresher. Get a fresh cut, get your roots done, whatever it is you do to look the way you feel your best, make sure you've gotten it done within the week of your session. Get a fresh manicure or a facial if that's your thing. You'll love your photos so much more if you're feeling fresh and at your best.


Pick a location that fits.

Your location should be a place that you're comfortable in, first and foremost. But also consider if it fits your personalities, your relationship, or your hobbies. If you're a couple that loves hiking and camping in your free time, hitting the trails would be very fitting. If you love spending time checking out great restaurants or going to the theater, a downtown session might be more your vibe.


Choose an activity.

Playing off that first tip, choosing an activity that you love doing together is a great way to take your mind off the camera and get involved in something you love doing together. It gives us more to work with than the standard posing, all while showing off who you are as a couple. I actually have gone hiking with couples with all their gear, and we had a great time and ended up with photos that were a great illustration of their relationship. I've gone to an arcade with a couple once, which was also super fun! Doing that activity brought out their playfulness with one another, and I was really able to capture them in their happy place.


Bring props.

This gives you something to do with your hands, but also just adds so much to the session. Bring the hiking gear or a picnic basket with wine or your favorite craft beer. Bring your dog! (This is one of my favorite things ever, actually haha!) If you love photography too, bring your camera. This is an awesome way to include your hobbies.


Dress like you.

This is honestly really important. Be yourself, and carry that all the way into your outfits. If you're a casual couple, be casual. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! I don't mean show up in sweats, but don't feel pressured to wear a suit either. But on the flip side, if a suit and dress is your vibe, please do! Your photos will look best when you feel comfortable. Dress in whatever makes you feel confident.


Don't be matchy.

When choosing your outfits, you want to make sure they look good together, but be careful not to make them actually match. Gone are the days of showing up in matching denim shirts or matching sweaters. You wouldn't normally go somewhere in matching outfits, so it wouldn't look natural to do that for photos either. What you actually want to do is compliment one another. Choose an accessory that brings out a color your partner is wearing. Monochromes are another good option.


Let the photographer take the lead.

Being in front of the camera is nerve racking and it's hard to really know quite what to do with yourself. This is true no matter who you are--even as a photographer myself, I struggle with this. When I'm working with a couple, I try to take their minds off the camera with an activity like I mentioned above, and sometimes it's simple tasks. I like to make a game out of it, which feels ridiculous in the moment, but also fun and distracting. It gives me ways to get you into cute poses without realizing or looking like you're being posed. No matter the method, just trust there is a method, and your photographer has you covered.


Try to have a good day together.

Coming to your session following an argument or disagreement is going to show up in your photos. If you're rushing, trying to get through traffic, or agitated trying to get to your session on time, it puts a major damper on the session. It's hard to make two people who are annoyed with one another look like they're having a sweet moment. Taking a day off the day of your session is not a bad idea. It gives you the day to spend time together, pamper yourself, and leave with plenty of time to arrive at your session. But if you can't take the whole day off, just try to give yourself plenty of time and be sweet to each other before you come.


Last minute tips.

A few other things to make note of--we do a lot of walking usually, so having comfortable shoes to get to and from locations is a good idea. You can change once we reach the place we will be shooting. Bring water and grab a snack if you need to. Being hangry doesn't help with photos either. I've even had couples grab a drink before their session just to calm the nerves and open up a bit to some silliness for the session. If you have a change of clothes, keep in mind that some locations won't be equipped with a place to change. Sometimes the back of the car is the best option, so having outfits that are easy to slip into in that situation are also things to think about.



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