Engagement photo tips because it’s about to get FUNNNNNNN! We’re now bffs, you love me, I am obsessed with you, we’ve made this whole thing official with a very intimidating contract and now it’s time to plan your engagement session. If you’re still trying to decide if an engagement session is for you check out this blog about the pros and cons!
First of all…I LOVE ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS! If you read that and heard me shouting and jumping up and down then you are not wrong.
It’s a chance for us to get to know each other and have a whole lot of fun without the time constraints and chaos of the wedding day. I find that engagement sessions help you to feel comfortable with me, my sense of humor, and the fact that I’ll be sticking a giant camera in your face for a whole entire day and forcing you to make out.
So here is a little bit of information to help you plan a little better!
If there is a specific spot you would like, just let me know! There are a lot of areas that will require a permit so we might need to do a little research beforehand so we get it in time and you might have to pay a fee. Fees vary massively. I’ve seen everything from $10 to $500. I have a lot of fun locations up my sleeve as well depending on the look you’re going for. It all depends if you have something you’re set on or if you’d like me to pick!
Engagement sessions are scheduled no more than two months out and no less than two weeks out. They can be scheduled on weekends but availability will be extremely limited during peak wedding months. Weekday sessions are easier to work in if it works with everyone’s schedules. The best light is either about an hour before sunset or at sunrise but midday sessions can be scheduled if absolutely necessary. For midday sessions, we work with the quality of light the best we can in the location but it won’t have the same look as a sunrise or sunset session.
Seasons, weather, and light? OH MY!:
Oh this is a big one for engagement photo tips to help you get an idea of what to expect the engagement session to look like. A lot of locations will change by season. Sometimes it will be greener and sometimes it’ll be more golden. That will also depend on the amount of rain Southern California has decided to bless us with currently. And as for the rain, I’m down if you are! We are definitely spoiled and the winter is mild but occasionally it can still get in the way. Your engagement session can be rescheduled or we can reenact the scene from the notebook. I have an umbrella hat and I’m ready for whatever (if you require photographic proof of said umbrella hat just say so because it is hilarious and I did make sure a photo was taken). Snow is a little bit more tricky with road conditions and such. As for light, we all know by now that I’m a big fan of that epic glow and so much lens flare that it blinds us all (see below on the right with that mountain light) but sometimes it can be finicky. Overcast days will give us even light and a deeper look (like the two dancing in the trees on the left below). Midday will give harsher shadows and highlights (but can be worked with like the photo above). There are always tricks to all of these…off camera flash, diffusers, reflectors, etc. I know the tricks so I can use them in tricky situations, but they aren’t my focus…you are.
This is to your level of comfort. We keep it PG (ish) rated but we find a nice balance of cozy-ing up moments and the laughing out loud antics.
I don’t have a limit for wardrobe changes but I do recommend you keep it simple as we won’t always have a place for you to change. I have held up blankets and offered up my vehicle as changing rooms for the more bold. If you want one outfit the entire time that works for me. If you do want an outfit change or three, then I always say to bring one casual and one fancier/dramatic/dressier look. If you bring your entire wardrobe then we might have to have an intervention. But if you can’t decide, feel free to bring them and we can narrow down the options! Avoid large logos, crazy conflicting patterns, and super loud colors. I love color but neon orange would make people notice your shirt and not you. But again this depends. Red, purple, green, yellow are amazing with other, more muted colors. Plus you can’t beat something like a dramatic pop of color in an epic location. As for color…just say no to matchy matchy like jeans and matching white shirt. Go for complimentary color schemes.
Pro engagement photos tip here! I know you want fancy shoes (don’t we all??) but also keep in mind the location. Most of the areas that I have engagement sessions won’t work super well if you’re trying to get there in heels or dress shoes without tread. If you would like a fancier footwear option…bring it with you but make sure you have something you can walk in. If you can walk in six inch heels then go for it! I had a bride hike through the forest in stilettos and her wedding dress like a freaking boss.
I like to give us about an hour to an hour and a half. I do pad our arrival time just a little bit. I don’t want you to stress if you’re running behind. In fact, I do recommend that you clear your schedule as much as possible for the day of. Obviously as a lot of my engagement sessions happen during the week (all those weddings taking up the weekends the nerve) so it isn’t always possible but it’s a good thing to keep in mind. All of this just to say, don’t stress. It’s already a little awkward until you start to feel comfortable anyway. We’re going to have fun and have a little adventure. There will be a lot of laughter and maybe a few tears. Years from now you look at your engagement photos on your wall, I want you to remember a fun day instead of how stressed out you were and how awkward you felt. That’s my biggest engagement photo tip is to just have fun.
Expect around fifty images to be delivered. There will always be a little more (or a lot depending on how crazy we get with the session), but I like to give you and idea on the lower end of what to expect.
Editing and delivery:
Turnaround time is two weeks and you’ll receive a gallery link emailed to you. You can download full sized images and order professional prints directly from your gallery link. If there is a credit for a little book or if you decide to make my whole day and order a book, then we have you favorite images in the gallery and send them to me. After that the design process will begin.
There will probably be a sneak peek of your engagement session for you on social media within a few days! Share that like crazy if you want to and tag me in it! Once the gallery is delivered, tagging and photo credit are all appreciated. If the location is a special one that I’ve brought you to, we try and keep the secret and leave it un-tagged in any posts so I don’t have to fight off any other photographers.