Oh my gosh! You’ve done it! You’ve gotten engaged and now you’re thinking “Oh, no! Now I have to get photos!” But fear not my friend, I’m going to share with you my best tips and tricks in how to prepare for your engagement session.
When it comes to prepping for your engagement session, there are a few things that I think will help you get the most out of your experience. As a Seattle engagement photographer, I always work with my clients to prep them for their experience based on the time of year, location and what they ultimately want out of their shoot. Here are my best tips and tricks for prepping for your engagement session.
1. Plan outfits ahead of time!
There is nothing worse than feeling rushed because you don’t know what to wear or that thing you wanted to wear is now in the laundry pile. Make sure the outfits you choose represent who YOU are. My couples always bring 2 outfits, one cozy, and one more formal. Make sure your clothing items are flattering, ironed and well thought out. Between you and your partner, you don’t want to “match” you want to be “cohesive”. No one needs to come showing up as twins 😉
To all my brides, this is a perfect time for your hair and makeup trial with your wedding makeup artist! This will not only help you prepare for your engagement session, literally, but you will get to know your artist, see what they can do. Who doesn’t love to be all glammed up for the evening?
3. Location, location, location.
You aren’t going to get epic PNW landscapes in your backyard…unless you live on a mountain. It’s always good to do a little bit of extra stalking online and find where you’d like your photos to be. You can go as far as the Olympic Pennisula for places like Ruby Beach, up the north to Diablo Lake or far-out east for a desert escape in Vantage. I personally have a list of go-to places for all my couples and some extra fun spots for those willing to venture a little bit further! When prepping for your session, it’ll be important to discuss the time of year as it relates to your location. In Washington State, there are certain locations that aren’t available year-round. One example is Mount Rainier! She is covered in snow for about 9 months out of the year, leaving a relatively small window to get photos up there.
4. Think about where the sun will be during your session.
If you’re looking for some romantic, golden hour vibes, you’re going to want to schedule your session closer to sunset (approximately 2 hours prior). Depending on the time of year your session is, daylight savings time will most definitely play a factor. In December, golden hour can be at 3 pm and in high summer it can be 9 pm! A quick search on Google will help you know when you should head out.
5. You’ll feel awkward and that’s okay.
When in doubt, just make out. Yup, that’s right. Love on each other. Imagine you’re on a romantic date…and I, as your photographer, just happen to be your third wheel. Honestly, if I had a penny for every time someone told me “I’m so bad at taking pictures” or “I don’t know what to do with my hands”…I would be a gazillionaire and not talking to you now. It’s 10000000% okay to be just who you are. The best images come from people just being themselves. It’s my job to know those quick moments to capture in order to showcase the authentic you. So when you’re preparing for your engagement session, put on extra chapstick and know you have a safety net.
BONUS: Make a date night of it!
If you’re going to get all dolled up, make a night of it! It’s so fun if you and your fiancé can head out to dinner or happy hour after your session. You’ll both look amazing, feel so relaxed now that the shoot is over! Not to mention, I’m personally always hungry after shoots, so I imagine my couples feel the same.
Wondering how the heck to fit ALL your wedding activities into ONE day!? Well fear not! Snag my Wedding Timeline Worksheet that will give you the bones of how to structure your timeline to fit all the good stuff in.