We love shooting engagements because while weddings are exciting and full of beautiful moments, engagement sessions are laid back, usually full of laughter, and without schedule constraints. It's just people hanging out, exploring a fun place, and sure, accompanied by a camera or two.
That being said, most couples go into the engagement session curious, full of questions, and a little nervous. You're not used to being professionally photographed and so those nerves are completely normal. We get nervous in photos sometimes, too!
But usually after the first fifteen minutes or so, everyone tends to relax and forget about posing, or whether there's a flyaway hair, and the time flies by. You'll learn how we work, and we'll learn what makes you guys laugh. All these things go a long ways towards helping us get the best possible photos on your wedding day.
We've written down the things we think are the most important for you to know going into the engagement session, but please ask us anything you didn't see covered and want to know!
1. Be yourself!
This may seem obvious, but sometimes when people get in front of the camera, especially if they have an idea of what they like in photos, their smiles become forced and the photos don't look authentic. Our goal is never to make you look like something you're not. Are you spontaneous and loud? Jump! Tickle, laugh, play! Are you reserved and shy? Snuggle in, look into each other's eyes, block out the world. What matters most is that the photos capture your love and your personalities. What excites us is learning about you, and being invited into intimate, honest moments.
2. Trust us.
We know it's hard to share very meaningful, personal moments, stories, and character traits with someone you don't know very well. But the best photos happen when you let down your walls, and trust us to find the unique, true parts of your love and document them with care. We are deeply honored when couples share their hearts and lives with us. Our creativity is inspired by these moments of true vulnerability and honesty.
3. Forget the photos. Go on a date.
It's easy to want to create a perfect photoshoot and style your outfits, props, and poses. But the best shoots are ones that just look like real life. And love is freaking beautiful... maybe the most beautiful thing we've seen! Don't try and overshadow it with other "stuff". While we appreciate a good blanket, or a fun activity like snowshoeing, let these aspects of the shoot frame your story instead of compete with it.
Speaking of dates, find a spot or a couple of spots that are meaningful to you. While we know of some pretty and quirky spots in the area, we prefer seeing couples get excited about suggesting spots that are special to them. Did your first date happen on the roof of the science building? Did you ask her out at a coffee shop? Do you spend every weekend running in a specific park? Do you both love ice cream? Do have a pet that is basically part of your family? Do your parents live on a farm that's been in the family for generations? You get the idea.
4. Light is the most important thing.
We aim to shoot either right around sunrise or about an hour and half before sunset. This is when you get that beautiful, golden, soft light. But if you want part of your shoot to be inside a coffee shop, your home, or a treehouse, we'll need to schedule it a little earlier so that we can still have enough window light to work with. This means engagement shoots in summer generally start around 7pm but will be quite a bit earlier in winter and fall.
5. Don't be a billboard.
Wear comfortable clothing that makes you feel beautiful, rugged, handsome, and/or empowered. Avoid clothing with logos or specific wording for the most part. There are obviously exceptions to this, for example if you both want a photo in your team's jerseys, but you aren't getting paid to advertise for Nike and one day you won't remember what "snatched" or "bae" actually meant.
Wear makeup if it makes you feel awesome. Don't wear makeup if you are just assuming you should wear it and don't actually like the feeling of makeup on your skin.
Obviously these photos will happen before you get married, but it's easy to forget that timing matters. If you want your photos for save the dates or invites, you'll need to make sure we plan them before you plan to design those beauties. Turn around time for photos is usually two to three weeks, but certain times of the year like wedding season or fall tend to book up and it's always better to be safe than sorry!
If you're having a summer wedding, it could be fun to do your engagement session when there's snow on the ground and you're all bundled up. Or if you're having a winter wedding, why not take some photos when it's warm and you can jump in a lake?!