Hey Friend! Yes YOU! I wrote this blog post to help you prepare to feel (and look) your best for your engagement photos. The secret to getting kick-ass photos that you will want to post and print and hang everywhere is actually really easy, fun and pretty stress-free (once you have the right tools!) So if you say yes to any of the following statements than this guide was made for you!:
1. I want natural photos
2. I feel awkward in front of the camera, and this whole thing makes me feel a little uneasy
3. I want to look confident, beautiful and in love in my photographs, but I am afraid I will look stiff or uncomfortable
4. I have no idea how to pose, so how will I even know what to do?
5. I just want to have fun!
There are so many amazing and valuable resources out there for photographers that help them prepare and learn how to pose you and guide you into the experience you are searching for; but there is very little information for you to help you really enjoy this experience while looking and feeling your best. I see these questions pop up daily in the Social Media groups I am a part of; so definitely know you are not alone! Some wedding blogs will try to help by giving you style advice, hair tips and makeup tips…but I want to help you feel like your confident amazing self and not like you need to put on a picture day ficade in order to get the perfect photographs.
So to begin…..Engagement Sessions: What are they, and do I need one?
My Engagement Sessions are simply, documented dates. What I mean by that is I have focused and prioritized your experience as the highlight of the session. An engagement session with me is fun for both you and your partner, with poses and prompts that keep you moving, laughing, remembering and focusing on the thousand little things you love about one another. Couple’s tend to book engagement sessions for a few reasons, ranging in values from the practical to the sentimental. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to you!
Okay, so now that you know what they are maybe you’re stuck with this next question, What do I use Engagement Photos for?
1. We can coordinate your outfits and location so they work perfectly for save the dates, guest books, wedding day decorations, wedding website feature photographs and hanging around your home!
2. It makes you feel 10x more comfortable and confident on your wedding day. For a lot of couple’s having professional photos taken is a brand new experience. So, the same way your hair and makeup artist runs a trial before your wedding day; your engagement session is a very similar concept. That is actually the main reason I include engagement sessions in almost every package, as a trial for your big day! It helps me understand what poses make you comfortable and what ones just don’t feel natural or fun for you. I get to understand your angles, your sense of humor and your communication style. Everyone has different comfort levels and by working together before your wedding day you are removing any awkwardness that comes with being in front of the camera out of the way before your big day! I will know more about how to get you moving and interacting in a genuine way, more about what angles and lighting is most flattering on you and what poses you are comfortable with and what ones you are not. Not only that, but after working together once before you will feel SO much more confident the day of. Your insecurities about looking awkward or stiff will have faded, and you will be worried about one less thing the day of!
Okay….So now you know why you should schedule an engagement session, and more information about what it is here are a few tips to help you feel great and look your best!
So first things first, what to do you wear?
Balancing a kick-ass wardrobe with comfortability can be a challenge. Lucky for you I have some inspiration and guideline set up just for you to help you feel confident in your session choices. Not only that but I have an even more comprehensive guide available to anyone who reserves their engagement session with me!
The first step in planning your wardrobe, is to wear something that matches the type of session you are wanting to have. One of the biggest mistakes I see from couples is those who are wanting one kind of session (say a boho dessert session) and have picked outfits that, while still awesome, don’t allow for the type of images that they are wanting to create (Like business/professional wear). There’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear business/professional dress in your engagement session; I have several couples who rock this look at their sessions; the mistake was wearing a classic, clean look when expecting flowy, movement focused images in outfits that do not flow or allow for much movement.
The second step in planning your outfit selection is to bring multiples and plan for layers. I highly recommend to my couples to bring multiple outfits and layering options to their session. The more layers and outfits you have, the more variety in your session. Different styles allow for different poses, locations and emotions. For sessions up to 45 minutes I usually recommend just one outfit, for my full 90 minute sessions I always recommend 2-3. I usually recommend:
1. Something flowy/neutral/eye catching like a shimmery dress, fun jumpsuit, or patterned button up. Colored jeans are my favorite too!
2. Something season specific (overall shorts and cut-offs for summer, light colored and flowy for spring, leather jackets, ripped jeans and leather boots for fall)
3. Something that incorporates your wedding colors. These just look great for decorations, on your wedding website and save the dates. Plus, you usually pick your wedding colors because you love them…so why not wear them?!
The third step is to pick colors, textures and patterns that compliment each other AND make you feel confident.
My clients tend to LOVE flower patterns, leather jackets, pops of bright colors, band t-shirts and velvet. They mix black lace with patterned button ups. A few have neon hair! The best rule of thumb when mixing patterns and colors is no more than two – three striking accents; and to tie them in with one coordinating element. Like the following image. Striking elements: flower dress and blue jacket. Coordinating elements? Neutral toned pants, hat and button up. These show that the outfits belong together; but the unique elements draw your eye and keep you drawn into the image.
Okay, so now you have some tools to help you decide what to wear; but how can I help you feel less awkward and help you have fun during your session? Don’t worry! I have even more helpful tips for you!
Relax, your photographer has you.
Yep! That’s all there is too it. When you hire a professional photographer you have removed the burden of how to pose from yourself. Ask your photographer how they pose their couples during your initial consultations or correspondences. My own personal approach to posing is prompt and direction driven. I never expect my couples to just experience a natural moment without a little direction and scene setting. By the end of my sessions my couples are laughing and we probably have a few new inside jokes. Just relax and don’t worry about preparing with poses or how to make this session perfect. It is my personal, and professional opinion that you are hiring your photographer to take over the mental labor associated with your photographs turning out. It is my job to turn your location, experience and resulting photographs into one that is fun, relaxed and focused on the joy of being with the one that you love!