One of the first unofficial orders of business for an engaged couple is to have engagement photos taken. While this isn’t required by any means, there is a lot of value in having this kind of session done! And I’m not just talking about giving you plenty of photos to post on instagram. (though they’re good for that too.) Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographer before your wedding! Why does this matter? From a photographers stand point, I will be spending a lot of time with you on your wedding day. And I mean A LOT. So building a relationship with one another before the big day will help you feel comfortable with me and my camera. It’s also super helpful for me to see how you interact as a couple prior to the wedding. There’s always a portion at the beginning of your engagement session where we’re still getting comfortable working with one another and it can feel a little awkward. (Totally Normal) But getting that part out of the way during your engagement session helps us get right to the good stuff on the day of the wedding when we won’t have as much time. The way I see it, Engagement sessions are priceless!
The rule to deciding on where to have your engagement session is similar to real estate: Location, location, location! It’s super important! The location you pick will set the tone for entire session. Wanting dreamy and romantic images? Consider an elegant garden like the one at Newfields. Looking for something dramatic and bold? Downtown Indianapolis is perfect for that! Interested in something a little more personal? Perhaps your favorite brewery is worth looking into! Just keep in mind that some locations do charge a fee to use their space!
Once you determine where you want to have your engagement session, the next step is to figure out what you’ll wear. I personally don’t mind if you bring several outfits, just keep in mind that more outfits = more changing time = less photos. Another huge tip is to dress for your location! If you’ve decided on a fancier setting, a more formal look will compliment this! Likewise, if you’d like to go hiking in the woods for your session, a more casual look will do just fine. Now, I’m certainly no stylist, but here are some easy tips I’ve picked up along the way:
Don’t be too matchy: Wearing outfits in the same print or shade just turns you into one big blob when posing together and no one wants that.
Avoid Busy Patterns: I see this a lot with men’s shirts. If the pattern has repetitive details such as lines or dots, my camera will struggle to figure it out and will result in something called a moire. (Read about this phenomenon here) I can sometimes fix it in editing, but not always.
Avoid Bulky Clothing: You want your outfit of choice to be flattering and bulky clothes tend to do the opposite. Clean lines are always best!
Dress for the correct season
Be true to yourself: It’s important that you feel your best because when you feel your best, you’ll look your best! Select an outfit that really reflects who you are so that you are confident on the day of your session!
Pop by your jeweler on the week of your session and have your ring cleaned. This is a good practice to get in the habit of and it will really make it shine!
This is by no means required, but I absolutely recommend this if you are able to do it. These photos may not be your wedding photos, but they are still capturing a really special season of your life and you want to look your best. Plus it’s a great way to explore hair and makeup options before the big day.
Light is everything in photography. It is certainly possible to take photos at mid day but it’s just not as flattering for the style of photography that I do. I want my clients to look amazing and I know that having the best light is a big part of this. So I do my best to plan each session during the golden hour (the last two hours or so before sunset) when the light is at it’s best!
I love it when my clients bring their pets to their engagement sessions. LOVE IT! (I don’t keep a squeaker in my bag for nothin!) Our pets are a huge part of Zach and I’s lives so I know that you probably feel the same about yours! If this is something you’d like to do, we can make special arrangements to make sure that your furry friend is comfortable during the session.
There are a few things that you might need during your session so feel free to bring them along! Zach and I will keep your things safe for you so you don’t have to worry about having them in the photos. Some things you might bring with you are:
Comfortable shoes: If we are walking a good distance and you want cute shoes for the session, feel free to bring something comfortable to slip on between photos.
Bug Spray: IF your session is in the woods, park or a field it’s smart to bring some with you!
Hairspray, hairbrush and/or extra hair pins: Indiana is humid in the summer and windy in the winter. Having these things on hand is always helpful!
Having photos taken isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I get that. Set some time aside to browse through some of my other engagement sessions (links below!) to get a good idea of what to expect out of your session! That way you’re prepared!
I don’t expect you to be experts at this. In fact, every couple I’ve ever photographed was a little nervous at first, it’s totally normal! But It’s my hope that as your shoot progresses, that we can have fun getting to know each other. I’ll work with you to teach you some tricks to make you feel comfortable and looking your best!
Some of my best work has come from a crazy idea that I have and my amazing clients being willing to go along with it. Let’s get creative!
About the author: Alison is an Indianapolis based wedding photographer who loves working with joyful couples, celebrating timeless love and helping other small businesses grow.