1. What’s the best location?
The most important part about your shoot will be the location you choose. If there is a particular location that is has a special significance to both of you..maybe it is where you met, or perhaps where he proposed, or a place that you go a lot… that can be a great choice for your engagement session. When I shot Cole and Hannah’s session it was on a Sunday in Greenville, SC. We went to the restaurant where he proposed, thinking we shoot outside. The owner just happened to be there, and allowed us in! I was actually able to get shots of Hannah and Cole at the very table where they sat! Most of the time people are very accommodating but it’s always a good idea to check beforehand if you need permits and what-not for other locations.
2. What should we wear?
Probably one of the most common questions I get is, “what should we wear?”. This really goes back to the style and location of your shoot. If we’re doing a beach session, for example, a suit and tie wouldn’t be my first recommendation!
If you were shooting in a formal location then formal attire would look right! Most of the time you want to match what you wear to the location. Most of all be natural, be yourself and don’t go overboard. Avoid clothing that may have bold patterns or colors. Usually neutral and complimentary colors are best. Bring options. You will want to be able to change in case you change your mind. Often times, bringing a second look is like getting two sessions for the price of one!
Pretend you’re going on a date, and you’ll look great! And if you decide to go on a date after the engagement session, then you’re ready to go!
3. What about my hair and make-up?
This is entirely up to you. Although you can get away with doing your hair and make-up yourself, you may want to consider getting it professionally done at a salon or perhaps a friend can help you out so it’s one less thing to worry about.
Always suggest bringing something with you to the shoot to touch up, and definitely hair spray to tame any stray hairs if it gets windy/humid. Knowing that with time and with all the running around we could potentially do, I try to get the close-ups out of the way earlier on so it’s not as crucial that every strand is in place in the shots later on.
4. What time should we plan the engagement session?
Photography is all about having great light. You can manipulate a photo in photoshop as much as you want, but if you have hard unflattering light, there’s not much you’re going to be able to do. I always schedule my engagement sessions about an hour to an hour and a half before the sun sets. That way you get that amazing afternoon light, an awesome sunset shot, and some night shots as well.
Scheduling it too early means you don’t get the changes in light and your entire engagement session looks like one long shoot. Whereas doing it near sunset you get two or three different looks as far as light goes.
5. Should we bring props?
I encourage you to bring something that will add to the shoot and you guys find personal to you as well. Be creative and have fun! Keep in mind that you can potentially use these photos for your “save the dates” so having something with the date or your initials is a good start.
You can always bring props and not use them, but it’s fun to play around with the idea
6. Trust Your Photographer
Ok, so maybe this one is a little biased! However, sometimes I’ll see a scene completely different than what you’ll be seeing. So if your photographer suggest something, just trust them and go along with it. It may seem odd or strange to you, but remember we have done this hundreds of times and usually have a pretty good idea of what the results may be.
There have been many times that I have been told that the ideas we presented turned out to be my favorite photos of the day, and all because you were willing to try something and trust that I had a good idea!
7. Have Fun!
Your engagement session should be fun! Remember these are the photos that basically announce to the world that you’re getting married. Unlike the wedding, you’re not rushing, there’s no deadline, you don’t need to keep track of 50 different things going on.
So enjoy, have fun, and remember why the two of you are there. A lot of the times, I tell my couples to “ignore me” or “pretend you’re on a date” and I just shoot with a zoom lens from far away so they can get playful. I tend to get a lot of natural photos that way.
Believe it or not Spring is just around the corner… I always begin to starting thinking about outdoor engagement sessions when I see the daffodils in my front yard begin to emerge. LifeSong Visual Arts, has packages for Save the Date, Engagement and a special Engagement/Guest Book deal for your wedding day… Call or text today at 864-706-0317 to schedule your session.