Here are some great tips when you have your engagement session. This can also apply to family, seniors and kid sessions.
I am always learning. Every session is different and I learn from each one of them. Here are some of the things I notice that work and some things that don’t work
Chalkboards, board games, A Letter with your new last name, picture frames, poster board for the += sign,
Bring the “&” sign, blankets, Letter signs, bikes, food, scrabble pieces, your dog, balloons, sports equipment….
Have a paint fight.. Be creative! Show what you two love to do together or bring something that tells the story of how you met or how he proposed to you!
I know it is hard to pose in front of a camera, but the best thing you can do is be yourself and love on each other. Give each other lots of hugs and kisses and show affection.
Wear solids or small amounts of patterns…
I think every guy has a heavy patterned button up shirt in their closet. Even though they are nice, try to stay away from heavy patterns. As you can see in this picture, the guy’s shirt in places looks a little fuzzy or even blurry. There is so much going on that the camera can’t pick it all up.
Now, not all of their pictures are bad, some pictures it looks just fine but there are others where I don’t like it. It is your call with wearing those shirts but my suggestion is to lean more towards solids or a pattern that isn’t to busy.
STAY AWAY FROM LOGOS
I don’t mean, you can’t wear name brand clothes. That would be a huge bummer! What I mean is don’t wear a shirt that has a bunch of writing on the front of it. Basically it takes away from you two.
Even though this is a great shot, my eyes still wonder around the picture and I go to read his shirt. We want to focus to be on you, not what your shirt says.
DON’T MATCH EXACTLY!!!
Most of the time when I tell people to match, they think I mean exactly. No, by all means don’t wear the exact same clothes. You are two different people. Your styles are different.
When you have the beautiful dress or shirt picked out and you definitely want to wear it, find something that is of similar color for the other one to wear. If you have a gray shirt that has some yellow in it. Then ask him to wear a yellow shirt. It will bring out the highlights of your shirt out.
CHOOSE A LOCATION THAT REPRESENTS YOU!!
Pick a location that helps tell your love story. Maybe you two go to football games a lot, so why not try to get a session at Neyland Stadium. Think about where you two met. Where did he propose to you at? Where did you have your first date? Are you guys always out fishing, riding around on the lake during the summer? There are so many different ideas you can think about to really bring your history into a picture.
Thomas has his pilot license and takes Ericha on rides a lot. They wanted to get a few pictures in front of the plane.
David and Heather met at Dollywood. It was nice to run around dollywood and get pictures of them on the rides.
Or maybe you just love the mountains, old cabins, the woods or you want a more city look. Whatever you want I am sure I can help find the location.
DON’T ALWAYS LOOK AT THE CAMERA!
I have people tell me all the time, that they love candid photos and that they want their pictures to look more natural. I am all about people having fun, but sometimes people will look at me when it would have been a perfect natural/candid shot. My tip if your wanting more candid shots is not ever look at the camera, unless you are told to.
Jessica is acting silly here. Luckily I was able to get more shots of them looking at each other as they were walking, but remember when you make silly faces, sometimes you will ruin a shot because you had an impulse to throw me a silly look. I love when couples have fun, just make sure I am ready though 🙂
BE SILLY AND HAVE FUN!
Like, I just said. I do love when couples act silly with each other. It helps us all have fun. Some of the best images are when they aren’t planned. He might say something that is so funny and I will get a great picture of you two laughing.
FYI, they aren’t actually running from a train, but it was funny that they ran.
DON’T WEAR SUNGLASSES OR HATS
The lady in this picture has those glasses that change in the sun. What I had her to do was to take them off for most of her pictures. If you have glasses like this, try wearing contacts that day or survive the session without your glasses.
I know so many guys wear their ball caps all the time, they don’t look like their selves without it on. If you try to keep it off for most of the pictures we can always do pictures with your hat on at the end of the session if you want to. The main reason I don’t like hats to be wore is because it cast to much shade on your face.
DON’T WEAR NEON COLOR NAIL POLISH!
As you can see in this sample picture below, it is hard for me to take close up shots of you two if your nails are an eye sore. Now, don’t get me wrong I love the bright colors, but in this picture you can see how your eyes look at her nails. Again, we want the focus to be on you two not what you are wearing or the color your nails are.
I can always shoot different ways and turn the picture black and white, but it is also a great reason to get your nails professionally done (wink, wink)
DO SAVE THE DATES!!
Pick a great way to tell your family and friends your wedding date. You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest and decide on something that goes well with you two. Thinking outside of the box is key!
BRING A BRUSH, MAKEUP, MIRROR AND HAIRSPRAY!
The session usually last a couple of hours, so it is nice to rebrush your hair and put more lip gloss on after kissing your fiancé 🙂
I always suggest to bring 2-3 outfit changes. You can bring one that is more dressy, a more casual one, and something that shows off your personality. If you plan on using your engagement pictures as a save the date, an invitation so maybe one of your outfits should be in your wedding colors.
I love when girls wear tons of accessories. If it is summer, wear layers and bring color out in your necklaces, bracelets, ear rings or even cute hats. If it is fall or winter, bring your scarfs, leggings, boots, jean jackets. Don’t go overboard though.
DON’T CHANGE YOUR HAIR OR GET A SPAY TAN THE DAY BEFORE!
If you are thinking about dying your hair black after having your hair blonde for years, don’t do it the day of or the day before. Your hair might not turn out the way you really hoped or thought it would, so get your hair done a week or so before your session. That way, if you need to get anything retouched you have some time.
I once photographed this lady that had bright red hair. She looked good I thought, but she hated it and wanted to me photoshop her hair.
As far as a spray tan, if you do it a lot and know what to expect then its ok. But spray tans are very tricky. They can leave bad streaks. Just don’t do it yourself, ask a professional.
DON’T COPY EVERYONE… BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS!
With Pinterest this day in age, I have lots of clients showing me pictures or saying they want a picture like this other couple did. I definitely don’t care to do any ideas you have for me, but allow your photographer to be in charge.
If you have any ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments!