A wedding celebrates love, commitment, and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your lives together. As you embark on this journey, the engagement session is like the first page of your story—where it all began. Where you both said yes to each other and the rest fell into place. Capturing the essence of your love story during a laidback portrait session is lots of fun, but that’s not the only reason why I include this service for all my couples.
There are a myriad of reasons why having your engagement photos taken is an indispensable resource if you’re seeking the absolute best in your wedding photography. What follows are the benefits of and how to plan for the ultimate success with your engagement session.
An engagement session comes complimentary with all my collections–here’s why…
- You’re more comfortable on camera. Feeling yourself in front of the lens on your wedding day is more natural when you are familiar with how I work as an “editorial meets candid” photographer. Building a rapport ensures we’re closer to friends than strangers and living shared experiences together builds a bond that comes into play on the big day. Surround yourself with vendors who you can open up to and be yourselves around. Not only will you have more fun, but it will set the stage for more authentic, natural candid photographs to be captured in real time and with true emotions.
- Your unique qualities, dynamics, and personal preferences are all part of what informs my wedding day approach and the only way to observe these is through photographing you together, prior to the wedding day. So much of how we communicate is unspoken and I rely on my keen eye and emotional intelligence to chart a course for the best wedding photos that fully encapsulate who you are, both as individuals, and together. Not everyone will cuddle in public, and that’s ok. Figuring out where your comfort levels lie and how best to cater to that in the future is vital to the whole process.
- The first page of the exciting new chapter of your journey towards marriage. This milestone begins when you both say “yes” to each other and the planning begins. The anticipation, affection, and vibrant energy of these months as you await the big day are the perfect time to begin documenting your love story. It’s your first opportunity to tap into the visual narrative of the wedding weekend experience you have planned for your guests. You’re able to use this photos for your wedding website so feel free to choose a similar vibe (beachy, city, etc) so your session hints towards what your guests can look forward to. Think of it as the foreword to the whole album.
As a luxury wedding photographer, we go beyond a pretty picture. Are the photos beautiful? Of course they are but they’re much more substantial than that. Dig a little deeper and we start to see your unique love story unfold. The way you hold hands, laugh together, or share an unspoken language—the nuances of your connection and dynamic are observed astutely and with care. These are the pieces of you I’ll seek to document in your wedding photos. Knowing full well when you’re truly smiling and when you could maybe use a bit of space. It all informs my approach on the wedding day.
How do you choose a location for your engagement session? Look no farther than your own lovely life! Which of your favorite places can we reimagine together? What do you love to do together when you have free time? By focusing on an activity, the locale takes care of itself. Also, if you’re enjoying your time spent with your photographer, your photos will reflect that and you may even make a couple memories along the way—win/win!
Shall we set sail for a coastal chic sailboat session or gear up, rackets and all, for a game of tennis together? Maybe reminisce on your favorite mornings together, stay home, and make pancakes? From your local Brooklyn neighborhood coffee shop to off-roading on the beach. Whatever your flavor, there is something for everyone. The only expectation is that there are none.
Choosing an outfit for your engagement session can be a daunting task if you’re unsure what reads well on camera. First and foremost, comfort is key. When you feel great, you look even better. Secondly, you’ll want to dress for the activity and location you’ll be taking photos at. If you’re out on the open ocean, choose layers, SPF, Parisian stripes, and the widest floppy hat you can handle. If you’re opting for a friendly competition on the tennis court as your engagement session, your outfit is going to reflect that with a sporty chic look and colored visor for flair.
Choose fabrics that move well, avoid logos, and opt for complementary colors for best visual effect. Light layers, touchable textures, colors pulled from the environment. Think about where these portraits will be displayed in frames and choose clothes that go well with the interior color scheme. Tend towards timeless (with a twist) and have a little fun with it! Lean into the location and draw inspiration from your favorite movies, brands, and stylists. My favorite dress brands that read beautifully on camera are: Ulla Johnson, Reformation, Sezane, and Zimmermann. Layer with a classic wool coat and call it a day!
Scheduling your engagement session can happen anytime up to one month before your wedding to enable ample time for image delivery. You’re able to use images for your wedding website if you allow enough lead time. This is such a fun way to introduce your guests to the experience they can look forward to at your wedding festivities.
For the best light, time your session to begin in the 2 hour window around sunrise or sunset as this is the best light for portrait photography on film. This time frame is dubbed “magic light” for a reason, scheduling for this golden sunshine adds the best quality natural light to your images and is super flattering. Choose a date with your photographer for a day when you’re not pressed for time and can fully relax/unplug/have a bit of fun.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Enjoy the process and lean into the celebration of it all. It’s a once in a lifetime event and you deserve to enjoy every part of the journey!
For more engagement session inspiration, view my portfolio of real couples here.