Earlier this year (a few days ago, hah. See what I did there!?), we featured our 2017 wedding clients in a special way by creating an engagement session and wedding day side-by-sides with one image from each collection. We hope you enjoyed perusing it as much as we enjoyed creating it! To continue with our engagement session theme this week, we thought it would be awesome to share some info and tips in regards to these sessions. SHP engagement sessions are complementary to every wedding photography package. We find them invaluable. I think we’ve covered that fact! What we haven’t talked about much is how to prepare for an engagement session, and that’s what we’d like to dive into here today!
Engagement sessions document an important moment in a couple’s love story. It also allows people an opportunity to get practice in front of the camera. Ideally, if you’re preparing for an engagement session, this means you’ve settled on a wedding photographer and you and your partner are embarking on a new relationship with that person. At SHP, we find that the engagement session is key to strengthening this relationship. Wouldn’t it be ideal to know who’s going to show up to photograph you on your big day and have an established relationship? We think so!
Accomplishing an engagement session takes some planning. First, you’ll need to settle on a time and place. Engagement sessions can take place anytime between the moment you’ve booked to a few weeks before the wedding day. It all depends on what you want to do with the images. If you want to use an image from the session for Save the Dates or invitations, the timing for creating, printing and mailing these things must be factored into scheduling. Typically, SHP engagement sessions are scheduled Tuesdays through Thursdays (with limited Friday availability) because weekends are set aside for weddings. This depends on the season, however, which is another thing to consider – perhaps you’d like the season of the engagement session to match the one in which your wedding day is planned! Hair and makeup trail appointments can be planned on the same day of the session too! No matter what you chose to do, always be sure to keep the photography session time in mind. Sometimes, the daylight is a factor in the images your photographer has planned to create for you. Keep scrolling to read more!Second, you get to decide on a location! Woo! Choose your own adventure! SHP likes to encourage their couples to think of places, activities, or seasons that have meaning to them when they’re deciding. Sarah also has a list of favorite locations in the area to choose from, say if it’s most important to the couple that they bring their dog or a family heirloom, but they do not necessarily know or mind where to have the photos taken. That’s totally cool and okay. We’ve got it covered. Once the day and place has been established, you should spend a little effort planning what you will wear and bring to the session. Clothing is important to carefully consider. We like to encourage clean, coordinated (but not matchy-matchy, persay), classic outfits. An outfit change can also be considered. Some couples like to have a set of casual outfits and a set of some on the dressier side. There’s no pressure to do this though, and we encourage keeping the wardrobe changes to just one or 2 anyway! The most important things to avoid are clashing colors, neon, logos or large graphics on clothing, and anything one doesn’t feel super comfortable and confident in. Consider the weather for the day and layer clothing appropriately. Accessorizing can also add layers of interest. You should consider interesting necklaces, scarves, bold colored shoes or other beloved accessories. Just remember, if anyone wears a hat, we’ll probably ask you to take it off for a few images throughout the session!
In addition to clothing, you should discuss if you’d like to bring anything else. Fur children, family heirlooms, and props adorned with important dates or phrases, are just some of the things our past clients have brought along with them to create images. Don’t forget to bring the engagement ring too (just in case you were thinking of bringing it to the cleaners that week haha!). Sarah enjoys crushing an awesome ring shot into existence! With outfit and prop preparation behind you, the most important thing to remember about these sessions is that they are supposed to be fun! There are a few things you can do to ensure everyone’s on the same page about that fact. Talk to your partner about the session one-on-one beforehand. Even look through some blog posts together – just to make sure you both know what’s in store. We love what we do at SHP, and we want our clients to join in on the fun, so we are happy to answer any questions and chat about the session beforehand too. Open communication is so key in a photography relationship. We know our clients aren’t at photography sessions every day and are typically new to the experience, so be ready to listen and communicate once the day comes; we’ll be taking the reigns by giving you prompts to create the most lovely collection of images to celebrate your engagement!
Happy New Year! Come see us on January 21st at the New York State Fairgrounds where Syracuse Wedding Magazine will be hosting their Bridal Show with a live wedding giveaway!