5 Quick Tips for your Engagement Session

Today, let's talk about engagement sessions! It's that time of year where many wedding couples are starting to think about their engagement sessions before their weddings this Summer and Fall. I love these sessions, and have photographed so many couples across PEI in many different locations. Here I wanted to share 5 little tips so you can make the most of your own photo shoot. 

The main reason I include a complimentary engagement session with every full day wedding collection is because it allows us to get to know each other and for the couple to become comfortable in front of the camera. A lot of my clients will show up feeling a little nervous and unsure what to expect at first, and I totally get that. For many, this is the first time they're being photographed by a professional apart from their high school or post secondary grad photos! They may be scared I'll ask them to do a bunch of crazy things, stand in awkward positions the whole time, or be generally uncomfortable. They quickly realize that's not the way it goes. Being photographed is much easier than expected, and quite enjoyable! The truth is, as a photographer my job is about 50% photography, and 50% knowing how to work with people.

You can take incredible photos but if you don't know how to make people feel comfortable, you're not going to achieve the look both you and your clients want. An engagement session introduces you to your photographer with a 'practice run' of sorts, letting you see first hand how they work. I've had many people tell me (even the guys!) how easy and fun their engagement session was and that's what I strive for. 

1. Before the shoot, I often let my clients choose the location so that we photograph somewhere unique and special to them. From baseball fields, to pumpkin patches, to beaches, and farms, I've been taken to many beautiful locations across PEI, all special in their own way. I recommend choosing a spot that has meaning to you such as a favorite spot to visit together, and old date location, or a family member's property. 

2. I encourage clients to add special touches to their session including one of my favorite things.....dogs! Bringing along your dog can help add a fun and light hearted dynamic to your session. Even if your dog runs around and is only in a couple photos, you may enjoy the familiarity of having your four legged friend there with you. Plus, they're a special part of your life so why not have them in your photographs too?

3. In addition to pets, some other objects can be fun to bring along such as handmade signs, a cozy blanket, sports equipment, paint, or balloons. Feel free to bring what you like, or nothing at all. If you do, just make sure to keep it simple and easy to carry. Either way, the photos will be beautiful! 

4. "So, what should I wear?" I get asked this question a lot. I always tell clients to simply wear what they know is going to make them feel comfortable and relaxed. I've had couples show up in everything from dresses and heels, to shorts and sandals - it all depends on what look you're going for, and where your session takes place. Consider bringing along a light sweater or different pieces of jewelry if you'd like a quick and easy outfit change. If you're having a hard time deciding, take a look through my Portrait section on my website for some examples of what others have worn.

5. Lastly, relax and have fun! No part of working with me or any photographer should be stressful. It's a great feeling to come away from a session with photos you're proud of, ones that you will print and hang on the wall for years. Feel free to think outside the box if you want to too. There are no rules, it's your hour to enjoy so have fun with it! 

If you've had engagement photos taken before, what was your favorite part? Any tips you'd like to add? Share them in the comments!