Most of us do not have professional photos done a lot if at all. It can be intimidating and make you unsure of what to wear and how to pose. A good photographer will make you feel natural and comfortable behind the camera. I tell my couples that at first it will feel awkward but by the end of the session they will be a pro. Making couples feel natural and relax makes for amazing images for both your engagement session and your wedding day. Here are some tips to help rock your photography experiences.
Wear something that you feel good in. We all have that outfit that just makes us feel pretty and that’s what you want when going into your engagement session. You want to feel comfortable, relaxed and confident. For the guys I usually suggest a nice pair of jeans and a button up shirt, pullover or flannel. For the girls I suggest a flowy dress, or jeans and nice top that you feel good in. As for shoes it depends on where we are taking the photos.
If we are in a park or garden then a nice pair of new sneakers or dress shoes. If we are going to the beach then no shoes are required. Sometimes I have my couples climb on rocks or up hills so maybe bring a pair of sneakers for the climbing and then the heels of flats for the photo. Also stay away from busy prints or designs if possible. Unless it goes well with each other. Not matching (please no) but if the design compliments each other. Like Andrea and Nate in the photo above. Being near Gainesville, FL I photograph a lot of UF Alumni. These outfits were a perfect complement to each other while showing off their school colors.
Give yourself a pamper day the morning of your engagement session. Get you hair, makeup and nails done. You know that you always feel great after walking out of the salon and that feeling will shine through in your photos. Plus it's a great time to have a test run with your makeup person. A good makeup artist will know what makeup look good in photos and be able to make you look amazing and camera ready!
Time day is everything. Golden hour is a photographer's favorite time to photograph. The light is amazing and the images just come out so romantic, soft and perfect. So make sure you schedule the time for the early evening. Also if its an overcast day be flexible to moving the session up a bit since it does get darker faster on overcast days.
Time of year is everything. Living in the south the worst time to do photos is in the dead of summer. It’s humid so there goes your hair, it’s humid so there goes your makeup, it’s humid so that makes you miserable, sweaty and gross. Usually you are booking your photographer months ahead of the wedding so you are able to schedule that engagement session in a cooler month. If it’s not possible then I go back to shooting at sunset when the heat has calmed down a bit and you and your photographer will be more comfortable.
Be adventurous your engagement session should be like a date so ask your photographer for some unique locations that represent the two of you. Don’t do just a beach session but find a beach with rocks that you can stand and walk on. Don’t do just a park but find a great state park that has mountains, big trees or an epic backdrop. Pick a historic little town that has great buildings. One of my favorite locations was at Universal Studios in the Harry Potter part of the parks. Jessica and Andy got engaged in front of Hogwarts. When they told me that I immediately said please do your engagement session there that would be amazing! They were thinking the same thing and away we went. So find something that speaks to you and have fun and your images will be amazing!
So I have a bonus tip that is a little selfish but definitely a good one. Bring your puppies! So many of my couples have included their dogs in the photos and I love it! I am a huge dog lover and I say this is selfish because I want to play with the dogs. But absolutely bring in the dogs for your session. The photo below we actually started the session at their house so we could get some shots of the dogs and this image ended being my favorite of the whole session. It’s fun relaxed and they all have pjs on!