The engagement session guide! Now that you have picked a date, a venue and a photographer, you can celebrate! Those are some of the toughest decisions in wedding planning and you can cross them off your list! Yay!
So let’s talk about your engagement session!
I include engagement sessions in all of my wedding collections because I truly believe they are a VITAL part of the entire process. During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know me, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. This session will make a HUGE impact on how your wedding day flows. When I arrive on your wedding day, we will already be fast friends. I will know how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way. You will be more comfortable with all the poses including, a twirl and a dip, and you will feel like such a pro on your big day because of the great practice you had during your engagement session. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable!
Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress. I shoot engagements on Tuesday evenings, normally from 5-7p.m. depending on the light and the time of the year. In the winter months, 3-5 p.m. is a normal time frame for an engagement shoot. Some Sundays may be available if I don’t have a wedding that weekend.
As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming location ideas.
I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location! As long as the light is great, I can make any location look awesome! I shoot at parks, fields, areas of downtown Houston and even your house or apartment! I’m serious! Do not shy away from crazy ideas. The more creative, the better! Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!
Engagement Session Prep
It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken … even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that is taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips for outfits and accessories that will make the engagement shoot preparation a little more manageable!
I always recommend two different looks, but if you want to stick to just one outfit that is okay too:
One formal dressed up look: think long flowy dress for you, and a suit and jacket for him.
One semi-formal look: a more casual outfit for you and a blazer jacket and khakis for him
Lighter colors and pastels for clothing always make the pictures look extra dreamy and romantic. Think whites, creams, tans, soft pink, light blues
For guys, khaki pants photograph best (avoid jeans in general!) Avoid shirts with patterns and leave the Nikes at home. Brown leather shoes look awesome in photos!
Makeup shows up less on camera, so I always recommend adding a little extra mascara, blush and lip color than your daily look
Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones showing through your pockets. (This is for the guys especially!)
Make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. And brides, if the top is super low cut, that will limit the amount of angles I can shoot from.
BE ON TIME! The sun is only out for so long ! The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! And nobody wants that!
Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few rings shots while you change outfits! The cleaner the better!
Relax! You don’t have to be a pro at this! I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! I promise I will give you clear directions on how to pose! Enjoy this time together, and make a date out of it! Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!!
Preparing Your Groom
If you’re a bride that is a little anxious about how your groom is going to react to this whole “picture” thing, you’re not alone. We receive so many emails from brides who are worried that their groom won’t be into it and I have great news for you…. you both are more photogenic than you think! We are constantly surprising couples by discovering their hidden modeling skills and our most common response from our RGP grooms is “That wasn’t as bad as I thought! It was actually fun”. Boom! Mission accomplished! When the groom says that taking pictures was FUN, I have done my job well!
Your engagement session is supposed to be fun and relaxed, not forced or awkward. As you prepare for your shoot, there are a few things that you can do to help your groom know what to expect.
- I highly recommend sitting down with your guy and showing him 2-3 of your favorite engagement sessions that I have photographed. You will find them at www.reedgallagher.com in the BLOG section. Spend some time together scrolling through a few blog posts, this will allow him to gauge what his expectations should be.
- Allow for plenty of time to get to your shoot! There is nothing worse than when a couple shows up late, and they have been arguing in the car! That is definitely going to put your groom in a bad mood!
- Remember to have patience with him, and don’t assume that he’s not going to have a good time… I think you’ll be surprised how much you will both enjoy your session with us!
- Plan a date night. You are already dressed up so why not go out and celebrate! Surprise him with a fun night out.
Here is one final tip:
You are going to LOVE your engagement session photos! Be sure to set aside a little extra money to order a canvas of your favorite photo from the session to display at the venue on your wedding day. Or, consider ordering an engagement album that can also serve as your guest book. Your season as an engaged couple is such a special time and I promise you will want to display some photos to remember this day.
To get inspiration for your engagement photos and to see more of my work, be sure to follow me on Instagram by clicking here!