Engagement sessions are a weird things for couples. I always get two types of reactions to them:
"We can't wait for our session! (ok this is usually the bride to be, the groom is rolling his eyes in the back) we are going to mail out our save the dates ASAP!"
"We're not camera people, the wedding will be bad enough."
And both answers are totally ok.
Posing, kissing, pinteresting, location scouting - engagement sessions can be a daunting task.
Listen, I can't fix that your fiancé is whining about missing the big game or your spanx just aren't hitting in the right place that day, but I am here to talk you through what can be a really enjoyable, engaging, and memorable moment for the two of you; To simplify the tasks and let you know, its ok to be you and be comfortable with who you are as a couple.
When should we do it??
It depends. For some couples their wedding is coming up and they need to do it as soon as possible, for others they may have some time to play with. I usually recommend that couples do opposite seasons for their sessions. Fall wedding? summer session! Spring session, winter wedding! You can really arrange it any way you like, I think it looks nice to have a variety of looks to display on your walls for years to come!
Where's this going down?
The most important aspect of picking a location for your session is its meaningful for you. Locations can be beautiful and popular but you want your location to fit your personality. If there's a lot going on, it can detract from the two of you. When looking for location, texture should really stand out. Brick, a fence, buildings, columns, something to break it up a bit. Another thing to be aware of is whether permits are needed or if the location is only open certain hours. Check out some of my favorite locations for different reasons below!
What do we wear!?!?!?
My answer: something you would normally wear. Now for some people that's sweatpants (awesome lets shoot it on your living room couch) and for others that's something a bit dressier. I usually give the guideline that at least one item you wear should already be in your closet or if you do go to buy something, it should be from a store you would typically shop at. Changing outfits can be a great idea to give two different looks. Just be prepared to possibly change in your car or a random store!
Another suggestion, make sure your outfit styles "match". No, please do not show up in matching jumpsuits, but if you're going dressier, so should your guy, and vice versa. Your outfits should "match" your scenery: NYC or Hoboken? Probably dressier, A barn? probably not your pradas.
To prop or not to prop?
Props are one of those on the line things. They can add an extra detail to your session to bring out who you are as a couple, but overdone they can detract from you guys as a couple. If you choose to use props, keep it simple and personal. This goes along with your furry friends! I'm a huge animal lover and if you want to include Max or Spike in your session either start at your home where they're comfortable and can leave them for the rest of your session, or have a friend come to entertain the pups when we focus on the two of you.
There really is no right or wrong to what an engagement session is. If you're genuine to who you are as a couple, you'll be fine. Don't over-stress or over-think it, and don't practice your serious face in the mirror either. It will be o.k. We'll have a great time! And afterwards, celebrate with a drink :)