Engagement Sessions should be less about needing photos for "Save the Dates" and more about capturing memories that most feel like you. Often wedding days are busy, fun and more about living in the moment and being present, where at your engagement session, we can tell more of your love story and capture your personalities. I am always encouraging clients to make their engagement session more about THEM.
When you look back at your engagement photos in 10 years... how do you want to feel? What do you want to see?
As your photographer, I want to show your authentic love story. I want you to feel comfortable and look back and remember what good time you had! Here are some ideas on how to make your engagement feel more like YOU and how to make the most of it.
We are not recreating Pinterest or Instagram...
While Pinterest and Instagram are amazing resources for sharing and showing what kind of "vibe" you are looking for your engagement session... we will not be recreating or posing exactly like those photos. I love the inspiration, but the engagement photos are to show YOU!
First, let's think about location for your engagement photography...
I don't care if it is your couch where you spend most of your time together, the bar where you first met or a simple park that you feel comfortable in or spend a lot of time at... the location of the shoot should at least be something special.
Personally when we thought of our engagement photos, I knew I wanted a space that was unique, but memorable to us, so we chose a Sculpture Park that is significant to us and is beautiful.
I've had clients chose some amazing and unique spaces for their engagement photos, and some that may help spark a few ideas for you!
The "Date" Location:
Whether it is the first place you met, or you two love going out for drinks at your favorite bar, lets try to add that to the mix! Of course, I can't promise every establishment would be happy with us photographing there, but it never hurts to ask. Also, sometimes it is not the most private location if we are shooting during business hours.
The "Looks like our Big Day" Location:
Another idea for location is your venue! Or a location that reflects your big day! Gretchen and Mike (left photo) planned on getting married at Holiday Valley Ski Resort in the Summer, so when it came to engagement photos, they thought "why not the same spot but in the winter?". And for Claire and Ethan (right photo), they are getting married on a beach in Jamaica!!! So, even though the Buffalo, NY beaches aren't as pretty, we thought it would be a perfect location!
The Proposal spot:
I always ask about your proposal story, because that can also spark an idea! For Ellen and Will (on the left), Will popped the question after a dinner date at Glen Falls Park in Williamsville, NY, so in honor of that, we shot the photos there! Same for Kate and Tyler at Letchworth State Park!
If you are still stumped... there are few questions you can think of to help...
Questions to ask yourselves when picking a location:
Is there a place that you share together often?
Is there a place where you feel most at love? Or the first place you said I love you?
Is there a park you take your pet to or always find yourself going to?
What about a location that you have been dying to go to but haven't?
There are a few other things to consider though... time of year, time of day, weather and lighting! I will ALWAYS help with picking a location and suggesting options for us. Also, you don't have to pick ONE location, it can be more than one!
Let's get Personal!!
Another question to ask when planning your engagement session... what do you like to do together? It can be as simple as spending time in your favorite park, cooking your favorite meal or snuggling up with your pets, or as big as throwing on rollerblades and getting ice cream or throwing clay to make a pot together!
I am the type of photographer that wants to capture your memories... so a great way to do that is to physically DO SOMETHING!
Alright, shake out the nerves...
No need for that! Lets get you prepped for this engagement session!
To be honest... most of you tell me how uncomfortable photos make you, you how nervous you are, or that your partner isn't gonna love it and I DON'T BLAME YOU!! I get it! I was a wreck before mine and my husbands engagement session. So let's get you two prepped!
What to Wear?
First and foremost, be comfortable! I don't recommend going shopping the night before the session and stressing about what to wear. Prepare this early and don't put SOOO much pressure on it. There are definitely some do's and don't of style that you should be aware of... but that's why I have this style guide or you.
Wear something you love and fit the location you picked!, last thing we want is heels on a hiking path! If you never wear a fancy dress or suit... why wear one for your engagement session?
Some of my favorite engagement sessions are those that put the "style" out the window and wear what they love, whether it is a cozy sweatshirt or a band t-shirt. These photos are for you! But save yourself and pick / prep your clothes early!
What to do!?
Most couples tell me that they don't get their photos taken and that is a-ok! You don't need to be a model or be comfortable and confidence in front of the camera to get photos that you are going to love. And a promise that I make to EVERY couple... you will LOVE these photos and if you don't I did not do my job!
MY NUMBER ONE TIP:
LOVE EACH OTHER!!! We are all going to get a little vulnerable at this session... I am going to be my silly self to help bring up the mood and sometimes my silly self is a little embarrassing, but that's okay! I find the more I am vulnerable with you, the more you will open up to me. I tell every couple the same thing at a their session when they are nervous or uncomfortable...
"Just love up on one another. If you are willing to be vulnerable with one another, and with me, I want you to just give each other all the love you can and I promise I am going to capture the beauty that you already have."
When in doubt, laugh, kiss, embrace, I want to capture all your memories.
Be yourself and have fun!
It's all about capturing your true, magical, authentic selves, so let's do that! I tell my clients to be vulnerable with me and show your true self and love for one another. I will ask you to look a the camera for some formal shots, but for the most part, I want you to be interacting with one another, giving love and making each other laugh! I will help with a few inappropriate jokes.
Another classic Kelly Kaz quote:
"I don't care who or what you believe in, at my shoot there ain't not room for Jesus between ya! Get close!!"
We will be dancing, moving, playing! Let yourself have fun!
Eat, Drink, Rest and Stretch!
Make sure you are well fed before the session, no one wants to deal with hangry people! I wouldn't recommend eating a big meal right before (we will definitely be doing some moving), but make sure you've had enough to eat and are hydrated before hand!
Snack can be helpful during their session, but number one thing should be water! If you don't want to bring it with you, be sure to drink up in the car before hand.
Get some good sleep the night before! We don't need dark circles or yawns while capturing our precious memories. If good sleep has been impossible for you, let me know! We can try to work something out, or we will change the tone of the session to a cozier vibe.
Stretch like its your first day back at the gym! I am not kidding! Like I said, we will be moving. I will ask you to walk, maybe skip, maybe dance, but likely to get down and up from a blanket or couch, so a good stretch before hand should help loosen us all up!
Lastly, let's talk about it.
The best thing we can do is communicate. If you are feeling anxious, uncomfortable or simply don't know what to wear, reach out! I am here for you.
The best way for us to make this the best photo session EVER is to communicate and be on the same page with all of our thoughts and ideas around the day. Tell me what feels good, what feels bad, what you don't want to do! It's all about you!
Want to see some engagement session stories?
Check these out:
Ready to book your engagement photos or wedding photography coverage?