Engagement Sessions, also known as "Save the Date" sessions, have a number of benefits. They allow the couple to become acclimated with their photographer prior to the wedding. They provide the couple with quality photos for any Save the Dates, invitations, or websites. Couples also occasionally have a canvas or two at the wedding or reception. Some couples also have a large copy printed for wedding guests to sign the day of. Below are our tips to have an awesome engagement session.
When To Book
Scheduling your Engagement Session somewhat depends on what the intention of the shoot will be. If the intent is to use the photos for a website, save the date, or invitations, you should look to schedule your shoot at around 8-10 months before your wedding date. Some couples opt to shoot around 2-5 months before the wedding date to try out different wedding day looks with hair and makeup if they're looking to get an add in their local newspaper or publication. If a couple would really like to get dressed photos on their programs or party favors, then they could schedule something up to one month out. Once you pick a date, be sure to choose the best time for your session!
As a photographer, I like to tell couples to think of themselves on a date. Only difference is that someone will be following them around and occasionally posing them and adding props! However, this is all about the client. The most important thing is that you be yourselves. Let your photographer know what style or mood you are looking for. If you are home-bodies, then think about having your shots done at or around your residence. If you are city-dwellers, don't be afraid to go to some public places. Same for those that are out in the country. If you're aiming for a more rustic wedding, why not start the theme off with your Engagement Session.
What to Wear
Typically, we have a minimum of 2 halves to our Engagement Sessions--Formal and Casual. You'll want to look for solid-colored clothing. Try to stay away from plaids, floral prints, or other patterns. Also try to shy away from bright reds. Jewelry for men should be kept to a minimum and ladies should generally have a nice necklace and a simple set of earrings. Remember, it's about the ring more than anything else.
Share Your Vision
Point out photos from your photographer's past work or create a Pinterest board to share with your photographer or just share photos with them. But when you share them, say WHY you like the photo in a sentence or two. Do you like the lighting in the image? The pose? The scene? All of this helps the photographers figure out your vision. Do you have any specific locations that you want to use? Being wedding photographers in Washington DC and surrounding areas gives tons of options for locations!
Bring a Friend
...Or several for that matter. It's always great to have support from a few friends. They don't have to be bridesmaids or groomsmen either. Ladies may want to bring a makeup artist along to touch them up between looks. A friend could be their to hold a mirror behind the photographer so the couple has a sense of how they look during photos. There may be a need for an extra pair of hands or someone to watch possessions while we're a distance away. They could even come up with some ideas that the couple might like!