You’re engaged! This next year will be filled with lots of fun, excitement, and planning, so do you need an engagement photo session as well? Now that you’ve booked your wedding planner and venue, next up will be booking your photographer. A variety of photography packages exist to fit every budget and wedding need, from the number of hours you want on your day to all the extras like an engagement session or rehearsal dinner.
Engagement Photos: do I need them?
Adding an engagement session to your photography package is a must. Before our wedding, my husband and I bypassed an engagement session; we were certain an official portrait shoot was unnecessary before we got married. In hindsight, I wish we had invested in an engagement shoot for a number of reasons; here are a few to think about before deciding whether or not to say yes to an “e-sesh.”
Three reasons to do an engagement session
First, engagement sessions are an excellent way for you to get to know your photographer and, importantly, for them to get to know you without the intense pressures of wedding day timelines. Not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera, so understanding the things you like/dislike will also help to ensure your wedding day photography goes smoothly and you end up with images you will look back fondly on for years to come.
Second, wedding day photos are quite different from that of an intimate portrait session like engagement photos. Your wedding day will typically follow a timeline, and while there will be candid moments, there will also be lots of family photos and required shots expected of the photographer. In contrast, you can explore those romantic, candid moments without wedding day distractions during an engagement session. This allows you to simply be present, enjoy being with your partner, and let your photographer genuinely capture the essence of your love.
Third, your engagement session is a wonderful opportunity to have fun and be creative! It will likely be your last portrait shoot together before you get married; you’ll look back at these photos remembering it as a time of excitement and happiness.
Whether you decide to take a stroll along a beach, find a striking location, play into a clever theme or go all out with your fashion, we’ve put together a few ideas to help inspire your own unique engagement photo session.
The beach or a local park provides a light and airy backdrop
Outdoor settings such as a beach or park make for an idyllic backdrop, especially during the summer and when shooting during that ‘golden hour’ timeframe.
Consider a fun lifestyle or at home session
If you’re all about snuggling up at home with a good movie or perhaps you love to cook together, why not have your engagement shoot at home? For those couples who feel less comfortable in front of the camera, having the engagement photo session on your turf can ease some of that stress.
Go for a panoramic setting
Beautiful landscapes, distinct architecture or a dramatic city skyline can make for memorable and stunning photography. Not only will your portraits have an impressive backdrop, but the striking setting will add to the day’s overall experience.
Pick an activity as your backdrop
A lifestyle session with an activity is a great way to capture the things you love to do together, whether that’s throwing a football in the park, a trip to Home Depot, or simply grabbing a taco at your favorite eatery. Similar to an at-home engagement photo session, an engagement session doing the things you enjoy will both capture a time in your lives together and ensure your photos feel authentic.
Barefoot and fancy-free
Nothing screams fun, casual and down to earth than a ‘barefoot’ engagement photo session. Whether at the beach or in your backyard, consider taking the formality out of your engagement photos and kick off your shoes!
Incorporate a theme
If you’re an adventurous couple or enjoy a little ‘drama’ in your life, consider a theme for your engagement photo session such as a glam ‘Saint-Tropez’ theme on the beach, a Tuscan picnic, or a vintage-inspired shoot with a classic Cadillac. Whatever your inspiration, don’t forget to bring fun props such as a hat, basket or sunglasses to take your theme to the next level!
A fashion-filled engagement session
Express your inner fashionista with a standout dress or add some contrast to your engagement photo session by wearing a color that “pops”. Adding in a single item of color can give your images that “wow” effect, while incorporating several outfit changes can be a lot of fun, too.
Do a destination engagement session
A destination engagement photo session is a great idea if you are planning a trip together or perhaps, it’s the location where you were engaged. Taking your photos in a spot that is meaningful to you as a couple will bring back wonderful and sentimental memories later on in life.
Regardless of the setting, remember, your engagement session is all about you as a couple.
Take the time to plan out your shoot and chat through your options with your photographer. Discuss details such as any outfits, the location, and the time of day. When the day of your session arrives, don’t overthink things or worry about your poses and how you look. Instead, just relax, have fun and be yourselves! For more wedding planning tips, and expert advice, read more from the HauteFêtes wedding blog. If you are engaged and ready to see what it’s like to be an HauteFêtes couple, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you.