Engagement Sessions: Everything You Need To Know!
Engagement sessions are a relatively new topic in the wedding photography industry, having become popular in the past decade. There are several key reasons for the success of this trend:
1. Most importantly, engagement sessions allow the three of us to get to know each other. My goal is that the images I create are a genuine representation of the two of you. Seeing you interact naturally will help me bring that out in my art. On the other side, working with me in advance of your wedding day will help calm any nerves about the photography process -- trust me, we'll have more fun than you can possibly imagine, and you'll leave your engagement session even more excited for your wedding day.
2. Engagement sessions allow you to express yourself in ways that are not practical on your wedding day. Do you love to ski? Let's meet on the slopes! Are your dogs part of your family? Let's bring them on a hike through the woods. Do you love Halloween? Let's go pumpkin-picking and take it home to carve. These are activities that define you, both as individuals and a couple, but which are not convenient to arrange on your wedding day!
3. Engagement sessions can be captured at any time of year, in any location. Are you getting married in the summer, but love the snow? Do you love the beach, but are being married on a golf course? Is your grandparent's farm backyard special in your family history, but not large enough to accommodate your wedding guests? With a little bit of advanced planning, engagement sessions are a wonderful way to capture your relationship separately from your wedding day/season/venue.
4. Engagement sessions give you images of your relationship on a typical day, and in typical clothing, preserving the little moments that define your relationship. If you would like, we can use these images at the beginning of your wedding album, to tell a more complete narrative.
Still have more questions about engagement sessions? Take a peek at our general FAQs!
Things to Bring to Your Engagement Session
1. Sunscreen (For sessions taking place May-September). Consider using an oil-free lotion, rather than a waterproof spray-on aerosol to prevent shininess on your skin. Neutrogena makes a product specifically for your face, but which is ideal on any skin that shows during photographs because it dries so naturally.
2. Bug Spray/Lotion (For sessions taking place May-September. I recommend OFF "Deep Woods", in the green bottle. It is available at most Canadian Tire, Walmart and Home Depot locations. If you are particularly sensitive to bites, please let me know so that I may suggest a location less prone to excessive bugs.). Rather than spraying your whole body, try spraying the air in front of you, then walking into it, or spraying your hand and applying manually. These techniques will prevent over-applying which can cause shininess on your skin.
3. Comfortable Walking Shoes (there is a bit of gentle walking required at most engagement sessions. For your comfort, and the protection of your fancier footwear, I recommend carrying the shoes you wish to be photographed wearing; there will be time to change into them as needed)
4. Jacket/Overcoat (even if you don't think you will need it!)
5. Winter Clothing (For sessions taking place late October - early April)
6. Backpack (to hold your phone, car keys, wallet, jacket, water bottle, sunscreen ect. Carrying one bag is easier than several single items)
7. Pets. Completely optional, but certainly welcome. If you do decide to bring your dog/horse/lizard/goldfish/ect. to your engagement session, please do consider the logistics of this process. The comfort of your pet is your responsibility; not all pets enjoy being outdoors, especially in unfamiliar locations. Having a third person who can supervise your pet during segments of your engagement session is often helpful.
Things to Wear to Your Engagement Session
1. Try to stick with neutral, earthy tones (black, grey, white, blues and purples are ideal).
2. Please avoid large graphic images, or distracting patterns on clothing.
3. If you typically love vibrant colour, consider bringing an accessory that can be added, or removed, from your outfit as needed. As an example, in the third image below, the bride-to-be brought a pink fashion scarf, which brightened her outfit during some images, but was later removed to offer variety in her appearance. During the winter, colourful gloves, scarves or hats can accomplish this nicely.
4. Make sure your outfit is comfortable. If wearing a brand new outfit, please give it a test-run in advance of your engagement session. Wear it to work, or shopping, and make sure it moves comfortably with your body and makes you feel FABULOUS.
Don't forget your best smile, and memories of the love you share -- the rest will come naturally. Relax, and enjoy this wonderful experience.