I love engagement sessions because I can get really creative with couples to make some pretty amazing photographs. It’s not just a trial run for the wedding, although I think it’s helpful for couples to see how they feel and look in front of the camera. There is lots that can be done to make your engagement session more WOW than a typical portrait session.
1. Brides do your hair & makeup trials on engagement session day.
You need to do a hair and makeup trial prior to the wedding, what better day to do it than on your engagement session day. You can get all beautiful and not have to stress out at all about getting ready. You will see how the makeup looks not only in the mirror put how it translates in the camera. Brides that typically don’t wear a lot of makeup find this extremely helpful; I encourage them that on the trial let the MUA do her thing, then you can see in the photos if you thought it was a little too much or too little.
2. Pick a sentimental or beautiful location.
Where you had your first date, your first kiss, where he proposed; these are all amazing sentimental locations where you can have your engagement session. However, if you’re stuck for ideas, ask your photographer for a few location ideas that have some great views. A few examples are Grouse Mountain, Granville Island, Vandusen Gardens or even a helicopter into the middle of no-where into the mountains. All would make an amazing backdrop to your engagement session.
3. Dress up and bring accessories.
Dressing up for your engagement session is important, you can wear jeans and shorts every other day of the week. Change into something amazing, a cocktail dress and nice shoes will go a long way, and don’t forget to dress your hubby in something nice as well. A collared shirt, nice slacks, just make sure he’s comfortable with what he’s wearing. Remember that the two of you want to wear complimentary outfits, without matching!
4. This is the time for major PDA.
Get close, closer, closer, closer… My best experiences with couples during their engagement session is when they ignore me altogether and focus on each other. They chat and get closer, a touch on the arm, a kiss on the forehead, and then bring the bodies closer. Gazing into each others eyes, blushing, flirting. This closeness allows you to relax quicker because it’s something you’re used to doing together, and it really shines through in the photograph. I can walk a couples through all of these things and suggest what they do, but you can really tell when they just feel it.
5. Bring pets or kids
If you are a couple that has children or pets that feel like they’re your children I encourage you to bring them along for a part of the session. If you do decide to bring kids or pets to you session, ask someone to bring them half way through the session or make sure to also bring a babysitter so that you can go off and enjoy the rest of your engagement session alone.
6. Bring props.
I love tasteful props, things that will make your engagement session more you. It’s a good time to take a photo for your save the date cards, your thank you cards and any message you want to keep or give to guests at the wedding. Props can be fun, but they can get super cheesy if you aren’t careful!