Long ago engagement sessions were never really heard of. Traditionally couples would have an engagement party to announce to their friends and family that they are officially a couple and will be married. An E-Session is much the same thing, just done photographically. It’s a great way to show off how much a couple loves each other in a creative way. It’s mostly to show off to their friends and family and say, “See how much we are in love!” Some couples like to use the photos from their engagement session in an album for the sign in guest book at their wedding. Also, couples often enlarge and frame their favorite photos from the session at the wedding reception, or in a slideshow to entertain the guests.Some couples will use a photo from the session for their announcements or in the newspaper.
Another important reason a couple should do an engagement session is to get to know their photographer. Most likely the photographer who is shooting your E-Session is also shooting the wedding. It’s a great way to get a feel for your photographer’s personality. It’s especially important for the groom because in many cases it’s the only time he meets the photographer before the wedding. This way, on the wedding day everyone knows each other and is much more comfortable with each other.
Finding the perfect location for and engagement shoot is usually done as a group effort. The photographer always has lots of great locations in mind, but it’s very important for the engagement session reflect the lifestyle of the couple. It would be silly to shoot a couple from the city, who always lived in the city, and loves the city, at a farm.Or a couple from the country who grew up on a farm most likely wouldn’t want photos of them with the city skyline behind them. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, couples should have the engagement session reflect their relationship and lifestyle as they are living it so it’s an authentic version of them.
A E-Session can be shot anywhere from downtown in the city, to a parking garage, to a corn field, to a back yard. A good photographer can make any location work for an engagement session. It’s important to remember the engagement session is about the couple, not the location. A good photographer is going to focus more on the bride and groom than what’s in the background. A good backdrop is always nice, but the emotion and intimacy between a couple is much more eye catching. If the couple is truly happy and in love, the photos will focus on that and the backdrop is just an added bonus.
Props are fun and a very big trend these days especially with the introduction of Pinterest. If done right props can be super cute and help add to the personality of the couple. The thing to beware of with props is at times it may date the photo. Trends come and go, so in ten years when you see that photo with a prop you may say, “Oh yeah, that was totally taken 10 years ago.” It’s similar to fashion. At the time, bell bottoms and butterfly collars were the rage! If you were wearing it, you were the most “far out” couple in the neighborhood! But looking at them now, it’s obvious that they were from the ‘70s. Same is true with props. It can still be done as long as it’s done tastefully and really reflects the couple’s lifestyle.
Another trend with engagement session is a themed E-Session. Some ideas that I’ve done with a session is a golf theme because the couple loved golf. Another couple shot their session at a winery since they loved drinking wine together. Vintage themes are also very popular these days and are super cute, but just remember, it is a trend, and could possibly date your photos. A good rule of thumb is to have some props, or a theme, but be sure to also include some traditional poses and images to the session. Just to be sure there is lots of variety and really captures the couple as they actually are with and without accessories! :D
Any photo session is a special occasion, so a couple should be dressed in their very best! It’s important to remember that the session is about capturing who you are, so dressing up like a city girl with high heels and diamonds, if you are a small town girl from the country, may not be the thing for you. Cowgirl boots and a cute sundress is completely appropriate for a country type of setting. Just remember who you are and how you want to remember who you are in ten years. Getting down to the nitty gritty about wardrobe: Stay away from loud colors and patterns. Muted colors and small designs are the best so your clothes aren’t a distraction. Layers and texture really look great. A blouse with ruffles, a scarf, and big jewelry always looks fabulous. The guy’s shirt should compliment but not necessarily match the girls’ outfit. And be natural. If you don’t usually tuck in your shirt and wear khakis’, wear your shirt un-tucked with jeans! It’s important to be yourself, but be your BEST self.
Makeup and hair is one of the things that really make a girl stand out in an engagement session. First of all, it’s always fun to play dress up! :D When do you get a chance to look and feel like a model? Take advantage of the opportunity to get glammed up for your session. Again, be yourself, but be your BEST self. A professional makeup artist is going to highlight your best attributes so they come across on camera beautifully! They know the curves, angles, and highlights in your face to really make them pop.Hands down, good makeup and hair is really going to make you look like a rock star for your session!
The Last important rule for your engagement session is to be yourself and be comfortable. If you are comfortable with each other the photos are going to show that. Try to forget about the little black box clicking away at you. Gaze into each other’s eyes and get lost in yourselves. Giggle, smile, and laugh together, whisper secrets to each other. That’s going to bring out who you really are for the camera. A good photographer will get some traditional and posed photos, but the moments when the couple is looking at each other and laughing are the ones that make the very best photos.
© Paris Mountain Photography