As a wedding photographer, I include Engagement Sessions in just about every wedding package. In some cases, this is one of the first times that the bride and groom have done photos together professionally, so naturally, there are a lot of unknowns. What to wear, where to go, what time of day, how to behave… all super valid questions but don’t worry, friends. Your friendly neighbourhood photographer, Anna, has got your back.
These quick 5 tips for amazing engagement photos will put your questions at ease and result in photos you’ll cherish!
1. Where to go? Think outside of the box for locations
While heading to random parks and beautiful local landmarks is always a sure hit, there are ways we can make the photos more special to you based on the locations. Not sure where to go? Start brainstorming with the places you love to visit as a couple. A dog park you like to walk your dog together at frequently? Maybe a cafe, or a specific pizza place? Did you meet in a certain place — college, perhaps? Picking a place that has a special connection for you both makes the photos that more memorable and unique to the two of you. Even if that means being at home with your cats that you love so much, making dinner together. What a beautiful way to capture your relationship together!
Extra tip: public businesses like restaurants are usually super friendly! If you like the look of a restaurant, ask them if you could do a photo shoot at their space — they’re usually pretty cool with the idea.
2. The best time of day for romantic light is golden hour
Ever notice how the sun is amazingly golden just before it sets over the horizon? This is what is known as golden hour, a magical time of day that changes the hue of the sun and the surrounding environment and is truly one of my favorite times of the day to photograph. Not only is the light changing, it typically becomes softer, resulting in a much more flattering light. If there are clouds during this time of day, you’ll see some absolutely amazing pink and purple tones during this time of day — a real pleasure for the eye and for your photos!
Extra tip: to get this look, plan your photo start time to be around 3-4 hours before sunset, or at the start of sunrise.
3. Pets allowed!
Pets are welcomed and encouraged! There’s something really special about taking care of a pet together; they make their way into our hearts and become family. Couples often end up adopting a pet as one of their first major commitments together, so why not celebrate that commitment by including your sweet pet in your engagement photos? This gives a fun and playful element to your photos, plus memorializes this special commitment you’ve made to care for your pet as a team.
Extra tip: Typically, your pet will be good to go for photos for only a portion of the photo shoot. It’s a good idea to have a friend or family member on hand when including your pet in your photos, to keep the attention of the pet. Then, when the pet is done with their portion of photos, they can be sent home with your friend/family member or can be kept entertained by them for the remainder of the session.
4. Winter vs. Summer (or Fall)
When picking a season for your engagement photos, there are a few things to consider. Number one is timeline to wedding day, which will limit the time in general. Due to our crazy cold winters in Calgary, it’s understandable that couples might be hesitant to do an Engagement Session in the winter. However, some of the most amazing photos can be done in the winter. Sledding, building a snowman, snow-capped mountains in Banff and Canmore, sharing a blanket or scarf together… super romantic! The great thing about Engagement Sessions is that they are more flexible than wedding days in that they can be rescheduled if the weather is not ideal, so you’re never stuck with a crummy day.
Extra tip: for maximum variety in your photo sessions, picking the opposite season of your wedding day is a great way to go.
5. Use this as your wedding makeup trial run
Ladies, if you haven’t had a wedding makeup trial done yet, an Engagement Session is a great time to schedule it with your makeup artist. Not only will you have your makeup done for you (which is always a nice feeling!) but you’ll see exactly how it photographs so you’ll have a better idea for your wedding day.
Extra tip: if you normally don’t wear a lot of makeup, it’s best not to ask for more than you’re normally used to otherwise you start to look not like “you”. Darker eye makeup usually helps your eyes pop in photos more, but the most important rule to follow is to make sure you are comfortable.
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you have any questions at all or want more Engagement Session tips, give me a shout with the contact form below. :)