Here at Kyle Ford Weddings, we believe that an engagement session is meaningful for a multitude of reasons. The immediate outcome of an engagement session is that it provides you gorgeous images to share on social media and on your invitations with the news of your recent engagement. From a photography perspective, engagement shoots are the perfect opportunity to get you, me, and the camera more acquainted and comfortable with one another before the main event. To prepare for your engagement session, use my tips below to help you make the most of your time.
Engagement sessions are meant to be first and foremost fun, light, and relaxed. Chances are if you are reading this, you’re the one that is stoked for the session, and your significant other is along for the ride. If their idea of an engagement session is to capture the bare minimum – a few happy shots of the two of you, and your vision is something more intimate and emotional, your job is to prep them. Show your partner some of your favorite engagement images in the style you’d like to create. If you come to the shoot with a unified vision, you’re likely to save time, money, emotional energy, and to leave with images that you both love.
Just like with your wedding, I suggest if you are going to wear makeup; give it a trial run before the day of the session. The same goes for outfits. If you’re unsure how an outfit will translate on camera, try it on beforehand and have your partner take photos of you to make sure everything falls in a flattering way. Bring a jacket that matches, and comfortable footwear just in case the weather turns or you run across difficult terrain.
Time is of the essence. When I plan an engagement shoot, I like to plan it so that it accounts for the awkward 20-30 minute time chunk when we’re getting comfortable with one another, with the expectation that we’ll probably end up shooting our best photos toward the end of the session around sunset. To capture the most romantic, magical, glowing photos at the peak of golden hour, and to make the most of our portrait session, being on time is important.
Most people, myself included, aren’t comfortable in front of the camera. Most of my couples take about 20-30 minutes to warm up to the camera and act natural. So relax, I’ve got this. I’m used to working with non-models who take time to warm up. It’s normal to feel anxious or nervous about being in front of the camera, especially if it’s your first professional photo shoot. I will help guide you toward taking your best photos. So relax, laugh, joke around, and be goofy, whoever you are off-camera, try to bring that to the shoot to help me capture the most personal photo representations of you and your partner.
After the session, I will usually post a sneak peek of our session on my social platforms, as long as you are comfortable with that. Then, I’ll take some time to cull (select the best images) and process all of the images you’ll get in your gallery. Usually, around 50-100 of the best photos from the shoot make it to your personal online gallery where you can download them all and order prints of them from my pro lab. You’ll also receive the printing rights to the images. These will allow you to have your photos printed elsewhere, or printed for your wedding invitations.
I hope this blog gave you peace of mind that you can have a fun and memorable engagement shoot with just a little planning and an authentic, relaxed attitude. If you have had a professional photo shoot before or have any additional tips to add, please comment in the section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!