In the few years I have been photographing couples, I’ve come up with some standard advice that I would LOVE for every couple to take seriously. It makes a HUGE difference between a good engagement session and an AMAZING, pinterest-worthy engagement session. So here are my top tips for an engagement session.
Note: First of all: DO AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION. Sometimes people aren’t sure, but I really recommend it. When I’m photographing the wedding, I usually do a deep discount for an engagement session (as long as it’s local in the Boise/Treasure Valley area). I love to get to know my couples. The more I can get to know you, the easier it is on the actual wedding day.
- Think about poses you like. Now, some people have a problem with posing. And honestly, I like to get genuine moments. But especially at an engagement session, capturing a natural moment happens less than it does at, say, a wedding. So it really pays off if, beforehand, you think about what kind of cuddly, romantic things you do with each other that you’d like to remember. For example, my husband and I didn’t kiss before our wedding, so he kissed my forehead. And I was so glad our engagement photographer captured that. But think of about a dozen different things you like to do. Look up “engagement pose ideas” on pinterest, you’ll get a TON of ideas.
- Think about wardrobe. Most people do consider this, but sometimes it works better than others. Try to get coordinated with your fiance, and keep in mind the color scheme you want your final photos to have. For example, if you really like the bright, romantic vibe, try to wear light colors like pastels and whites. If you like a little more serious and formal, wear more serious colors. But always remember: I want this to be about you, and your personality as a couple. So if you’re a bohemian princess and he’s a nerd, bring a couple of outfits that take that to the extreme (along with your “normal” engagement clothes).
- Location, location, location. The Treasure Valley/Boise area is AWESOME for taking pictures, especially nature pictures. And if you don’t have any location ideas, I’ll definitely give suggestions. However, if you have a spot that is significant to your relationship (the first date, where you met, your college, etc), I’d be more than happy to work it into the session!
- Props. Props can be super fun, but especially when they are significant to your relationship (reenacting a picnic, movie memorabilia from a significant movie, etc). I can definitely help with this! It makes for very cute engagement pictures that you’ll both treasure all the more. A couple I photographed earlier this year got engaged at a color rave, so we went out to the middle of nowhere in Caldwell, Idaho, and they had a color fight. The results were super cute!
- Relax. Everything will be okay. Keep in mind that most couples are a little awkward in front of the camera (unless you’re professional models, haha), so don’t worry about it. I’ll give you some time to warm up and we’ll get good pictures. I’m on your side, and I’m willing to take as much time as needed to get pictures you’re happy with, even if we have to schedule another day.
- Love one another. Sometimes, either you or your fiance will be uncomfortable or awkward. This will be good practice for your marriage: don’t be critical of them. It’s entirely normal for one of you to have a weird face or not be affectionate to the other’s satisfaction. But the best sessions work out when both individuals are encouraging instead of critical. In general, it’s usually the guy, because guys don’t usually spend time looking in the mirror or posing for pictures with their friends. But sometimes girls are like this, too. It’s okay, it’s entirely normal. Accept them for who they are and remember the good things you like about them.
Mercy Hasselblad is a photographer in the Boise/Nampa/Caldwell area. She loves capturing special moments and believes everyone should be able to have good pictures of their wedding day.