Let’s start the conversation about one of my favorite parts of the whole wedding process. The Engagement Session.
This is often the first time I will meet up with my clients, or possibly the second, if we had the opportunity to meet for coffee during the initial process. But either way, I am always so excited for this day.
They are a bit nervous. A bit unsure what to expect. Definitely excited. And they look amazing!
The beauty I find in this session, is the opportunity for me to capture images that depict the couple in a more natural, every-day environment. On a wedding day, they are dressed to the nines in an outfit that they will never wear again (at least this is true for the bride). They are distracted (in a very good way) being surrounded by everyone they love and care about. They are hosting the biggest party they’ll most likely ever host. AND they are marrying the love of their life. Definitely distracted.
Hence why I love the intimacy of the engagement session. They are wearing clothes that more represent their true personality. They get to choose a location that they love and feel comfortable in.
And most importantly, all they have to focus on is each other. Holding hands. Snuggling while looking out over somewhere beautiful. Being quiet in the moment. Being goofy in the moment. Simply being the moment.
A lot of brides will scour Pinterest for inspiration, which I totally support, as I am a sucker for Pinterest myself! And when a bride shows me images of a couple having these super gorgeous, organic, romantic, passionate moments, I first, get very excited, because I too, love love love those moments. I always follow up that excitement by saying, “you can have those kinds of photos too, you just need to allow yourselves to BE organic, romantic and passionate throughout the shoot.”
And that is the truth. I have a lot of little tricks up my sleeve for directions and encouragement for everyone that I work with, but it’s when a couple starts to just be themselves and relax into the moment, that’s when beauty really shines through.
Outfit selection is a fun, but potentially stressful part of the preparation. Some of my basic suggestions to couples are:
- Choose outfits that compliment each other, but don’t necessarily ‘match’.
- Try to avoid large logos or words, as these can be really distracting. If you are unsure, trying to stick to more classic, simple colors is best.
- Black on black on black is usually not a good idea (unless you were, for example, pulling out a tuxedo and that unbelievably sexy little black dress. In that case, rules are always meant to be broken!)
- Try to think of all the little details. This is a perfect time to get your makeup and hair done beautifully. Have fun with your accessories, and even make sure to touch up your manicure! I love to photograph the details (especially that beautiful new engagement ring).
- Be mindful of the environment and season we will be shooting in. If we’ve chosen an open field and dirt roads, this would not be the time to wear high heels and a sparkly evening dress. It would, however, be perfect for a pair of leather ankle boots and a flowy top that will move beautifully in the breeze. And if it’s cold out, make sure you have a jacket that you love and are happy to be photographed in. Freezing in the wind and cold temperatures doesn’t make for ‘organic, romantic, or passionate’. But wrapped in a beautiful parka with the hood pulled up over both of you? That’ll do it!
For inspiration, here are a couple of my favorite engagement shoots I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. A little bit of effort can really go a long way…
SHERYL + STEVE - Gorgeous Calgary engagement
STORMEE + RON - Kelowna sunset session