Last time, we talked about how to decide whether or not an engagement session is right for you. This week, we’ll be discussing what to expect from an engagement session. Most people tend to get a little nervous before their engagement session, which is perfectly normal. But knowing exactly what the shoot will entail can help you prepare and, in turn, calm the nerves.
Of course, every photographer’s shoot will be a bit different, but here’s some insight into our process.
What to Expect from an Engagement Session | Location, Location, Location
First and foremost, we’ll chat with you about what type of shoot you want to do and discuss location options. We like to make our shoots as fun and relaxed as possible, so we always incorporate an activity that you two enjoy doing together. It might be skiing, or camping, or shooting pool, or visiting your favorite brewery, or going to a Rockies game. Regardless of the activity, doing something fun makes for more natural, candid moments than if we were to simply pose you in a field and fire off a hundred shots.
Also, you’re most relaxed when you’re in your element, doing something you enjoy. Relaxed couples make for the best photos!
Engagement Sessions | Wardrobe
The next step is deciding what to wear. The single most important factor here is to choose something that you feel comfortable in. As I mentioned in the last section, relaxed couples make for the best photos. Choosing an outfit that you feel comfortable wearing is key.
There are, of course, a few more concrete guidelines you can follow. For example, solid colors or small patterns are better than large, noisy patterns. Earth tones are typically better than bright colors and you should generally make sure that both of your outfits are either dark or light. But we break attire “rules” just as much as we break photography “rules,” so don’t kick out your favorite dress just because it’s bright red. If in doubt, bring several options and Moira can help you pick what would work best. Just don’t ask me; I’m colorblind.
Keep in mind, the activity will sometimes dictate the attire. For example, if we’re going white water rafting, you need to be okay wearing a life jacket and a helmet. If we’re hiking up a mountain, you should have proper footwear. And if you’re doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu like Kirsten and Mike, you’ll be wearing probably be wearing “gis.”
What to Expect from an Engagement Session | The Day of the Shoot
Moira and I will arrive early to scout the location, get a feel for the light, work out our shooting angles, etc. If we’re shooting somewhere like a distillery, we’ve already cleared it with the owners. If we’re shooting in a state park or national park, we’ve already procured the necessary permit.
The time that we’ve asked you to arrive is actually about 30 minutes before we want to start shooting. This way, we can hang out for a bit and chat instead of throwing you right into the first shot the second you arrive on location. We’ll ease into the shoot so that it doesn’t feel so formal and, if you’re up for it, have a drink or two to calm the nerves.
We won’t put a time limit on the shoot because we don’t want to rush it. Also, we don’t like to take pictures nonstop the entire time because it can feel overwhelming to have a camera in your face for hours on end. So if we’re at a brewery, we’ll take a few minutes to sit down and have a beer together. If we’re skiing, we’ll do a run without the camera in-hand. Or if we’re at the Woodward indoor training facility, we might even have a go at the trampolines. It’s all designed to make the shoot as laid back and comfortable as possible.
Engagement Sessions | After the Shoot
We generally have a sneak peek up on our blog within a week of the shoot. This is usually 15-25 of our favorite shots complete with a brief write-up by Moira. A Facebook album will follow a week or so later and then, finally, your full gallery of high-res images will be ready for you to download directly from our website. This is a password-protected gallery and will generally contain somewhere between 50-100 final images.
From this gallery, you can order prints or simply download the digital files and make prints and/or “save the dates” on your own.
And now, the only thing left to do is count down the days until our next shoot (i.e. your wedding day!)
Stay tuned until next time when we’ll talk about what you can do to ensure you get amazing and unique engagement photos!