So you have booked your wedding photographer, and they send you that email. Congrats, its time to book your engagement session… And the dread starts to sink in. Maybe you’ve never had professional photos taken together. Maybe you have and it included your parents and siblings and none of it was fun! Whatever it is, I promise I can make your engagement session less awkward for you!
As a wedding photographer I always include an engagement session with my wedding packages. If you’ve ever chatted with me, then you know that I will always say that your e-shoot is actually one of the key ingredients for ensuring a luxury, stress free photography experience on your wedding day.
Let me explain why, and then we’ll get into how to make your engagement session less awkward.
Having your photos taken together does involve a small bit of learning. There is guidance and instruction provided by your photographer. The first 15-20 minutes of that can feel a little awkward or uncomfortable as you get into your groove together with your partner and the photographer. It’s totally normal! Doesn’t it make more sense to have that learning and that awkwardness happen at a separate session a few months before your wedding day? You know when there isn’t a time constraint, there aren’t family and friends waiting to celebrate with you and you aren’t on an emotional high of the wedding day?
Wouldn’t it be so much nicer to get all of that learning, groove finding and awkwardness out of the way? Then on your wedding day it’s like meeting an old friend to do an old thing that everyone is totally level expert at already? Doesn’t that sound way more luxurious and stress free? Yes? Ok cool!
So let’s get back to that E-shoot and how to make your engagement session less awkward!
Make it a date night! My number one suggestion is always to make this a date night! Plan to go out for dinner or even just a drink or dessert after the session. That way even if the first bit of the session is uncomfortable,you have something to look forward to.
Get to know your photographer ahead of time. Have a phone call or zoom meeting so you feel like you’re meeting an old friend instead of a stranger. Ask them questions about what is making you nervous. Better yet, if you have an amazing photographer they will ask you so they can give you some reassurance!
Take a look at your photographer’s work beforehand, and show it to your partner. Use their blog posts or social media. Check out some of their previous engagement sessions to get an idea of the posing they use. This will help you feel like you know what you’re getting into. If there is something you absolutely LOVE or something you’re unsure about, you can give your photographer a heads up
Choose a location you know and love. If you and your partner love the city, then choose that! IF you are hikers, pick a trail- your photographer can help make sure the spot has the right light etc to take beautiful images. This will make you feel more comfortable if you know the lay of the land and have somewhere in particular you’d love to go. Plus your photographer will love knowing that this place is special to you.
Remember: it’s all about you and your love!
Wear something you love, that makes you feel amazing! Many photographers will send you some guidance about what to wear, it is obviously super helpful, but take it with a grain of salt- if you have an outfit that makes you feel unstoppable- then definitely wear that!
Talk to each other throughout the session! As a photographer, I am happy to lengthen your session and take our time so we can chat together and so you 2 can chat together. I promise, 90% of the time your photographer is far enough away that they can’t hear you chatting while posing, so feel free to chat about plans coming up, what you’re excited about this weekend, anything!
Be yourself! If there is something that your photographer asks you to do and it doesn’t feel like you AT ALL then by all means; feel free to say something! If it’s not true to you guys then it won’t feel genuine at all and you won’t love the image anyways. I promise your photographer would rather change course during the session than give you a gallery you don’t love!
LAUGH! Have fun, make jokes, whisper something silly…(or dirty..;)) be goofy and just laugh- your laughter creates more genuine smiles anyways!
These photos are going to be around for a long time – no pressure, right?!
Don’t look at the camera! These aren’t your grandmother’s engagement photos, unless your photographer specifically says to look at the camera, try to ignore and focus on your partner. Smile at each other, give kisses, make faces and pay attention to one another.
MOVE! This one is key! Make sure to move! Don’t worry, any photographer worth their salt knows the settings to use to capture you while moving! Think snuggles, hugs, dancing, walking together, running, swinging, twirling, piggybacks, nose kisses, wiggles, all of it! These kinds of movements can make the session feel less like a photo shoot and more like an adventure together on a normal day.
As always, I hope I was helpful in answering all your questions. I hope this helps make your engagement session less awkward! Feel free to leave any comments if you have more questions about wedding albums! Thanks and enjoy your planning!