Engagement Session Tips
In a nutshell, my philosophy is this: If you are feeling awesome, you will look awesome. Super manufactured moments and fake smiles are not my jam. I want to help facilitate you having a genuinely fun experience and then capture the authentic moments that flow naturally from that experience.
First of all, do we need an engagement session?
Ask 5 photographers this question and they’ll all have a different answer. I think they’re super beneficial for a few reasons:
- You get to know your photographer before the wedding day (It’s SO important that you’re comfortable with your photographer. After all, they’ll be with you throughout the entire wedding day! At any point, look around and they’ll most likely be nearby.)
- Helps the photographer (me!) get to know your personalities and preferences for posing and get confident on how to make you feel the most comfortable.
- Provides an opportunity for the you to get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding day, especially if you’ve never had photos taken with your partner!
- Because it’s FUN! It’s basically planning a date and getting your photo taken throughout it. You get to make the session however you want it to be. Wedding planning can be stressful so this can be something to look forward to throughout your planning process.
All the benefits aside, If you don’t live in the same city/state as your photographer, it’s not in the budget, or you just despise getting your photo taken, you’ll be totally fine not scheduling an engagement session. We can always Facetime or meet up for a drink/coffee instead to get to know each other!
Picking a Location
Finding the right location for your engagement session is key. Consider your personalities, the time of year, and the overall vibe you're looking for. If your first date was at a coffee shop, let’s go there! Are you both homebodies that love to cuddle with your cat in your free time? Let’s do it. Does your favorite date night look like going to the arcade and then getting a drink afterwards? Sign me up. The key is making this personal and fun.
For outside locations, we could go out exploring a wild nature area, go downtown, plan a hike, go to your favorite coffee shop or brewery….there are tons of fun options and I have lots of suggestions for locations. Here are some fun ideas to consider for outside:
- Riding bikes
- Coffee shop
- Walking through a park or downtown
- at home on your porch with your coffee
- Laying in a beautiful field or meadow
- finding an amazing view
- dance party in the forest
- playing your guitar out in nature, etc..
You could do several of these, make up your own, or do none of them and just hang out together. All options are fantastic and will yield great photos and connection. It just depends on your personality and what sounds the most fun to you both. Here are just a handful of my favorite outdoor locations in Central Oregon!
- Cascade Lakes Highway
- Smith Rock State Park
- Lava Lands
- Paulina Peak
- Suttle Lodge
- Skyliner Lodge
- Downtown Bend | Sisters | Redmond
- Sahalie Falls
For in-home sessions, we can get cozy and have some fun in your favorite space. These sessions are a wonderful way to capture your daily life surrounded by all your favorite things. They are intimate, personal and cozy. Here are some fun ideas to consider for inside:
- Making tea
- Wrestling in bed
- Cuddling on the couch and in bed
- Playing music
- Putting on records
- Watering your plants
- Reading books
- Dancing in the kitchen
- Pile all your dogs or cats on top of you
Again, you could do several of these, make up your own, or do none of them and just hang out together. All options are fantastic and will yield great photos and connection. It just depends on your personality and what sounds the most fun to you both.
What to Wear
My biggest advice on what to wear is that you feel like YOU. No amount of photo angles or editing can make you look comfortable if you are not. So wear something that makes you FEEL good and it will translate as you looking good in front of the camera. Having said that, there are a few suggestions that I like to offer couples in order to help their photos flow better visually.
- Try to avoid: Bright white, logos, words
- Black makes everyone look good and photographs very well.
- Neutral Colors also photograph very well and go really well together in many different combinations. What are neutral tones you ask? Brown, cream, grey, tan, olive green, sage…...
- For In home sessions, we usually start the session in cozy home clothes. This means clothes you lounge around in, sleep in and hang out in.
- A pop of color can look super good in a photo and bring a fun dimension to a shoot. .A pop of turquoise, mustard yellow or forest green are some past favorites, feel free to text me with photos or for any additional help!
- If your session is in a colder month then I suggest layers, layers, layers! Bring a scarf or hat, and wear your winter jacket over what you want to be photographed in and you can take it off/ put it on between photos. Don't worry about being too cold, I'll have you guys running around & cozying up with each other enough to keep warm!
*If you're doing an in-home session, Feel free to lay out some options on the bed before the session and we can go over them together and find a perfect combination.
Lighting is essential for your engagement session. If your session is outdoors, my favorite time to schedule it is during golden hour (about an hour before sunset) to get the best lighting. If you’re having your session indoors, the time of day won’t matter as much. My personal favorite? Start at home and then either head outside for golden hour or go to your favorite bar for some drinks and fun flash portraits.
What to Expect
The main thing to remember is that this is going to be a fun experience. The thing I hear the most often from couples after a session is how relaxed they felt and how much more fun they had than they were expecting. Your only job is to be present and be yourself, I’ll do the rest! 🤠
YAY. Want to get some inspiration for your session? Click here to view one of my favorite Central Oregon engagement sessions on the Cascade Lakes Highway!
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