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How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

Engagements

Wondering how to prepare for your engagement session? I got you! Here are some engagement session tips that’ll calm your nerves so you and your partner can shine in front of the camera!

LET’S START WITH WHY

Why go for the engagement session at all? Aside from providing you with beautiful, emotional portraits in a casual setting, engagement sessions allow us to get to know each other before the big day. Knowing what to expect from your photographer and feeling relaxed in front of the camera are critical for photographic success on the wedding day.

Also, I tend to get STUPID excited over good light and snuggly couples. It’s nice to get used to that “Sonju Grunt” way before the wedding day so you don’t think I’m a huge weirdo.

Benefits of doing an engagement shoot:
-Trial run for the big day
-Chance to see how your makeup will photograph (some clients like to schedule their makeup trial on the same day!)
-Get used to the #sonjugrunt
-Show off a little on your save-the-dates
-New photos for the ‘gram
-Upgrade your sign-in book/wedding website/FB profile with fresh photos

WHEN TO SCHEDULE YOUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION

I’m sure there’s lots of good ideas swirling around in your head, but you need to know one thing – WHEN.

Most of my couples schedule their South Florida engagement session in opposite seasons. For example, if your wedding is in November, consider doing your engagement session in the spring. It’s nice to have some variety in your final engagement and wedding gallery. Of course, with some couples being from out-of-state, sometimes our only option is the week before the wedding – and that’s ok too!

We also have to remember this is Florida. That means our summer months can mean crowded beaches, tourist-traps, and afternoon thunderstorms. For that reason, I typically schedule summer sessions at either sunrise or right before sunset.

HOW TO PREPARE

So now that your engagement session is on the books, it’s time to think about what to wear!

If you’re looking for a Pinterest link with wardrobe suggestions, you won’t find one here. I love when my couples show their true personalities and don’t try to dress the way I think they should look. Besides, what you choose for your engagement session location will already help you with most of that. Just remember to choose outfits you feel FUCKING AMAZING in, not so much outfits you think will just photograph well.

But I do have some engagement session tips!

  • Do not self-tan. No. Don’t do it.
  • I mean it. Don’t try to self-tan.
  • Consider scheduling your wedding day makeup trial on the same day. Don’t try to have your makeup artist give you a “date night” look – go for a soft bridal look that’ll be similar to the actual wedding day makeup.
  • This is not the time for bold haircuts or drastic hair color changes. A trim or style is great!
  • If your chosen engagement session location involves heels, definitely bring some flip-flops or sandals for comfort between locations.
  • Let’s get personal. Is there something you’re a little self-conscious about? Now’s the time to let me know! It can be as simple as “I don’t love a ton of photos with my side profile” or “he’s nervous about the scar on his arm”.
  • Bring an extra lipstick/lip gloss, a little powder, and a brush or comb.
  • Try to steer away from thin stripes (they photograph super weird), large logos, and neon colors.
  • Get your engagement ring cleaned!
  • Make sure your nails are nice and manicured. I’ll photograph your hands more than you think.

DURING THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION

It’s the day of your engagement session! No pressure, right?

Right! If we even made it this far, we’re totally not going to be strangers for long! No matter the location, sessions with me are breezy, moment-driven, and a shitload of fun. I like to start off with some easier ice-breaker shots (“start over there, walk this way towards me and look like you’re in love”) and gradually work up to the close up, more intimate shots.

As we’re shooting, it’ll feel like we’re old friends – I tend to crack really dumb jokes, poke a little fun, and make you feel like the sexiest people on the planet. Don’t worry, I’ll gently direct you into poses or use prompts for the best expressions. The real magic is in the moments in between.

USE THOSE PHOTOS!

After the engagement session, you’ll have 40-60 fresh photos with the bomb lighting, so you might as well put them to work. Consider a sign-in book for your wedding reception, or some prints to decorate the escort card table. And of course, engagement sessions are perfect for those Save-the Dates! I have all the tools to help you design custom cards, order prints, or hey, make big head props for your Juju Booth photo booth rental.

Are you still in the planning stages and looking for a South Florida wedding photographer? Click the button below and get in touch!

We’re engaged! Let’s shoot!