Sometimes it seems like couples fear this session more than their wedding day. This should help.
We’ve never done this! How do we do this?
Not to worry. We’ll plan. We will decide what kind of setting or location is most comfortable for you and the general feel you want for the images. Almost every bride I’ve ever met has a Pinterest board; it’s great if you can share that with me to get a sense of your vision if you already have it. If not, I can suggest based on your wedding (Rustic? Chic? Hippie? Whatever?) and from getting to know you.
Where do we do them?
It depends on the setting choice. It can be a park or lake in the area. It could be your wedding or reception venue if you like and they agree to it. Sometimes it is downtown for a “date night out” feel before and after dark. For rustic weddings, I have a small farm and access to native prairie fields, country roads, old barns, and all that stuff.
When should we do them?
I’ve been told that the general rule is that you want to send you Save-the-Dates out six months ahead of the wedding, so if you want to use some of your images for that we will want to do them before then. Other things to consider is that spring and fall are usually the best times, depending on the look and/or colors you want in them.
How long does it take to get them back?
I deliver them to you online the same week.
What if the weather is bad the day we are scheduled?
Most likely we’ll need to reschedule. Indoor options are slim in the area. But generally, I have most Sundays and weekday evenings available, so it’s no problem for me and I can be flexible for you.
OMG what do we wear?
I am the last person on the planet to give fashion advice. But I can pass along a few tips for this. First off, it should be what you feel good in. Second, it shouldn’t be too busy of a print. Other things to think about would be setting. If it is rustic and we are heading out on country roads or into wildflower fields, that little black dress doesn’t work. Casual works better there. Conversely, if we are doing the date night thing, dress like you are going out for the night. Either way, bring two, three, or even more outfits. It’s better to have too many choices than too few. And there is no time limit, so you can change as many times as you like. The guys: usually you are lucky if you can get them to bring along two different shirts.
I can't say this enough. If you wear a Fitbit and you don't want it in your engagement photos...please remove it. It won't be edited out in post-processing. I am generally a no-rules guy, but on this one I have to stand firm. It takes hours and hours of editing to remove a Fitbit once it makes it way into your pictures.
Hair & Makeup
I've been a guy all my life, so I recognize I am treading in a tricky area here. But, I have to admit I am not a fan of professional hair and makeup being done for an engagement session, for one chief reason: if we have to reschedule for weather or whatever, your makeup artist is going to hate me. Maybe both of us. Also, having to schedule around their availability can get problematic.
Can we bring props?
Absolutely. Something with your wedding date on it is pretty cool. Or something that is special between the two of you. But they kind of have to be your props because otherwise I would end up with a barn full of once-used props.
Will we be famous on Pinterest/Instagram/the Internet in general?
That is entirely possible. Maybe make sure he wears a clean shirt.
Is the engagement session a big make-out session?
No. Just, no. I usually explain this before we start because I like to see the expression of relief wash over the groom’s face when I do. But, anyway, it is not. First off, nobody really looks good kissing. They look good right before the kiss, but not when full on mashing faces. I mean, you are free to make out, but I will probably quietly excuse myself.
Do you help us pose?
Some, but mostly I am looking for the feel and look of the two of you just spending time with each other as if I am not there.
Can we bring along family or friends?
Sure. In fact, if you already have kids and want to include them or shoot a few family pics, we can do that.
Can we bring our pet cat/labradoodle/dachshund/hippo/slow loris?
My only rule is that it can’t eat me.
We’re getting married here, but we don’t live here. How can we do the engagement session?
I can fly to you, and I don’t charge for that. I like shooting in other parts of the country and even in Europe, and usually it’s only a couple of hundred bucks. I don’t charge because it’s fun and I get images from cool places. So, I usually don’t ever charge travel charges either for engagement sessions or for weddings. Besides, when you come home you have other vendors to see and family to spend time with.