I am so excited to be working with you and I can’t wait for our time together during your engagement session! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. Not every day you have someone with a camera following you around!
I'm a big fans of engagement sessions for a few reasons. First, they allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It takes time for most couples to warm up to being photographed and understand how I pose. Timelines can be pretty tight on weddings days and 30 minutes may be all we have for portraits - which is why I have found that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time.
Second, you can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting that is signficant to the two of you (and even include pets!). While they’re great for save-the-dates, I have taken engagement photos anywhere from 18 months in advance to a few days before the wedding.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and since I get asked the same things over and over again, I thought it would be the most beneficial if we put together a guide that walks you through everything you need to know.
We’ll cover what to wear, whether to bring pets & how to manage them, location ideas and more!
The only wrong place for an engagement shoot is somewhere where you as a couple would not normally go. You want to go somewhere that excites both of you. A place that has a special memory is always a great start. Or maybe you want the images to reflect the theme of your wedding or something completely opposite.
Talk with each other about what you want your pictures to look like. Do you want to get all dressed up, more laid back and cozy, or on an adventure?
The possibilities are endless, so the first thing you have to decide is what you want the vibe to be. It will be easier to pick a spot when you know what you want. These pictures don’t have any rules, they don’t have to be fancy, they don’t have to be crazy, they just have to reflect you as a couple! I am seriously up for anything.
Once you have chosen your location, let me know and then I will help you determine the best time to go so that we can get the best lighting for you!
Engagement sessions can take place anywhere from immediately following a proposal to just a few days before the wedding. I have found that there isn’t a “good” or “bad” time to take your photos.
I normally plan sessions based on a particular “look” a couple has in mind, spring flowers for example, or based on schedules.
Sessions typically last about an hour and a half and when when we can— I love to begin sessions about two hours before sunset. I prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid harsh shadows and bright sun patches. The first two hours after sunrise is also an ideal time to shoot.
I schedule sessions during what I believe will be the best light of the day - which means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to an evening session, we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting and if your session takes place in the morning, the sun gets more harsh as it rises. If it ends up being cloudy we can really shoot any time!
Also If you have chosen more than one location, we need to make sure that they are fairly close to each other. Nothing disrupts a photoshoot flow like travel!
If you are still stuck and have no idea what you want then that’s where I come in. As long as you know what kind of vibe you want for your session, I can help you find a place that is perfect for both of you!
for a list of locations that I love to shoot at. I'm also always looking for new places to explore.
Whatever makes you feel like you! Honestly, there’s no right answer. You should wear something that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable, whether that means jeans and cowboy boots or an elegant dress and heels. Totally up to you. You also can bring a change of clothes.
Some couples bring a casual outfit and a dressier outfit to change into.
My biggest recommendation is that you don’t fully match your partner. (Think white shirt and jeans for both of you- haha don't be that matchy matchy)
Coordinating colors and outfits are flattering and look great in engagement photos. If you’re going to dress up or dress down, just make sure your partner does too.
DON’T STRESS // I know this part can be hectic
>>>>>>>Here is my pinterest board<<<<<<<<<<
I'm currently working on reorganizing it but you can get some great ideas from it.
I also encourage you to send us photos of your ideas, you trying stuff on while your shopping, and all that fun stuff because we want to be there to help you for every little detail of the entire process and help take off some of that stress.
Try laying all of the clothes out together and see if anything doesn’t go with the overall scheme. Think of it as one big outfit. If there is a piece that stands out you might want to swap it for something else.
While having professional hair & makeup is definitely not a necessity for engagement sessions, or portrait sessions in general, but it can definitely help boost the self esteem and make you feel photo-ready
Professionally done hair & makeup last longer than typical hair & makeup.
They also tend to hold up better for humitiy and wind. It's just something to consider.
I want you to feel your best for your engagement photos. If you decide to do your makeup yourself just keep in mind that makeup shows up less on camera, so I always recommend adding a little extra mascara, blush and lip color than your daily look
There will probably be times during your session when I'm shooting your hands holding or the engagement ring on your hand - which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails before your session (this applies to the guys too!).
This is really the most important part about your engagement session. Let loose a little bit because a little fun and laughter really brings out your personalities and makes for some awesome pictures.
The majority of the session will be the two of you interacting with each other. Tell inside jokes to each other. Be ridiculous. Be how you would be at home.
So relax, goof-off a bit and let yourself have a good time!
PS: For those who are nervous, feel free to partake in a before engagement shoot beverage! Sometimes that helps ease the nerves. Just don't go too crazy ;)
ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SHOOT - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have put together a list of common questions we get asked about engagement photo shoots.
What should I do with my hands?
A: One big suggestion I always give couples is to be connected with each other at all times. When it comes to your hands, holding each other is always a great starting point. In some poses, I might ask you to put your hands up to the other persons face, or around them in a different way. Sometimes, you'll even just be holding hands. In all cases, keeping connected is the rule to live by.
Should we include signs and/or props in our shoot?
A: In my opinion, if these are things you'd like to include - bring them along! I suggest to not get too carried away as these things can sometimes distract from your connection with one another, but having an engagement sign or something can be cute for a couple of pics.
Can we include our dog/cat/child/etc. in some photos?
A: Absolutely! I recommend planning for your pet to be at the first part of your session and then either dropping them off or having a friend take them home. We won’t use the pet in every single photo so it’s also nice to have a friend available to hold him or her in between shots.
Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that we’ll need to choose a pet friendly location.
What time of year is best for engagement pictures?
A: Every season offers something different - it really comes down to personal preference. In New England, the Spring Summer and Fall months tend to be particularly popular thanks to the blooming flowers and changing foliage. However, don't underestimate a beautiful winter session with snow.
What happens if it rains?
A: Whether you want to take your engagement photos by the water, in a park, or against the Boston skyline - natural light is essential to capturing truly stunning photos.
If the forecast calls for rain on the day of your session, we can decide whether or not to reschedule 24 hours in advance. This gives you time to reschedule any hair and makeup appointments and also eliminates stress and the possibility of a mid-session downpour. However, I always come prepared with awesome clear umbrellas and I love capturing the fun in all weather. I'm always down for an adventure.
How long does it take to edit the images?
A:Most engagement session images are available within 2-4 weeks of the shoot. If you are in a time crunch I try really hard to get the images to you asap.
The total number of images delivered varies depending on the day, location and other factors. You can expect to receive 150 to 200 images per 2-hour engagement session.
When using engagement pics for save-the-dates, how far in advance should I have my session?
A: You should plan to send your save-the-date invitations out about 6 months before your wedding day. For couples hosting a week day wedding, you may want to consider sending them an additional 1-2 months in advance as it often requires more for your guests to make arrangements to be there. You should try to have your session 7-9 months before your wedding day, so the images can be done in time.
What is your travel rate for outside of the included 60 miles?
A: I included to 60 miles of travel in all my wedding collections. That includes the complimentary engagement sessions. I consider weddings or engagement sessions within 1-2 hours “local” to my house (02176). For sessions that are within 2 hours of my house, clients only pay for mileage outside of the 60 miles included. I charge $0.65/mile (what the state of Massachusetts recommends). So, if the wedding or engagement session is 60 miles from my house, the client pays for 15 miles at $0.65/mile ($9.82).
If you are looking for more information on further travel or destination weddins/engagements don't hesitate to reach out!