This is a little different from other blog posts I do but I’d like to start throwing out ideas and tapping into my more creative side while helping you out in the process to plan your session. These are the same engagement session tips I’ve been telling my couples for years and it really helps to connect you to your partner the night of the shoot. Sessions are a judgement-free zone. Don’t feel like your photographer is judging you for being yourself, being vulnerable, being weird. That is the magic in it all.
How do you picture your ideal day with your partner? Does it start by getting coffee at a coffee shop and enjoying each other’s company? Maybe sitting on the couch binging your favorite show together or going on your favorite hike? Whatever it is, I encourage you do it. During your session, I’m going to ask you both to be your truest selves so I can help tell your actual love story. It won’t be just a collection of poses you feel you have to force a smile out for after a long and stressful day at work. I want you both to enjoy each other during your session. So grab a bite to eat, go on a bike ride and SAVOR each other. That way, by the time your session rolls around, you’ll be feeling connected, joyful and refreshed.
As much as I get fired up about love and capturing people who are in love, the responsibility of getting photos that are authentic to you don’t rest merely on me. After you’ve (hopefully) been able to spend the day together doing what you love, come to your session being open to be silly with each other. Be willing to maybe shed a few tears, to show what your reactions are to your inside jokes. Be vulnerable. What makes your relationship unique? Show up with that.
Are you sensing a theme here? I want you both to be as connected as possible during the short time I have with you. Unless there is a family/friend emergency, leave your phone, Apple Watch, whatever it may be that distracts you at home. Take an hour or two to fully embrace each other and make each other laugh. The memories you’ll create during those minutes will be so much more joyful than worrying about checking your texts every 5 minutes. Bring as little distraction as possible to your session. If you plan to bring your dog, bring a friend with you to keep a hold of the dog while not in photos so it’s not a point of worry for you.
Matching white shirts and jeans is very 2000s. Let’s do this: I always recommend bringing these outfits: one outfit you’d wear on a fancy date night and one outfit you’d wear on a casual date night. Depending on location, the second outfit can be even more casual than that. Remember to stick to what makes you unique. I want to capture who you both really are! Neutral tones and colors photograph very well.
Stellar locations with the cutest coffee shops are cool but you’d be surprised how the most random places can be the most quaint. All I need is some natural light and we can work with pretty much anything. I’d be happy to recommend areas within the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater/Orlando area! The picture above was a random patch of grass in between two neighborhoods but the light was perfect at sunset going through the trees and it ended up being one of my favorite locations in Winter Park.
The other thing about locations – don’t count out your home. In-home engagement sessions are some of the most intimate and you have creativity to really be yourselves. You could bake a pizza from scratch, or cookies, get take-out and be photographed on the couch feeding each other noodles, I don’t know😆 You could hop on your bikes and bike through the neighborhood, jump in the pool, play some games – the options are really open!
Sessions don’t always have to be so serious. If seriousness doesn’t fit you as a couple, feel free to have fun doing something at the shoot! For example, Summer and Tyler used the first 30 min for the more posed shots while the last 30 min were them jumping in the ocean just having a blast!
Just a couple ideas I have floating in my head. I hope these Engagement Session Tips have been super helpful to you!! If you like blog posts like this, let me know because I’d be happy to do more! Let’s create together🏼
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