"You're going to wear those khakis Mark, and you're gonna like it!"

CONGRATULATIONS! You're engaged! Oh, my, gosh! That ring (or any other non-conformist engagement thang) is beautiful! What's next? Well, about a billion things. Luckily this blog post will be short, informative, and focus on one thing, engagement photography!!! An engagement shoot, or "e-session" as the cool kids say (they don't say that), is a great way to express to the world you're getting married. It also is the best way to get to know you as a couple before your wedding. Generally, if I'm shooting your wedding, my first experience with you as a photographer will be your engagement shoot. We can iron out all the wrinkles and get comfortable with me dancing around with a camera. I've witnessed many engagement sessions go beautifully and some...not so much. So here are some much needed tips in having an amazing first photo shoot with a photographer.

  1. Pick a photographer that feels like they match your style.

Sounds like a given but you would be surprised. Are you a quirky couple? Do you like studio or natural light? Dark and dramatic or light and airy? A photographer's portfolio will give you a general idea of what your shoot will be like.

       2: Wardrobe, wardrobe, wardrobe!

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Okay wait, maybe this isn't an interview but it's definitely a chance to be impressive. I am not saying you should go out and purchase new clothing. I'm actually against that. New clothing generally makes people feel a little more uncomfortable. It's a total sensory thing. Think about what looks good on you, what makes you feel good. This goes for both bride and groom to be. Select details that sparkle or make you feel that much more special. Khakis and a polo shirt won't do it. As photographers we are here to help make things look aesthetically pleasing, so pick some options if you are in doubt and ask us!

        3: Where should we do this? Make it personal.

There are tons of places that are adequate for photos. I'm sure there is a nice park or area that would work just fine but go deeper. Is there a place in the memory of the both of you that makes you smile? Maybe a coffee shop or restaurant? Us photographers do not mind asking to shoot at these places at all. Trust us, we get more "yes's" than "no's" when we inquire nicely. Pick a location that's special to you and if you don't have one, let's come up with one together.

       4: "Now hug and kiss."Look like you're in love and other things that you should never be told to do.

There is nothing more unromantic than being posed. Sometimes, it may have to happen but those times should be infrequent. We don't want to tell you how to hold your partner's hand. We just want you to love doing it. Sometimes we use a telephoto (long) lens so that we aren't in your faces. We want couples to have the space they deserve to feel comfortable. If you feel awkward in front of a camera that's okay. We've got many tricks up our sleeves, like awful dad jokes, crazy stories about mexico in 1998 or even better, getting the couple to talk about themselves. The ice will slowly break.

       5: Golden hour is a great hour.

If you're not familiar with the term, golden hour, it is the time before dusk. About an hour or two before sunset. These are great times to take pictures, why? The sun is low creating softer light. That light is more of a golden, reddish hue. Ah, see "golden" hour.It's a magical time for a magical couple. If we are indoors, mid day works fine but generally photos in that part of the day have less contrast and tend to look more washed out.

      6: Look for inspiration

Not quite sure at the look you want? That's okay. You don't have to know all the answers. In the fashion world photographers create mood boards before shoots. You can too! Just use Pinterest. It's a great way to see ideas that you may not have readily in your head. Make it a dialogue between you and the photographer so we know what we are working toward. Remember, it's your shoot. Show us your love.

There, don't you feel better? I thought you would. It isn't scary. Engagement photos are something that should be the icing on the cake. You've done the hard part, proposing and bringing someone else into your life, this is just a pictorial celebration. Here are some of my favorite moments. Any questions, or to book your very own awesome shoot, click the booking tab on my site!