John Soulé, Admin
Engagement Photo Session Q & A
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Engagement Photos tell a story and can serve a variety of purposes - including being great practice for your Big Day!
Engagement images can be used for
"Save The Date" announcements, to post on Social Media, display on your Wedding Day (i.e. Guest Book) or have as a memory. But this leads to some questions:
Clothing - Oh what to wear?
It is important to consider your choice of clothing based on the environment and the message you wish to convey - from formal to casual. This is often a statement of your personality.
Where are Formal photos taken?
Formal sessions are generally held indoors using a traditional background or backdrop at your location.
Where are Casual photos taken?
Casual sessions are shot outdoors in one of several natural surroundings. Often the couple may have a special location that is meaningful to them. We discuss the options at the pre-session consultation.
What colors should I wear/avoid?
No matter where the location is, color is going to be an important factor. As such, it is important to consider the color of the surroundings for that time of year. For indoor sessions, the photographer will provide a variety of backdrops to choose from based on your selection of clothing, hair and skin color. Suggestions for indoor backdrop(s) will be presented during the pre-shoot consultation. As often can be the case, some formal photographs can end up looking like Prom photos. Of late, outdoor sessions are far more popular.
For outdoor sessions, the photographer will provide you with various scenes from the selected shooting location so you will know what you will be working with long before you arrive. As you can imagine, seasons can make a big difference on available colors.
When being photographed in nature, do not select clothing that will blend into the background. We want your surroundings to compliment you as a couple - not consume you as if you were wearing camouflage.
And, avoid wearing a lot of white, as it can be rough on exposures during a bright, sunny day.
What about a change in outfits?
Some couples like to bring a change of clothes or have accents (hat, scarf, jacket, etc) for a different look. However, please allow for the time it takes to change clothing as part of the 2 hour session,
What about my fingernails?
We would highly recommend you pay close attention to the appearance of your fingers, Often the engagement ring will become a focal point in the photograph. And,both you and your future spouse's hands and fingers will be in close-ups. Manicurees for both of you is highly recommended - at the vey least, have clean, trimmed nails.
How do I Pose?
The photographer will explain various poses and provide directions that compliment you as a couple. If there is a ring, he will try to show it off at every given opportunity.
Can I bring Props?
Props are encouraged if that is your style - and it can help make your photos more personnel - such as a sign that states "She Said Yes" or one that displays the wedding date.
What abut Pets?
When you add a pet, the result can be really cute - but getting the shot may be a real challenge and impact the allotted session time. It is good to have treats and to practice before you arrive. Please note that some parks do not allow pets.
What about Lighting?
For any photograph, the amount and quality of available light is a critical factor. In terms of indoor photo sessions, we use a variety of studio strobes in conjunction with on-camera flash units with diffusers to reduce / eliminate shadows. We can control both the amount and quality of light.
For outdoor photo sessions, we bring both off-camera strobes, on-camera flashes and both reflectors and diffusers as needed. That takes care of the amount of available light - however, the quality of light is not as controllable. Often the best light is within an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset - or Golden Hour. This is the time of day when the sun's golden rays give everything a warm glow and brings out the colors in nature that a mid-day sun washes out. It is also often the time of day when you will find many areas less crowed and unwanted passers-by will not be as much of an issue in the photograph.
What about a mid-day sessions?
If the photo session must be held during mid-day, with a bright sun, the photographer will look for shaded areas and/or have the assistant hold a diffuser panel between you and the bright sun. You will not want images of you two squinting due to harsh sun.
For mid-day, an overcast sky is the photographer's best friend.
Can Lighting Treatments be added if it is cloudy?
Optionally, during post-processing, an artificial sun and background warmth can be added. This treatment can also include adding sun rays and other creative lighting aspects that were not available at the time of the session.
How Long does a Session last?
We allow 2 hours for an Engagement Session. That also assumes traveling to a single venue - there could be several locations at the venue, but we only need to park our vehicle once.
In the end, the Engagement Photo Session is a good practice for the Big Day to come. Most couples will remember the poses - how to stand, how to position their hands, where to look, etc. - some of which will be repeated for posed shots after the Wedding.
Most importantly, after an Engagement Session, we have found couples to be more relaxed on their Wedding Day when it comes to knowing what to do for their photo sessions. It is also more rewarding for the photographer - a win, win all around.