Devolve Imaging Photography | How to plan your engagement shoot

How to plan your engagement shoot

May 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Engagement Session anyone?
How to plan a bitchin engagement shoot!

Written By: Steffanie Devolve   May 9th 2016


Hey Everyone, Steffanie here! Troy's better half wink wink.....

So anyway, Troy and I  have a few engagement sessions coming up and it made me want to blog about the subject:)  First of all let me just say that personally I absolutely looovve engagement sessions!  Why you may ask? Well, how often would you have the opportunity as a couple to get professional pictures done of the two of you together(your only other chance may be your wedding) so take advantage of this time you have as a couple and really celebrate it.  It's a fantastic way to get to know your photographer of choice for the big day, and also get comfortable with the idea of being the center of attention(and having a camera in you face).  It's so nice to be able to get to know the couple and why they fell in love to begin with.  Love is a truly beautiful thing! Let's document this milestone with some awesome portraits and maybe even some Save the Dates.

So the question becomes should we do it? Book an engagement session that is.  Absolutely YES!  For the reasons already mentioned above and more.

Let's discuss

You've just gotten engaged oh my!  You've decided yes, we want to do engagement pictures(or at least the bride does!) The next crucial step is to find a photographer that you truly love.  Someone who's photographic style really speaks to you, then send them a message and let the fun begin....

Choosing the right time

     When is the best time to do your portraits, and how far in advance should you book them from your wedding date?  There are no hard and fast rules on this subject.  Procrastinators beware!  Obviously those who have decided to get married a year or even two into the future will have a lot more options when booking their photographer of choice. So the sooner the better. Something else to you and your fiancé have a favorite time of year?  Maybe you are both in love with the summer weather and activities that go along with it.  Or perhaps spring when all of the flowers are blooming like crazy and the flowering trees are ridiculously beautiful.  A lot of couples like the idea of doing their photo session the same time of year as when they'll finally be tying the knot.  If you know you'll be sending out save the dates, then you need to make sure they're done well in advance of the actual wedding date so you have plenty of time to get them out to your guests.  So we've discussed time of year how about time of day?  You may be thinking what does that matter?  Troy usually says, "if you have the opportunity to shoot at noon, don't!" Unless you love harsh, unflattering light and washed out scenery. Seriously though the best and most flattering light is either early in the morning (really ridiculously early!) like sunrise early, or better yet about an hour or two before sunset (aaahhh known as magic hour!) The sun sitting low on the horizon makes for dramatic shadows, more even light, and a natural glow that looks amazing. 

Where should this magical photo shoot happen?​ 

     Think about a place that you love to be.  A beautiful beach? Some nearby hiking trails?  A local coffee spot? Maybe it's a historic area that has amazing architecture?  Are you guys a couple of book worms? Then maybe try the local library.  What's your style and personality....that's what should dictate your location.  Some couples even choose to use the venue they will be getting married at.  Then you can even recreate some of the engagement images when taking your wedding portraits. This can even help to narrow down the best spots to shoot at the day of your wedding.  Just don't feel like you have to choose the obvious spot that everyone chooses.  Thinking out of the box can be really fun and inspiring for you and your photographer. If all else fails then your photographer will always be ready to offer up some amazing options that could totally work for you.

Now What to Wear?

​     ​Remember these images are some that you will treasure as much as your wedding pics!  Think of all the thought you will put into your wedding attire.  That being said it's really important to first of all dress for the location.  If you've decided to do your session at the beach at sunset wearing overly structured and formal attire will probably not really look right(this obviously does not apply when you actually get married on the beach).  If you've opted for some amazing cityscape style pics then maybe cowboy/cowgirl boots and flannel might not be the choice.  Totally rock the flannel and cowboy/cowgirl boots for a cool, rustic fall style shoot though.  Color and patterns are definitely a great idea because they add interest as long as they stay in a complimentary color palette(Pinterest can totally be your best friend in this situation).  Make sure you be yourself though.  You wouldn't want to try to wear something that's completely unlike you in your regular life.  These images should really just show the best of the two of you.

Trial Make-up Run?

     An interesting thought....maybe doing your trial hair and make-up for your engagement sesh.  You have to take into consideration that when you schedule this appointment you probably won't be able to predict the actual weather.

  If you do choose this route though it's a great way to first of all see if you and your make-up artist really are a good fit for your wedding, and have your make-up done for your photo shoot too.  It'll also show the way the make-up will look on film.  Maybe just go a little more natural for the engagement session than you might for your actual wedding. 

Phewww....that was a lot of info for one blog, but hopefully someone out there will find it useful and if you've actually read though to the very end. Thanks!  -Steffanie


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