Your engagement session should be carefree and FUN. After all, you’re marrying your best friend! Unfortunately, as we all know, it can be intimidating and downright uncomfortable to be in front of a camera. And, many couples don’t have experience being photographed professionally.
As a Raleigh wedding photographer who includes an engagement session in all of my wedding packages, I want my couples to feel confident and comfortable during their sessions. That’s why I send a questionnaire to each couple prior to their session. It’s got questions that help me get to know them better, as well as space for them to express any insecurities that they may not feel comfortable bringing up in person. In addition, I send each couple an AJP “welcome guide” that addresses common questions such as what to wear and what to bring to their session.
I know that there are couples out there who want to feel excited about their engagement session, but can’t seem to overcome the anxiety. That’s why I want to share these five foolproof ways to feel confident during your engagement session. With these tips, I can guarantee that you’ll love taking portraits with your spouse-to-be. You might even forget you’re on camera along the way!
Choose a Photographer With Personality
I show up to each of my shoots with big excitement and plenty of jokes in my back pocket. Why? Because it instantly puts my couples at ease! Once I’ve engaged with them and gotten them laughing, I know that most if not all of the nerves have slipped away. And, that’s the best time to start snapping some candid portraits!
So, during your discovery call with a photographer, pay attention to how you’re feeling as you chat with them. Is it like talking to an old friend? Or, does the conversation feel awkward and forced? Have a glance at their marketing materials, as well. Usually, their personality will come through in the way that they write and engage with prospective clients.
Choose the Perfect Engagement Session Location (With Help)
If you and your partner aren’t sure where you’d like to go for your engagement session, your photographer should have plenty of ideas based on their past experience. It’s a red flag if they don’t! As their client, it’s not your job to know where the light is good or where the best city skyline backdrops can be found. We are the professionals, so WE should be the most knowledgeable about what locations will photograph the best. Your portraits will benefit from a photographer with know-how!
Wear Clothes That You Feel Comfortable In
This doesn’t mean that you should show up in a t-shirt and joggers (no judgment from me, though). Rather, it means that you should carefully plan in advance what you will wear to your session. Don’t last-minute shop, and don’t wear anything that highlights any of your insecurities. For example, if it makes you uncomfortable to show off your arms, don’t reach for the strapless dress at the back of your closet.
Instead, take the time to lay out a few promising items, and experiment with each. Put it on, take a look in the mirror, and do a couple of twirls. Soon, you’ll land on the outfit that makes you feel the best!
Grab a Drink at the Beginning of Your Engagement Session
I love starting off an engagement session at a couple’s favorite bar, winery, or brewery. One drink is usually all it takes for them to feel SO much more at ease! Or, plenty of my couples have brought a picnic basket and a bottle of champagne to their session location. Popping the bottle makes for some pretty cool shots and a fun beginning to our time together!
Get Your Hair and Makeup Done Professionally
Personally, I always get my hair and makeup done before any shoot I participate in—even family photos. I know from experience that I’ll be running around like a headless chicken making sure everything is in order, which will put me behind with getting ready. And believe me, as someone who’s been doing my hair and makeup for a longggg time, I’ve got all the right products and I’m pretty damn good at it. Still, I always opt to go to the professionals because they never fail to make me look my best!
What’s more, this is a great way to trial a hair and makeup artist before your wedding day. You deserve to look and feel your best both then AND at your engagement session. So, go and get yourself to the salon!
I hope that these tips already have you feeling more prepared for your engagement session. And, if you’re still in the market for a photographer, I’d love to be the one to make you and your partner feel like a million bucks! To inquire with me, just fill out this quick form. In the meantime, you can browse more of my work with couples here!