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How To Plan Your Engagement Session

YOU'RE ENGAGED! CONGRATULATIONS! IF YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANT TO DOCUMENT THIS MILESTONE IN YOUR LIFE BUT DON'T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN OR HOW TO GO ABOUT IT, THEN THIS BLOG POST IS FOR YOU...

Engagement sessions are a great opportunity not only for us to talk somewhere other than over email, phone, or in a coffee shop, they’re the perfect little getaway for you both amongst this crazy time of wedding planning and preparations! Other than being able give you photos celebrating your engagement, this session allows for us to truly learn about each other; we get to learn about how you work together, how affectionate you are, and you learn about how comfortable you are in front of our cameras. We won't get too much into it, but if you're still on the fence about shooting an engagement session, read our post about that here!

You’re not professional models- we understand that- so it’s absolutely ok for you to feel weird and out of your element for a little bit, or even overwhelmed on what to do or where to go. Shooting together will give us a little mini-lesson about how we need to direct you- if at all- what posing does or doesn’t work for you, and, most importantly, it’ll warm you up for your wedding day! More often than not on your wedding day, when the time comes to take photos of just you both, we simply say “Do what you were doing at your engagement session” and we all get into this little perfect groove.

Ok friends, enough about how awesome it to shoot an engagement session, let's get into the details of how to plan for one! Continue reading below for more...

WHERE TO GO

You know what they say- location, location, location! If you haven’t already selected where you would like to take your engagement photos here are a few considerations to get you started:

  • Finding a location where you’re comfortable is key!

    • If you’re not comfortable it comes through in your photos and we don’t want that!

    • Think about crowds when selecting your location- if you want to go somewhere popular but feel awkward when people watch you we can go during sunrise instead of sunset!

  • Think about what you want to convey in your photos:

    • Your everyday life? Let’s shoot at your home then! You can make a cocktail in the kitchen, snuggle in bed, then we’ll walk around your neighbourhood.

    • Do you want your location to be sentimental? Let’s go to where you first met or even your favourite bar or restaurant to go on your date nights! Really like spending time at your cottage? We're always down for a little road trip, we'll meet you there! Or are you the more adventurous type? Let's take a little hike together on your favourite trail!

Still stuck? Here are some of our favourite locations in the city:

 
 

WHAT TO WEAR

The same cardinal rule for location hunting applies for clothing: find something you’re comfortable in! If you’re not comfortable you’ll constantly be adjusting yourself or self-conscious about what your wearing and it’ll show in photos. We recommend not trying to match each other, but rather compliment. Stick to a theme- casual, date night, “vineyard chic” or a similar colour palette. We want your photos to look timeless, which means your clothing should as well! Neutral tones always stand the test of time, and allow you to look back at your photos as if they happened yesterday, and not 5 years ago.

Our one request for clothing is no logos, and no bright colours! They don’t photograph well and often overpower a photo so the centre of focus becomes your hot pink tee, not you as a couple!

For ladies: we always suggest wearing something a little loose and flowy because movement is photos is always beautiful! Think: a cute layered H& M dress taken by the breeze!

For the guys: Jeans and a dress shirt with no tie is always the perfect ‘effortlessly handsome’ look.

 
 

WHEN TO SHOOT

If you want to shoot your engagement session throughout the summer to fall months we always like to encourage a weekday session. We know this can be tough for some people, but if and when possible it's great for us as most weekends from June to October we are booked! We like to think of a weekday shoot as a great excuse for you to take a day off work, take some time to yourselves, and really slow down for a bit and breathe because we know weddings aren't easy. Oh and also, you'll hang out with us for a bit ;)

While we generally suggest shooting around 1-2 hours before sunset, your location can adjust this time. For example, if you want to shoot with the cherry blossoms in High Park, then we only take on sunrise sessions (around 630AM-830AM) because of the crowds and it being near impossible to get a clean, photo bomber-less, photo later in the day. We know it's not the most attractive time, but we promise it's worth it, and we'll bring the coffee!

HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOOT

There are so many things you can do to prepare for your engagement session, and everyone is different, so don’t feel obligated to follow each of these steps, but here are a few of our  recommendations on how to make the most of our session beforehand...

MUST DO: 

  • Have your engagement ring cleaned and get a manicure a couple of days before our shoot! We’re obsessed with ring shots you can definitely count on us being all up in your hands.

  • Our time together is limited so plan your driving route to ensure you arrive on time, or better yet a few minutes early.

  • And finally, don’t over think it! This is easier said than done (we know) but hear us out... we’re here to truly capture and document your love together. We much prefer shooting natural interactions and organic moments so, to simply say, you do you. We’ll give you some prompts and help you with posing if need be but just relax, enjoy this time, and be yourselves!

OPTIONAL:

  • Get glam! These are your photos that you’re going to have for the rest of your life, don’t be shy about hiring a make up artist or getting your hair done the morning before our shoot! We love whatever makes you feel most confident and happy!

  • Try to have an extra bag on hand where you can empty the contents of your pockets into- no need to have your phone or keys sticking out of your butt!

  • We know this is under the optional section but really it should be a must do... Make a date out of it! You’re getting all fancy and dressed up anyways, why not?! Plan something for just you two after our shoot, a movie, dinner, drinks, it’s the perfect excuse!

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE SHOOT

We like to ensure that both the people shooting your wedding will also be at your engagement session so we can all get to know each other a bit more, and you can see both of our photos together.

When we’re shooting we always like to start by saying “do what you’re doing now, and make small and subtle movements”. Small movements allow for you to not be in the same position for what feels like an eternity, and allows for us to shoot different variations of the same pose! We always say “rotate between moving your head in different directions, by looking at each other, then looking away, one person looking at the camera, then rotating to the next, so on and so forth”.

We always like to give you prompts too and- so you can prepare yourself- they might sound weird but we promise they’re fun and yield the best results. We like to say things like:

  • Run towards each other like your pizza deliver *finally* arrived

  • Whisper a dirty joke into each others ear

  • Hug each other like you’re saying goodbye because you won’t see each other for a while

  • Bring your faces in real close like you’re about to kiss and then hold it there for a few seconds

We want to focus on having you be yourself, together, and not feeling stiff and strange in front of a camera! We promise that once you get the hang of things you’ll become cool, calm, and collected, and walk away feeling like a professional.

 
 

What do you think friends- is there anything you wish you knew before shooting your engagement session? Any tips you can pass along to other couples to help prepare? Do you have any questions for us? Leave them for us down below!