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Engagement Session Guide


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Engagement Session Guide


Hey friend!

If you are here, that means you are in the beginning stages of planning your engagement session! Yay!

Engagements sessions are one of my favorite parts of the process for so many reasons, but mostly because I have an excuse to hang out with you before the wedding day! I know how nerve racking it can be to step in front of the camera, so I created this guide to give you an idea of what to expect and what you can do to prepare for your session. I'll be sharing all the tips and tricks I've picked up over the years that helps things go seamlessly!

Let's do this!

Why do your wedding packages include engagement sessions?

I have found that the best way to ensure a seamless photography experience on your wedding day is to get comfortable with each other before hand! I don't want my couples to be clients, I want you to be my friend! Engagement photos are the best way to get to know each other and see how I work behind the camera. Plus, you will get beautiful photos of just the two of you totally in love and super excited for your wedding day. You can use these images for your wedding website, save the dates, your guest book, and to share on social media.

How long is a session?

My engagement sessions are usually 1-1.5 hours long! Golden hour (morning or evening) is my favorite to shoot in, hands down. You just can't beat that creamy dreamy soft light. 1.5 hours before sunset, or 20 minutes before sunrise is a great time to get the session started. To find the sunset/sunrise time of the area on that date, you can just google the location + date sunrise/ sunset time so we can plan accordingly (hair & makeup, errands, etc.)

What should I wear?

I LOVE when my couples show their unique personal style through their outfits! But deciding what to wear for your session can be overwhelming, especially if you don't consider yourself a fashion expert. Well I'm here to help! Here are a few of my tried and true tips.

Wear clothes that make you feel like you.

You should feel 10,000% comfortable in the outfit you choose. If you're a tee shirt and denim kinda couple, don't feel like you have to wear a ball gown and pumps to your session. You can utilized texture and color to make your outfit stand out without being uncomfortable. But if you're a bold and modern pair, embrace that!

Stick With Two Outfits

These are the pictures where you'll look back and get to remember who you are when it's only the two of you! Two outfits is a perfect amount to reflect this in couples, and it ensures you won't spend your entire engagement session in a rush to change into the next set of clothes.

Complement each other, but don't be matchy-matchy.

Complementing your partner's look is one thing. But matching outfits and patterned prints aren't ideal for portrait sessions. When deciding how you and your partner will dress, look for complementary colors and solid prints. Try to stay away from anything too busy, as it can be distracting in photos.

Be mindful of how your color scheme will flow through the collection of photos.

Once you have an idea of what colors you'll be wearing in your engagement photos, consider how that color will translate throughout the entire collection of photos. You want to create synergy, rather than have the final result look like a random collection of images. For example, if you love light blue, you can wear this color in one outfit, then have him incorporate the same hue (think a blue tie or accessory) in a later look during the shoot to tie things together without it being too matchy.

Flatter your body type.

For both women and men, there is a wealth of information about general body shapes and the styles that will be the most flattering for those body shapes. Here are a few links that may be helpful for you!

Get inspiration.

Fashionista or not, the best way to prepare is to get inspired! Make a Pinterest board and pin your favorite looks and color schemes. You can also scroll through my Instagram and get inspiration from past couples I've photographed. 

One way to get ideas is to take a trip down memory lane and browse through old photos of you and your partner together, as well as individually. Then pick out the absolute best parts of those pictures (perhaps it's a pose you love or the outfit you're wearing), and add those to your Pinterest mood board. Seeing what makes sense and what you're into will help give you some guidance.

If you would like to see an example of the styles and tones I love to photograph, I've linked a Pinterest board full of wardrobe inspiration below!

Create visual interest.

The textures, patterns, and movement of your outfits work together to create visual interest. Incorporating fabrics like lace, fur, leather, etc. into your engagement sesh outfits can make a photo dynamic and interesting. These elements add a ton of visual texture, which in turn brings more warmth to your images. And they'll work well with whatever location you decide on. Don't be afraid to play around! And if you are unsure if something looks good, just ask and I'd be happy to help.

See how each of these couples are true to themselves?
Are you an adventurous couple? Modern? Edgy? Classic? Fun? Play off of those things and dress true to you!

Where should we take them?

Think about all the things you and your fiancé love to do together and incorporate them into your session. Do you love hiking together? Let's go on a hike in one of Middle Tennessee's amazing scenic trails. Enjoy picnics and drinking wine together? Arrington Vineyards may be your best fit. Love exploring the city? Let's take on downtown Nash. Have a fur baby? PLZ BRING YOUR DOG. Let's get ice cream, go longboarding, or chill in a coffeeshop. You can bring a guitar, special family heirloom, a blanket, love letters, or polariods. The possiblilities are endless! If you have any specific ideas in mind, bounce them off me and we can make a plan together.

LOCATIONs

Nashville

Centennial Park
Downtown Nashville
Sevier Park/ 12 South
Long Hunter State Park
Percy Warner Park
Narrows of the Harpeth
Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Franklin

Arrington Vineyards
Pinkerton Park
Downtown Franklin
Radnor Lake
Natchez Trace Bridge
Marcella Vivrette Smith Park
Hewitt Garden and Design Center

Adventure

The Stone Door
Rock Island
Cummins Falls
Fall Creek Falls

When should I schedule my session?

If you are using the photos for save the dates and invitations, scheduling your engagement session 6-8 months before the wedding day should give you ample time to get them printed and sent out to guests. If not, a good rule of thumb is 3 months! My turnaround time for an engagement session is within 2 weeks.

(Also, if you are using the photos for save the dates or invitations, send one to me! You don't have to, but it makes my heart SO happy and I love to see my couples on my fridge! <3)

What should I expect during my session?

When you two arrive, we'll walk and chat for about 10 minutes or so before we start shooting so we can get to know each other a bit better! Once we start shooting, I'll be directing you and helping you out with posing. It's going to be SUPER awkward (just kidding.) If you're nervous, no need to worry. I'm not expecting you to show up and model for me, I'll help you out!

Get pumped

I can't wait to hang out with you and your bae! Please let me know if you have any questions. I am so happy to help!

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