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Choosing An Engagement Session Location + How To Prepare

Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress, especially if you plan on using your engagement photos for your Save the Dates. Because my weekends are filled with weddings, I typically shoot engagements on weekday evenings, normally from 5-7pm depending on the light and the time of the year. In the winter months, 3-5pm is a normal time frame for an e-shoot! As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location! As long as the light is great, I can make ANY location look awesome! I shoot at farms, campuses, downtown alleys and even donut shops! I’m serious! Do not shy away from crazy ideas! The more creative, the better! Meaningful locations are my absolute favorite.

Consider places that help tell your story! Maybe where you first met, had your first date or first kiss, or even where you first said ‘I Love You’. Think of an activity you enjoy doing together and let’s incorporate that. One of the most memorable engagement sessions to date was with a couple that loved being on the water. They knew they wanted to incorporate a canoe in the session so we packed some waders and headed to the river! 

Think about locations that you love to be together. Another great engagement session took place in downtown Duluth on a restaurant hop. The couple spent a lot of time in different restaurants on dates and hangouts, so it was super fitting to incorporate that into their engagement session.

I get asked a lot for suggestions on what to wear for engagement sessions as well as how couples should prepare. Here are a few of my favorite tips! – Don’t try to MATCH…try to pick outfits and accessories that coordinate instead. If everyone wore the same exact color at their engagement shoot, how boring would those images be? Make it a fun date to go shopping together to find clothes that compliment one another well.

– Don’t be afraid to be BOLD! Accessorize and make your outfits your own! Scarves, bold necklaces and fun shoes are always welcomed!

– MOST PATTERNS are actually ok…. however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you’re wearing a pattern, make sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting.

– Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for more outfit inspiration if you’re having trouble!

– Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones showing through your pockets. (This is for the guys especially!)

– Most often, couples like to have one casual, everyday outfit and then one outfit that is dressier! This will give your shoot two totally different “looks”. I recommend beginning with the dressy outfit first that way your hair and makeup are on point depending on the weather (Lord knows my hair gets a little frizz the longer I am in this Georgia heat)!

– Make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. And ladies, if the top is super low cut, that will limit the amount of angles I can shoot from.

– BE ON TIME! The sun is only out for so long ! The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! And nobody wants that!

– Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few rings shots while you change outfits! The cleaner the better!

– Small details like having manicured nails to show off your ring and the right color socks help ease stress. So consider setting out your outfits a few days before to make sure you have every accessory that you want photographed ready (for every outfit, if you are planning a wardrobe change).

-Realize it may feel a little awkward at first, but TRUST your photographer in the process and have fun! It’s not every day you get dressed up and have an opportunity for professional photos!

– Wrap it up with a date! You’re all dressed up and look amazing – make the most of it and grab a bite to eat or catch a movie afterwards!

I love engagement sessions SO much! It gives me an awesome opportunity to get to know the couple more and to have fun interaction with them. This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I’ll arrive on a wedding day already knowing how the couple interacts, what their best poses are and how to photograph them in a genuine way! What I learn about a couple during their engagement session is invaluable! They will feel like such a pro on their  big day because of the great practice they had during your engagement session, and that’s how it should be! 

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