The Ultimate Engagement Session Guide – FAQ’s & Answers
Engagement Sessions have become more and more popular as the years go by, and you’re probably wondering why! There are so many benefits of doing an engagement session before your wedding day and, before we dive deep into this guide, I wanted to share some of them with you:
- SAVE THE DATES & INVITATIONS – use your pictures to add your personality to your wedding day and send out save the dates or invitations that represent you!
- GUEST ALBUM – make a guest album with your pictures, and have your guests sign it on your wedding day. We had one for our own wedding and love it! I still love reading all the messages that our guests left for us.
- PRACTICE – maybe you were born to be in front of the camera, maybe you were not. An engagement session is a perfect time to practice that! It’s also the perfect time to interact and get to know your photographer before your wedding day.
- THE EXPERIENCE – I’d say 95% of our couples chose to have an engagement session done before their wedding day for all the reasons above, but also because it’s a lot of FUN! You get to go to a place you love, let go of whatever worries may be in your mind and just enjoy.
Now let’s dive into the Guide, shall we?!
There are a few key points to make the most out of your Engagement Session, and I’m excited to share them with you! Having photographed countless engagement sessions, it’s easy to forget that people have never been through this before. I mean, I’m going to assume this is your first time being engaged, right? Well, congratulations!!! I decided to create this guide to help you, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get as photographers!
#1 WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?!
Whatever you’re comfortable in. But I don’t mean your PJs 😉
Putting a little bit of thought into your engagement session outfits does not mean you have to wear something you would never wear ever. Dressing up for your session is a great idea, but you should dress up according to your personalities because this session is all about you two and your relationship! So as much as we love a good long flowy dress, you have to love it too.
There are, however, some things you should avoid, such as:
- clothes with big logos on it
- matching too much with each other, you don’t want your photos to look like a Christmas card
- clothes with too many patterns
- wrinkly clothes
When picking your outfits, try to avoid choices that could potentially be distracting. Ask for your photographer’s opinion, send them options! When your clothes complement the landscape instead of competing with it, the results are amazing! Which takes me to the next question…
#2 WHERE SHOULD WE GO?
This is the BEST part of having an engagement session! The options are endless and there is no right or wrong choice. A beach photo session is different than a mountain one, which is different than a city one. You get to pick whatever suits you and your partner the best, and then make a whole day out of it, seriously! Take the day off, or heck, even the weekend off! Use your engagement session as an excuse to go on a road trip, a weekend getaway, and make the most out of it!
And if you really have no clue where you want to go, no worries! We have plenty of suggestions, and places we love to go! Here are some of our favorite locations in California:
- Taft Point, Yosemite National Park
- Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park
- Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park
- Garrapata State Park, Big Sur
- Carmel Beach, Carmel
- Lover’s Point, Monterey
- Shaver Lake
- Joshua Tree National Park
- San Joaquin River Gorge
- Lake Tahoe
- Pismo Beach Sand Dunes
- Shark Fin Beach, Davenport
As you can probably tell, we love outdoor locations. We love exploring all the beauty this world has to offer, and I don’t think that’s something we’ll ever get tired of. This is one of the most fun parts of an engagement session! You get to go somewhere beautiful, enjoy the day and the company, and get some awesome pictures out of it!
#3 WE’RE SO AWKWARD TAKING PICTURES, WHAT DO WE DO?
You don’t have to worry about that, truly. Because it’s your photographer’s job to make you two feel comfortable and guide you through the session! We know how awkward it can be having your pictures taken, but when you just spend your engagement session worrying, it shows. So just focus on having a good time, chat with your photographers, with your fiancé, and really just enjoy the process! Trust your photographers, and know that they, as well, want to make you look amazing and deliver breathtaking pictures for you to cherish!
#4 WHAT TIME SHOULD THE SESSION BE?
Sunrise or sunset. It will depend on the location, of course, and your ability to wake up early as well! But there is no doubt these are the most magical hours of the day.
You might’ve heard the term “golden hour” before. We use it to describe those 30 minutes before the sun actually sets, where the sky is orange, red, and sometimes pink, and everything around it is gorgeous. And it’s the same for sunrise, just before the sun peeks out, the sky can turn so many beautiful colors and it would be a shame not to take advantage of that right?
Some locations are better for sunrise and some are better for sunset. Taft Point, an iconic viewpoint at Yosemite National Park, is pretty famous for its sunsets. For just a 2.1-mile round trip hike, you get to watch the sun setting over the whole Yosemite Valley. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Having done so many engagement sessions, we have the timing of it down to a science. We always like to schedule things a little early just so we don’t have to rush to chase that beautiful golden light! We always look at the exact sunrise or sunset time for the specific location and plan everything around that. So if you’re not a morning person, then I would highly suggest a sunset session!
#5 DO I EVEN NEED AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION?
It is totally up to you, but I can say you won’t regret it 😉
We love engagement sessions because it’s the perfect time for us to get to know you two, to hear a bit more about your stories, and really just hang out. It’s also a great time for us to work together before the big day because then when your wedding arrives, we already know each other well, and you’ll know how we direct the photos and how we work. It makes everything a bit more comfortable! It’s also a great excuse to go on an adventure, take a day off, and enjoy each other’s company!
I’d say 95% of our couples chose to have an Engagement Session. It’s always a lot of fun, and they’re always saying how that little getaway, even if it’s just for two hours, was exactly what they needed. With so much to do when you’re planning your wedding, your engagement session can be a much needed time to turn your mind off and just have fun!
If you would like to download this guide and have it forever just click here!
If you want to chat with us and hear more about some of our favorite engagement session (and elopement!) locations, don’t hesitate and contact us! We would love that!