6 Ways To Make The Most of Your Engagement Session | Sara Lane & Stevie

6 Ways To Make The Most of Your Engagement Session

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For many people, their engagement session is the first time they’ve had professional photos taken of them – maybe since high school senior pics, maybe ever, and definitely as a couple! We know from experience how uncomfortable being in front of the camera can be (we may be professional photographers, but we are NOT professional models!). We get how stepping in front of the camera has that deer-in-headlights effect. And how even the most secure, confident people start to feel a little self-conscious once a lens is locked in on them. It’s normal to feel some nerves over having your photo taken!

We also know that every engaged couple we work with wants photos that genuinely reflect their relationship, are filled with affection for each other, and show how excited they are for this new chapter in their lives. Going into your engagement session with the right perspective and preparation can make all the difference in how comfortable and excited you feel! With that in mind, we’ve put together a few helpful suggestions on how to plan for and make the most of your engagement session! 

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1) GET YOU AND YOUR FIANCE ON THE SAME PAGE

Consider this a step towards “becoming one” in marriage (lol). And make sure your fiancé knows what to expect from your engagement session! He may be super involved and already familiar with our style of shooting, or he may not have a clue what he’s in for. Take some time before your engagement session to communicate with him what it will be like! Maybe show him some of our recent engagement session blog posts you like, and let him know it won’t just be a bunch of “say cheese” shots. Tell him his job during the session will be to love on you and to make you smile and laugh. If he knows going into the session that it’s simply your time to play together, have fun, and be affectionate, then he won’t be caught off guard (or think we’re completely crazy). 

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2) DRESS TO FEEL BOTH CUTE AND COMFORTABLE

It’s so important that you both look and feel like a million bucks during your engagement session. A few ways to ensure this are:

A) Wear something that’s comfortable and easy to move freely in. Since our direction involves a lot of action, you won’t want to wear something you’re constantly tugging at or situating after each shot. It’s totally fine to be fancy, but keep in mind heels or short dresses might limit you a bit!

B) Consider professional hair and makeup. Maybe you’ve got doing your own H&M down and this isn’t necessary. For me personally though, there’s nothing quite as pampering and confidence-boosting than having my hair and/or makeup done by a professional artist. Many brides use this opportunity to do a test-run for their wedding day too! If you go the DIY route, keep in mind that a-little-heavier-than-normal makeup will photograph well and show up better in the images.

C) Compliment and coordinate with your fiancé’s outfit. Take the time to plan out what you’re both going to wear and how the outfits work together. You don’t want to be too matchy-matchy but you don’t want too many patterns and colors going on either. Find that balance! And, this is crucial – make sure that what you both wear is a true reflection of you and your style. If you want photos that reflect your relationship, you need to feel like yourself!

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3) ARRIVE ON TIME 

Our engagement sessions are scheduled to last for up-to one hour. This allows time for walking around to different spots and any outfit changes you may want to do! Sometimes we end earlier if you’ve just been totally crushing it! Or if there isn’t as much walking around or outfit changes needed. Because we are working with natural light, our session start-times are very intentional. It’s important to show up on time. The session starts at the booked time, not necessarily when you arrive if you’re running behind. In other words, ensure you get the most out of your engagement session by arriving on time! 

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4) BRINGING YOUR FUR BABES

Many couples ask us if it’s okay to bring their dog with them to their engagement session, and to that we say “YES PLEASE.” However, we have a few suggestions:

A) First, we encourage you to bring your dog to an off-leash park or let them run around in your yard beforehand, so they can get some of their energy out. This gives us a better chance that they’ll sit still for a few shots during your session. 

B) Since we’ll do some (not all) photos with your pup, we recommend that you bring a trusted pet wrangler with you. Someone who can be there to provide treats and toys while we are shooting and who can take your pup with them after we’ve gotten all the pet pics needed. 

These can help tremendously with making the most of our time together and being able to capture all the pup photos you want!

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5) KEEP CALM AND TRUST US

Like I mentioned above, we don’t expect you to be a pro! We photograph couples, not models, and will be talking you through the entire process. Sure you might feel awkward or uncomfortable as you warm up, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed by that! Give it some time, go with the flow, lean into your fiancé (literally and physically). You’ll be having fun and forgetting you’re even being photographed in no time. Each pose can be done in a million different ways, so embrace what comes natural and don’t overthink it. Trust our guidance and creativity, and feel free to be completely yourself.

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6) IT’S ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Something that actually helps our couples achieve #5 above is to ignore the camera and focus on your fiancé. Not only does it help you feel more comfortable with having your photo taken, but your relationship is the whole reason for the engagement session anyways! Right?! We want to create an environment that brings out your natural emotions, true connection, and candid reactions with each other. Make a date of your engagement session. See it as a fun way to spend time together. Really soak in the fact that you’re taking these photos because you’re getting married. Let your love for each other spill out all over the place. And inevitably, it’ll shine through in the photos!

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I hope these Engagement Session insights are helpful! If there’s anything you’re still curious about or you have any questions, please email us!

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MORE POSTS LIKE THIS:

7 WAYS TO ENSURE A STRESS-FREE WEDDING DAY

4 REASONS TO SAY YES TO A FIRST LOOK

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© saralane & stevie 2020

Sara-Lane & Stevie Boudreaux are Tennessee and Destination Wedding Photographers based out of Nashville, TN with a focus on capturing connections artfully and honestly.