The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Engagement Session

July 18, 2022

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE ENGAGED!

Maybe you are almost engaged, you just got engaged, or you’ve been engaged for a few months and you just had that thought… “SHOOT! When should we get out engagement photos done?!” Or maybe you are worried that your fiancé is not as on board with the engagement photos as you are? Well, you’re in the right place! I’ll also be talking about some other questions my couples ask me frequently about engagement sessions. Let’s get to planning!

WHEN SHOULD WE TAKE OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?

Some wedding pros say the best time to take your engagement photos is 6-8 months before your wedding. I say, take them as soon as you want! Decide first what you want to use the photos for will and that will help you know when you should have the photos done. If you are planning on using these photos for your save the dates or other announcements, then it would be best to plan your photo shoot 6-8 weeks before you plan to send them out.

Another thing to consider when choosing when to take your engagement photos is the time of year! Here in Georgia, we have actual seasons! There is a major difference in the weather between January and June. Maybe you get engaged in winter, but you want photos in summer or spring. Or perhaps you’re getting married in the summer and you want winter engagement photos. It’s best to find your wedding photographer now and book your engagement session for the season you want.

WHO SHOULD TAKE OUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS?

Your wedding photographer should ALWAYS take your engagement photos! The only exception to this should be if you’re having a destination engagement session or a destination wedding. (Even in these cases it’s always a good idea to ask if your photographer is willing to travel!)

The main reason you want your wedding photographer to also take your engagement photos is the chance to get to know them before your wedding! Maybe you’ll even become friends…if they’re cool enough that is! An engagement session is a more relaxed time to get comfortable with your photographer and familiar with how they work. They will most likely work the same on your wedding day. Also, few couples want a stranger showing up on their wedding day to take photos! The engagement session is a fun time for your wedding photographer to get to know you and your fiance also!

WHERE SHOULD WE TAKE OUR PHOTOS?

The sky is the limit here! There are many locations you could choose from (if you’re not sure where to begin, ask your photographer for some recommendations)

I encourage my couples to choose a location that is meaningful to them! You are still celebrating your engagement, so choosing a special location keeps the excitement going!

Do you like to go hiking and explore new places? Maybe an outdoor location will be best! Think EPIC Mountain Views, or open fields of wildflowers, maybe even a lake with a canoe!

If you prefer a more urban feel, then finding a downtown location might be perfect! Think of your favorite place to go downtown, maybe a rooftop overlooking the city, or your favorite weekend getaway at an elegant hotel!

WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD WE TAKE OUR PHOTOS?

When you’re thinking about what time to start your engagement session, the most important thing to consider is the LIGHT!! The best light is typically found one-two hours after sunrise and one-two hours before sunset! During these times you will find yourself in GOLDEN hour. This light can add such a romantic and timeless element to your engagement photos. Trust me, you’ll feel like models when that golden light hits you!

Also, this is the light that your photographer is obsessed with and you’ll most likely hear phrases like, “ You look like a goddess the way that light is hitting you!!” or maybe they’ll say this while jumping up and down in excitement, “THESE ARE SO DREAMY!” Either way, you’ll have gorgeous photos during Golden Hour, a SUPER happy photographer, and gorgeous engagement photos!

HOW CAN WE MAKE IT A FUN EXPERIENCE?

This is my favorite question! Sometimes it can be a little nerve-racking to take engagement photos because being in front of the camera can just feel awkward! But they can actually be a lot of fun!

I like to send my couples an engagement session questionnaire once they book with me. This helps me to get to know them a little better and also gives me an idea of what kind of location they are wanting. I like to encourage my couples to go as big as they want for their engagement session! You’ll only do these engagement photos with each other once, so now’s the perfect time to try something you’ve always wanted to do!

Maybe you’ve always wanted romantic beach photos ending with a dip in the ocean! Let’s do it (You can see that’s what Michelle & Michael did!)

Or maybe you live out of state and you want some beautiful photos in Georgia for your engagement session? Also, why not end it with superhero onesies!

Perhaps you love the mountains, and lakes, and want some action shots in a canoe or paddle boarding? Let’s make it happen!

Ultimately the easiest way to enjoy your engagement session is to make it personal! Whether you go big or you keep it simple, pick a location and outfits that you love and feel comfortable in! You’ve already got the hardest part done and that’s WHO YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY!!

SO HAVE FUN AND GET TO PLANNING!

Have more questions I didn’t answer, like what you should wear at your engagement session? Please shoot me an e-mail and we can chat more! MAYBE….just maybe… if you think we’d have fun together, I’ll get to be your wedding photographer!

Have an awesome day!

Tamela Hall

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