Is there something more romantic than a photoshoot to immortalize your love? I don’t think so! Whether it’s to practise your poses before your wedding day or simply for fun, here are five tips for a successful engagement session.
1. Wear comfortable clothes that fit your lifestyle
Picking the right clothes can be tricky, but it’s truly worth taking them into consideration! They will have a big impact on the aesthetic of your images.
Even though we’re looking for an outfit that is more stylish than your everyday look, it must be comfortable. If you always wear t-shirts and jeans, will you truly be comfortable in a tight dress or a suit and tie? It’s best to test your clothes for a full day before our appointment to make sure they work well for you. If the fabric doesn’t breath, creases badly or puts the emphasis on your hang-up, you’ll realize it right away and have the chance to choose something else.
Try creating outfits that compliment each other without being identical. You don’t want to look like twins! Favour soft and natural colours. Not only do they photograph better than dark and pigmented colours, but they will also create timeless memories that won’t go out of fashion in a few years.
If you want to, it’s also possible to bring two sets of clothes: one chic and one casual. The first one will allow us to create more classical images that can be used on wedding invitations, while the second one will reflect your daily life more truthfully.
2. Pick the location carefully
The location of your session should also be carefully selected. Some couples pick a place because of its scenery or architecture, while others choose it because it has a special place in their heart.
If you love the outdoors, a session in a natural park probably speaks to you more than a downtown urban session. If you love cuddling under a blanket, why not do an in-home lifestyle session? Almost all locations are appropriate for couple or engagement photos. With outdoor sessions, I suggest to pick a place that’s easily accessible while offering several options. It will allow us to maximize time while creating varied memories of your relationship.
If you want to do it at a private property, whether it’s a café or an apple orchard, contact the owners beforehand to have their permission. When asked in advance, most of them will gladly welcome us! It’s also a good way to know when their busy hours are to avoid them. Alongside, a handful of public spaces, such as the Botanical Garden’s greenhouses, requires the purchase of a photography permit. Consider this additional cost with your budget.
3. Plan your session with the sunshine period
To have magical photos, having good light is essential. The best moment for outdoor sessions is during the famous « golden hour ». This moment takes place in the 90 minutes before sunset when the light is soft and golden. Not only will it prevent you from squinting, but it will also add a magical touch to the images.
Since we live in a Nordic country, the moment when the golden hour happens varies greatly depending on the season. The longer the days are, the later it will take place. During summer, it happens around 7PM. In spring and fall, it happens around 5PM. During winter, it happens even earlier around 3PM.
Contrary to what some people believe, the middle of the day should be avoided during outdoor sessions. In fact, the period between 11AM and 2PM is the worst for outdoor sessions if it’s not an overcast day! Since the sun is at its highest, the light will be to its strongest. This will create uneven shadows on your face and will make you squint. To avoid this, we will have to stay in open share during the whole session, which will greatly limit our options and give a cool tint to the images. If it’s doable for you, favour a « golden hour » session for optimal results.
4. Bring props
Although it’s not an obligation, using props is a good way to keep your hands busy and put you at ease more quickly. This can be as simple as drinking a cup of coffee on a terrasse or having a picnic in the park! The pictures will look way more genuine if you’re not constantly thinking about being photographed.
Plus, this can be an object or activity related to your relationship. A lake side session with a canoe can be the perfect fit for a couple who loves spending weekends at their cottage. We’ll get to take a few photos inside the boat, then the rest on the beach and the dock to stick with the theme.
The season can also influence your choice. You can do a campfire and drink hot chocolate in winter, eat maple taffy at a sugar shack in spring or pick pumpkins in a field in fall. Your options are infinite!
5. Be natural and yourself
Most people have never been photographed professionally. It’s normal to be stressed and wonder what to do! Because of that, some people tend to be very stiff and only look straight into the camera. Unfortunately, this pose quickly becomes redundant and doesn’t allow you to create a connection with your partner.
The best advice I can give you is to be natural. Of course, you won’t be alone in this! I will guide you and give you prompts to achieve the desired emotions. However, it will be much easier to capture you and your complicity if you’re being yourself. Interact with each other, laugh, smile, kiss, give tickles, look at each other in the eyes, whisper secrets in your partner’s ear, etc. In short, loosen up as if no one was looking at you! I promise, you will be so much more satisfied with your photos this way!
Would you like to book a session like this? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to do so!