What to Expect: Engagement Session

Good morning, y'all! Hope you are having a wonderfully fabulous day!  

As we said in our last post, engagement sessions are super super important. They basically set the foundation for getting great photos on your wedding day and give all of us a chance to get to know each other and establish a great working relationship throughout your wedding planning process. You can get a lot out of these sessions and we want to make sure you've got all the info you need to make them as successful as possible. 

So today I thought, since we've been whooping and hollering about engagement photography so much lately, that I would take a few minutes to sit down and let ya know how we plan and get you ready for these sessions and what you can expect when we actually go out to photograph. So go make a quick cup of tea, crab a few cookies and let's chat about engagement sessions. 

Session Prep

Step 1: Picking an aesthetic

This step is probably the #1 most important thing we do together while preparing your wedding photos. When we take the time to define what you and your fiancé's tastes are visually, we are, in essence, creating a roadmap for our photographers to follow when creating all of your photos during your engagement session and on the actual wedding day.

You may not know it yet, but you definitely have an aesthetic preference, a certain photographic style that catches your eye when scanning photos. This preference can be something that is hard to define, especially when you are someone who generally appreciates beautiful imagery, but it's there. It is because of this bias that you were drawn to King's Things as your wedding photographer in the first place; something about our style spoke to you. Now we just have to define what that is. I won't go into much detail here about that process (you can read more about it in our blog post "How Pinterest Might Ruin Your Wedding Photos"), but we will walk you through the process step by step before the engagement session so we know what kind of photos you want captured that day. 

Step 2: Locations

This next part is one of my favorites because this is when we get to make sure your personality really shines through in the photos. As you know, King's Things specializes in outdoor wedding and engagement photography, but that is not *all* we do. When picking locations for your engagement photos, the sky is the limit! We're going tell you to pick locations that have a special meaning for you so that, on top of having beautiful picture of you and your honey, you've got pictures that also tell parts of your unique and beautiful story. For instance, if we took pictures at the place the two of you first met, the photo will trigger the memory of that first day and you'll be able to not only tell your kids and family the story, you can show them as well. See how powerful that can be? How much more you get out of the photo if it tells the story? That's why we work to find meaningful AND beautiful locations for your engagement photos. 

Here are another few ideas of places that could have meaning that would work great as photo locations:

  1. Where he proposed
  2. The wedding venue
  3. Where you had your first date
  4. Your favorite hangout spot on beautiful days
  5. Any parks or trails you love to go to/walk on together
  6. Your house/yard
  7. Your favorite sports team's court/field/arena
  8. The campus of the college you both attended 
  9. Your favorite bar/restaurant 
  10. Any place that sparks a great memory

Now, it's also good to have a few ideas of pretty landscapes etc. so that on top of the "good story" photos, we have a mix of beautiful locations as well. But we think the ones you will walk away liking the most are the ones that remind you of how this wedding came to be. Start jotting down some ideas and we can talk through them and decide which would 1) be the best to highlight and 2) best fit the aesthetic style we defined in Step 1. 

Note: A 4-hour engagement session will usually allow us 2-3 locations depending on travel time, wardrobe changes etc. 

Second note: We will also need to come up with a Plan B in case of bad weather. We can either have backup locations picked out OR another day shortly after that would also work incase we want to scrap the first day all together. 

Step 3: Wardrobe

Picking wardrobe for an engagement session will heavily depend on the locations we pick, the time of year and the aesthetic we decided on in Step 1, but there are a few rules of thumb that will apply across the board that we can share with you now. 

Rule #1: Dress for your location.

We want to make sure you have clothes and shoes that will look right in the location you choose. That doesn't necessarily mean if you pick a location out in the woods that you will need to be in full on hiking attire. You will, however, want to pick clothes with colors that compliment the colors we find in the woods: more natural and soft tones (see photo above). Bold and bright colors might clash with the surrounding landscape and the photo won't be as pleasing to the eye.  We will help you make color pallet choices once we've picked all of the locations and know what we are working with, so you won't have to make this decision on your own. But! Start sifting through your wardrobe so you have an idea of what we are working with once the time comes to choose. 

Rule #2: Dress like you!

Make sure the outfits you pick look like something you would wear. Does that mean you can't get really gussied up if you don't always get gussied up? Not at all. Just make sure the super nice outfit you choose reflects that kind of gussied up you would normally choose. You'll be more comfortable and look more like you. Which in the end will guarantee that you like the photo. 

Rule #3: Be sure not to clash

When you and your boo are picking out your outfits, make sure the colors and styles don't clash. When there is overall harmony in the photo, your eye is going to like the final image a lot more than it would if there were colors or styles that don't agree. That being said, we also don't want you to have perfectly matching outfits, just focus on picking outfits that compliment each other and work well together. Again, we can help you with the decisions if you want some guidance. 

Rule #4: Be comfortable

Make sure whatever you wear is comfortable! If you are uncomfortable, that discomfort will shine through in the photos and you won't like them as much. 

Note: we will walk you through outfit choices for each location, so don't stress out about this too much! If you need help coming up with styles and colors let us know and we will help you! 

Second Note: We encourage picking out backup outfits juuuust incase a wardrobe malfunction occurs during the shoot and you need to change. Perhaps not a backup for *every* outfit, just ones where we are in locations that might cause trouble (aka: a restaurant with messy food or an outdoor location with water/mud/bird poop etc). 

The night before...

Make sure that the night before your session you:

  1. Layout all of the clothes and accessories (including backups!) we have picked out for your session. We also recommend bringing an extra pair of comfortable shoes to put on between locations just in case your feet start to hurt!
  2. Make sure all clothes are wrinkle free. Iron stuff if you need to!
  3. Pack some snacks in case you get peckish during the session. Nobody wants to look hangry in their photos! :) 
  4. Put the first location in your GPS to make sure you know how to get there the next day (and how long it will take!). Also make sure you have plenty of gas in the car so you're not scrambling tomorrow. 
  5. Pack an emergency hair and makeup bag for touchups during the session. Bobby pins, combs, lint rollers, hair spray and lipstick are all good things to have in case something needs adjusting before we are done. 
  6. Put the photographer's number in your phone just in case you need to call!
  7. Drink lots of water! It will help with bags under eyes and will make your skin look *fabulous.*
  8. Get plenty of sleep! No amount of makeup or photoshop will help get rid of that tired look in your eyes. 

Make sure that you don't:

  1. Make any major changes to your hair or face treatment. If you want to try something new or drastic (such as a hair cut or a facial scrub/peel) make sure you've tried it well in advance of the shoot and know how your skin and hair will look for the shoot. 
  2. Eat lots of greasy or fatty foods. You won't feel good the next day and your skin will look greasy and oily. No bueno!
  3. Stay up all night worrying about the shoot. You got this, y'all! I promise! We have made all of the right choices for location, style and outfits and tomorrow we will show you exactly how to pose so that you look amazing. It's going to be awesome. I swear. 

The Day of...

Yay! The day is here! There shouldn't be much for you to worry about since we've prepped everything already. But here is a quick checklist to make sure everything goes smoothly:

  1. Pack everything in the car. Make sure all clothes are hanging so that they don't get wrinkled! 
  2. Leave at least 15 minutes before you think you need to just incase of traffic or bad GPS directions. A lot of times we have planned your session around the perfect lighting or certain events and if we get started late, we may miss the perfect window of opportunity. If you get there early, we have more time to go over posing tips! 
  3. If you are running late, call the photographer immediately so they can plan around the time difference. 
  4. Get ready to have some fun! These sessions are our most favorite and are *always* a ton of fun! So leave all of your worries behind and get ready for the awesomeness to ensue! 

The Session

This part will go different for every couple but there are a few things that are the same for everyone:

  1. We start out the session by giving a short-but-sweet posing workshop so that you and your boo know exactly what poses look best and how to make your photos look AMAZING. This workshop is usually 10-15 minutes long. 
  2. At each location, we will do our best to get a wide variety of photos that match the style we picked out during the prep. As we go along, we will show you the photos so you know you are getting awesome images that you love. Feel free to give us feedback if there is something you don't like or would like us to adjust. We love working *with* our clients to ensure everyone is happy when all is said and done! 

After the session

After the session, we will schedule a reveal session with the two of you to look at your engagement photo collection and design any products that you have ordered for your photos. This reveal will usually take place 1-2 weeks after our session. Delivery of products typically occurs about 3-4 weeks after the session (2-3 weeks after our reveal). If anything comes up that alters that timeline, we will let you know immediately so you know what's going on. 

We do offer rush services for an additional fee. If you need something back super quick, let us know and we can chat about your options! 

Ok! That is it, my lovelies! Everything you need to know, start to finish, about how we do engagement sessions here at KTP! If you have any questions or want to know more about this process, please let us know by visiting our Contact Us page and we will get back to you ASAP!

Oh! Just a quick reminder, we are giving away a FREE engagement session over on our facebook page, so go check it out and be sure to enter!