Your engagement session is supposed to be FUN!! This is the pressure-free session where you and your fiancee can just relax and be yourselves!! I like to say your engagement session is your "practice session" for your wedding. It's our time for us to talk and for you to become comfortable in front of my camera and learn how I work. The day of your wedding won't allow us to chat and get to know each other. There will be just too much going on. Now, don't get me wrong, your wedding is going to be so much fun, it's just so much more helpful to have an engagement session before your big day so you know what to expect! I promise, after your engagement session with me, you will be PROS on your wedding day!! 

After you book with your photographer, whether it's with me or someone else, you'll need to start thinking about when you would like to have your engagement session. Some couples like to plan engagement sessions in opposite seasons from their wedding. For example, if you're planning a winter wedding, a colorful summer engagement session would be a beautiful contrast!! Plus, getting comfortable with one another and learning poses is so much more fun when you're not freezing! 😉 I like to book my engagement sessions on weekdays 2 or 3 months out from your wedding date. This may vary with every season. 

Here are some steps and tips for you to make sure you are totally prepared for your engagement session!

OUTFITS: Most of my couples bring two outfits, one casual and one dressy. I like to recommend that we start in your dressy outfit and then change into your more casual outfit halfway through. My biggest tip when selecting outfits, try to COORDINATE instead of matching! Also, try to stay away from tiny patterns - they do not show up well on camera. Layers such as jackets, jewelry, and scarves photograph well! Most importantly, make sure you look like YOU and that you feel comfortable!

Humbolt Park Chicago Engagement Session
Humbolt Park Chicago Engagement Session

PREPARING YOUR GROOM: This is the part where you brides need to pay attention. You know your groom better than anyone else so only you can help prepare him for this session. If your fiancee is not familiar with this style of photography, he's going to think it's really strange when I ask him to go in for a "nuzzle" or get nose to nose with you. In his mind, he's probably thinking I'll ask him to smile at the camera for a few poses and maybe I'll get some shots of your ring, that's it! I suggest sitting down with him before our session and showing him a couple of my engagement blog posts just to give him an idea of the experience. 😊

Naperville Riverwalk Proposal

TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND RELAX: I do not expect you to be professional models. I work with normal, everyday couples ALL the time! I always tell my couples that it takes at least 20 minutes or so to warm up at the beginning of their session. So relax and don't be nervous. You're going to do great! As long as you relax and trust me to be creative, I promise you're going to love your images!!

TIME & LOCATION: The best time to shoot portraits is 2 hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sunset. This applies to every season of the year. This also means that it is super important for you to be on time for your session. As a natural light photographer, we're often chasing the sun and can no longer shoot after it sets. That means, if you show up late to your session, we may have to cut things short resulting in fewer portraits. I understand some things are unavoidable like traffic, but it's best to plan ahead so you don't lose any of your shooting time with pretty sunlight. 

I LOVE when couples choose locations that have meaning to them. A family farm, the special park you and your fiancee like walk around, or maybe there's a place you love that you always thought would look great in pictures. Let's talk about it!

HAIR, MAKEUP, & RING CLEANING: Some brides like to schedule their hair and makeup trial right before their engagement session. I cannot recommend this enough!! Not only will this help give you an idea of what it will look like in pictures but it is also a great confidence booster and one less thing to worry about before your engagement session! If you want to do your own makeup, this is the perfect time to practice for your big day!! 

Last but not least, I will be taking a few ring shots so if your diamond could use a good cleaning, now is the time to do it to make it really SHINE!!

I hope these tips were helpful to you!! Remember, if you ever have questions, or are looking for advice, I'm always happy to help!