Everyone knows that summer is wedding season in the Pacific Northwest. And If you don’t know, now you know. What you might not know unless you’re a photographer is that spring is engagement photo season. Here are some tips and tricks for awesome engagement sessions, whether you’re going to be in front of the camera or behind!
Unless you have a specific spot in mind for your engagement session that you as the engaged couple or you as the photographer have your heart set on, location isn’t really as important as you might think. The truth is, not every photo session needs to be on an epic mountain top or in front of a waterfall. My favorite photos have been from just stumbling upon the perfect spot with the perfect light and not necessarily a planned location. Rather than picking a meeting spot such as a park to spend the majority of the session at, I suggest meeting up and then riding around (or walking if things are close!) together to find the spots you’re going to use for photos. I usually try to plan around a nearby open field, beach or park area for ending the session at. Open areas are great when the sun is lowest (HEYYY GOLDEN HOUR) and give you plenty of space for movement in the poses. Now, I’m totally not saying you should go in to it without a plan. Location scouting ahead of time is great. Sometimes I’ll go on google earth and look for places that look like they might be good photo locations and then I’ll spend a day driving around and checking them out in person. My point is, don’t stress yourself out over location too much. An overgrown empty lot with the right light can look majestic af.
I usually have my couples bring 2-3 outfits, a mix of casual and more dressed up looks. It’s important to look like yourselves and wear things you feel comfortable in. If you’re not comfortable it will show in your face. I tell my couples to save their favorite outfit for last. By the end of the session you’re usually feeling the most comfortable and some of the best photos come out of that last set at the end of the shoot.
Pre-Shoot Nerves. They’re a thing.
The key to great engagement photos is getting out of your comfort zone! Being in front of the camera is scary, I get it. But the minute you forget the photographer is there and start being yourselves, laughing together, cuddling, dancing around, is when your photos go from good to great. Play some music on your drive to the session and get ready to have fun together! I like to keep a lot of movement in my sessions because when things slow down, I feel like couples start to get uncomfortable. Smiles get fake and poses get stiff and awkward. So… if you’re shooting with me, get ready to move around a ton and get a little weird.
Something else to keep in mind. Seattle area weather is unpredictable. Decide ahead of time if you’re willing to embrace the rain or if you’re more of a fair weather engagement session kind of couple. Personally, I think rainy engagement sessions are super romantic.