In the countdown to wedding season 2017, I wanted to create a series of posts to give engaged couples and curious minds information on the lead up (and aftermath) of the wedding day. There are so many decisions to make and I hope that this helps with the process. First up, the engagement session!
Why do an engagement session?
I always tell my clients that an engagement session is great for two main reasons. First, it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera. If you aren’t used to being photographed with your loved one (besides the occasional selfie) it can be good practice and help you feel natural with a lens pointed your way. After shooting for 20 minutes or so, I find couples tend to settle into a groove. A pint of beer or favorite cocktail beforehand never hurt anyone either! Second, it simply gives you more professional photos. On your wedding day, you will have the dress, the shoes, the tie but during an engagement session you can let your personality shine. We’ll also have the opportunity to photograph you in a favorite location. This gives the photos extra meaning— you + your favorite place!
What time of year should I do my engagement session?
I like to be flexible with the exact timing on your engagement session. Maybe it’s just around the corner from your wedding date or maybe it’s farther away (even a year!) so we can capture a different season than what we’ll see on your wedding day. If your big day is in the autumn, maybe we meet up during the winter and get some photos with a snowy backdrop. Or, if you have a summer wedding, we can rendezvous in the fall in your favorite neighborhood. In the end, the decision is up to you and what you think you would appreciate most in the background. Pro tip: If shooting in New England, avoid early spring months like March and early April. Before the leaves come out, everything can be brown and muddy. While it’s not an impossible task to make shots that time of year look great, a background with some color, bright greens or fresh snow will work the best.
When to Send out the Save the Dates?
Lots of my couples opt to use their engagement session as an opportunity to receive some imagery for their Save the Date. When you book your engagement session, feel free to tell your photographer you hope to use an image for this purpose. When I'm shooting, I like to keep this in mind so I can give my clients lots of variations-- some I'll create with negative space (good for type), and horizontal and vertical options of the same photo. That makes the design process much easier down the line.
How Should I Create my Save the Date?
There are lots of different ways to do your Save the Date. I’ve personally gotten magnets, cards, digital invitations— there are a ton of choices! Paperless Post is a great avenue to consider as they offer both paperless and printed options. With a super straightforward website, the design process is a snap (or a click). Oh the puns! Choose between classic designs or something that your super cool, graphic designer friend made just for you.
What Do I do with my Photos After the Engagement Session?
Most photographers will pass along your photos digitally via an online gallery. Be sure to back up those shots onto an external hard drive or a service like Dropbox or Backblaze. Next, be sure to get a few hardcopies of your favorites either in album or print form. While I love to have my images saved on my digital devices (and accessible at all times), there is something special about the printed product. As Marie Kondo says things should, "bring a spark of joy” and I think a framed print you and your beloved will do just that!