One of the most important pieces to getting a great photo is the rapport between you and your photographer. One of the best ways to get to know your photographer is by requesting an engagement session. This session will help your wedding day run a lot smoother since you’ll be more comfortable and relaxed knowing your photographer and the way they work.
Personally, I like to spend some time with my couples through consultations and an In Love Session. That allows me to see how you really are as a couple and gives you the chance to see how I, as a person and a photographer, interact with you.
What’s an In Love Session?
An In Love Session is my version of an engagement session (some photographers also call them e-sessions). The difference is that you don’t have to be “engaged” to get one of these. The In Love Sessions are open to boyfriend and girlfriend, married couples wanting photos for anniversaries, common law couples, etc.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your engagement session:
1. How to select your photographer.
There are a lot of photographers in Edmonton, or any other city for that matter. You should aim to find the one that “clicks” with you. If you already chose me as a photographer, go to the next tip. But if you haven’t, there are 3 main things to consider when hiring a photographer: style, personality and price.
Make sure you do your homework by visiting their web pages and checking their portfolios. Ideally, you want to hire someone that has shot the kind of style you are looking for. Be careful with photographers that “specialize” in 20 different things, if you get what I mean. Meet with them and talk about their style and pay close attention to way they interact with you, be sure you will be able to have fun with them. Ask for their prices and what’s included in their packages. How much will it cost you to get prints or albums? You don’t want any surprises!
2. Book an In Love session.
As I mentioned before, the best way to get to know your photographer is by having an In Love Session. This may mean some extra cost (again, ask for all the details and costs so there are no surprises) but most of the time it’s worth paying for. You can also use the photos from this session in a guest book or for a slideshow on your wedding day. In my case, every wedding package includes an engagement session.
3. Select a location that means something to you.
The location of your In Love Session is really important. Not only will this location be in the background of your photos, but, most importantly, it will add emotional value. Some places that might make your list of locations are: where you first met, where you had your first date, your favourite coffee-shop, a really cool part of town or, a place which you think would be the last place you would meet a photographer, like an abandoned warehouse.
Talk about this with your photographer and make sure you ask if there are any extra cost for travel (in case it’s required).
4. Set a 2 hour window.
This timeframe is the average time for this kind of session. It can take less, but I’ve also shot sessions that take more. There may be an hourly fee, but it all depends on location and your photographer.
5. Ask for warm up shots
I usually spend the first few minutes warming up, getting a feel of you and finding your best angles. It also allows me to see your level of confidence in front of the camera and give you some tips on how to get the most out of your session. For you, it gives you a chance to get used to the camera if you haven’t done a photo shoot before.
I try not to pose my couples, I rather direct them a little bit. I will tell you where to stand, walk and when to hug or kiss, look at the camera or smile, but I rather capture the real you than pose you all the time. The best photos will come when you are not posing. Practice by hugging and kissing your couple a lot!
7. What to wear
One of the main questions I get is “what should I wear to my engagement session?”. You can pretty much wear whatever you want, but try to stay within your usual you. You don’t have to be matchy matchy, both with jeans and white t-shirts, unless that’s your style. You can wear different colours. Think better on coordinating. You’ll have to look good “together”. Your shoes can be the same colour as his shirt. Layers add dimension to the clothing and allow to change the look really fast. If you are going to wear a pattern, make sure that your couple wears something a bit more solid, it could look funny if you both wear totally different patterns. And lastly, I recommend no big logos.
Accessories add a lot of interest to the photos. Think sunglasses, hats, earrings, necklaces, umbrellas. If you aren’t sure, bring a selection and I’ll help you pick what photographs best.
9. What if I forget something?
Don’t worry. At the end of the day, what matters the most in your engagement session is the emotion. Make sure that you are ready to have a great time together, hug, kiss and laugh a lot!