Engagement sessions are included for all our wedding clients, and we LOVE getting to shoot them. Here are some tips to get ready for them!
These are a great time to get to know each other better and get you guys comfortable in front of the camera. Don’t worry if you haven’t had pictures made before or are a little nervous, we promise to not leave you hanging. Also, no worries if one of you doesn’t like your pictures taken, we try to make it as painless as possible!
First, when are engagement sessions (if we haven’t scheduled them yet)?
We do sessions Mondays – Wednesdays. We usually leave Wednesday unscheduled until closer in case a session gets rained out, etc., then we have dates to reschedule. (let us know if a Wednesday specifically works better though and we can leave a Monday or a Tuesday as a rain date that week.)
They are always an hour to an hour and a half before sunset, depending on the location. This is when the light is the best and most flattering, also if it’s summer, it’s when the temperatures are a little bit more bearable. Also because they are so close to sunset, make sure you plan extra time to get there just in case getting ready takes a little too long or there is traffic. Unfortunately, as much as we wish we could, we can’t control when the sun goes down!
Here is why we shoot at sunset, look at that beautiful light:
During the late spring to early fall these almost always start after 5pm so most people can get there after work. After the time change from November to March, these will need to start earlier than work hours end. All the seasons are equally as beautiful to photograph in, don’t write off a winter session, they can be just as beautiful as a spring, summer, or fall session! Plus you can’t see cold in photos, sweat is sometimes a different story!
Where should we do the session and do we have suggestions?
First, if you have a place in mind that your like or is special to you, please let us know! We love shooting places that have meaning to you. Some examples: where you had your first date, where you got engaged, where you love spending time together, a place special to your family, etc.
They had their session in their backyard:
They had their session at their college:
They had their session at their grandparents farm:
They had their session where they work:
If you don’t have a place in mind (don’t worry most people don’t), we have some great locations lists we can send out. Just let us know if you would like the rustic, nature, mountains, elegant, or urban list (or a couple of them!) Also if you don’t want to look through and pick, just describe what you are thinking and we can help send some specific ones.
Also if you are more shy or get shy when people are around, there are some venues around that we can shoot at privately for a small fee. Also make sure to avoid shooting uptown Charlotte or some public parks if this is you, there will be a lot of people around in these. Let us know if you want us to suggest some more private places!
What should we wear? How many outfits? Do we need to get our hair/makeup done?
A lot of our clients bring 1-2 outfits. (a dressier and a more casual outfit can always be a good idea) Depending on the location, there may or may not be a place to change. You can ask me ahead of time if there are bathrooms, if not you might have to change in the car! Make sure to bring something that is YOU, and that you feel comfortable in, you want these to reflect you guys. You definitely don’t need to go buy new clothes, but feel free to if you want to.
Bold colors tend to photograph really well with our photography style, but as long as it’s you, pretty much anything works. Usually it’s best not to be too matchy, but to blend your outfits together. Also make sure you are wearing the same “style”. (both in casual clothes, both in dressy, etc.) Some people prefer to avoid true white if they don’t have a good tan because it can wash you out a little bit, but this isn’t a set rule. Black is also always a good color in photos for almost anyone. Patterns are great too, but if one of you is wearing a pattern, usually it’s best for the other to not. The only pattern that you might want to avoid is very small stripes, they can look odd in photographs. You can always bounce outfit ideas off us too if you need help!
You definitely don’t need to get your hair and makeup done, but if you need makeup and hair artist recommendations let us know. Also most hairstylists will style your hair after a cut, so always a good day to schedule your hair cut and have one less thing to worry about the day of!
What should we bring? Do you have props?
You don’t have to bring anything at all! However, you are more than welcome to. Some easy props a lot of people bring are cute blankets, a save the date sign, a big letter for your new last name, etc. Also some people bring things they like to do together like a picnic, a guitar, etc. While we don’t have props, we are happy to help if you want to bounce ideas off of us. For some prop ideas, here are some we love from past sessions: https://pin.it/QmPmDSu
Also feel free to bring your dogs too, but if you do make sure you have someone who can bring them in the beginning and then take them away after we are done!
What to expect at the session?
Really this is just a time to hang out. No need to be nervous about it, although it is completely normal to be. We promise to pose you as much as needed and we won’t leave you hanging. However, this won’t be super posed so don’t worry about it being really awkward. Remember, giggling is cute in photos, so laugh anytime you just feel silly. And let us know if you just don’t like doing a pose, we don’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. Mostly just have fun with it, it doesn’t have to be super serious or super structured. Trust us, we get awkward when we get our picture taken too, so you aren’t alone!
Check out our engagement session category on the blog for even more ideas: https://theburksphotography.com/engagements/