Today I will cover some tips about how to face an Engagement Session from the point of view of the couple.
Before start, I want to make it clear that all these recommendations are based on my experience as a photographer and what my couple sessions are like. Some of these tips will be useful for everybody but each couple is different so you can take some of this as a grain of salt.
Be casual with clothes and makeup.
I offer three very different packages for couples before the wedding. Pre-wedding sessions and proposals are two of them and you can read specific posts in the links provided. Engagement is much more casual and natural session that aims to show how is your daily couple life. They are the kind of photos that when you see them again in the future will take you to your time of dating. My first recommendation then is avoided any "artificial" clothing or makeup. Wear the kind of clothes and makeup that you use on a normal weekend. Nightdresses or more specific makeup is more suitable to the pre-wedding session that will be more posed.
Match with your couple.
Said this, casual clothing has a wide range of options. From really casual to quite elegant you are plenty of choices and all are ok. One thing you need to takin in mind is that you and your couple wear more or less the same style. If the man wears short pants and sandals that the woman wear a dress with high heels the combination maybe will look weird. Be natural but match with your partner.
Run for busy patterns and very garish colours.
Usually, busy and complicated patterns on the clothes will no look very nice on the pictures. Avoid things with a lot of lines or squares. Plain textures normally work better. The same thing happens with garish colours. Some colours will match better with your skin tone and others no. Some strident colours will even be reflected in your skin and will produce strange tones. Finally, very striking colours will attract attention too much in the pictures and you must be the main subject on the image!
I know that being in front of a camera is not the most natural thing. Some people have an incredible ability to looks natural in a session, others, like myself no. There are a lot of tricks that I will give you before starting the session, but mainly you need to think that this is not a conventional posed session so most of the time you don't need to look at the camera. Natural and candid poses are usually the best and in the engagement session, I only suggest small changes it is really needed.
Now that we are talking about a natural couple session, is expected that you have a good connection with your partner. Some couples are more sticky, other less, some couples hold the hand all the time or can't stop to kiss. Again each couple is absolutely different and this is great. You don't need to "act" and be more tender or less as you are. Natural is the key. Just pretend that I am not there. Don't worry about it. Is easier than it looks.
Show your complicity.
The Engagement session is a great moment to show your complicity with your couple. During the Wedding day, you will be surrounded by a lot of people and stressed with a tight schedule. this session is just the opposite. All the jokes and that kind of things share with your partner will be perfect for the pictures. We will have time to plan a location that is important for you and that tells something about your relationship. Some couples even prepare a "thematic session" around something they love. Do you enjoy together making sport? Both love movies? adding things to the session that shows how you are will make the session unique and funnier! If you contact us about the Engagement session one of the first things I will send to you is a questionnaire to start to plan a personalized session.
I think all the photo sessions are fun, but the engagement session that is basically a few hours without the press and with your loved one is even more. You don't need to be a clown but if you are really relaxed and enjoying the session take for sure that this will be reflected in the pictures. I photographed dozens if not hundreds of engagement sessions. Is very easy to detect if the couple is just shy, if they are not enjoying the moment or if they just argued on the way of the session. Of course, the pictures are the most important but the session itself is a great and funny experience to have with your couple too!
Additional clothes and locations.
The base Engagement session is 3-hour long. We have time to move around and cover some locations. You can change clothes as well but usually this kind of planning match better with the Pre-Wedding session. Engagement is much more focused on the couple than the location or the number of clothes they wear. Said that you can change clothes or we can move from one to another location. I arrange with a lot of couples a sort of "hybrid" Engagement / Pre-Wedding session that of course means different clothes, makeup and move more around looking for the perfect location as we are plenty of time.
In resume... Go relaxed to the session, enjoy the experience and try to be natural. The Engagement session is a very special moment to share with your couple and you will love each moment that will be freeze in the images.