blue hour engagement session on mount tzouhalem

4 Engagement Session Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Shoot

Why book an engagement session?

Today on the blog, I’m sharing 4 engagement session tips. I love helping couples plan their engagement sessions, and I’m always trying to make the process more fun and less nerve-wracking for my clients. I include a complimentary engagement session with my 7 and 9 hour packages, and I recommend adding it on for smaller packages too.

There are so many benefits to engagement sessions. First, it’s an opportunity for you to get behind the camera before your wedding day. The majority of engaged couples I work with have never had professional photos taken together. It’s totally normal to feel nervous! But, it’s easier to get those nerves over with in a low-pressure engagement session. That way, you don’t have to worry about it on the wedding day. After doing an engagement session, I often hear “that was actually so much more fun than we were expecting!” As a result, when the wedding comes around, having your photos taken will be a breeze. 

Of course, I also love having this time to get to know you better before the wedding day. Typically, we would meet for coffee or chat on Facetime before booking, but it’s not until we do an engagement session that I really start to get to know you. Lastly, you can use your engagement photos for save the dates and invites.

Check out this blog post for engagement session tips to ensure your shoot runs smoothly and is an absolute blast.

Tip 1: Pick an activity

For any couples who might be a little nervous about posing for the camera, choosing a location based around an activity can be a huge help! However, when you’ve got something other than taking photos to focus on, it can be easier to get those natural, relaxed, candid moments. In the session below, Mandy and Dalton chose to have some of their engagement photos taken at Riot Brewing Co. in Chemainus. We kicked off their session at the brewery, which was perfect for breaking the ice and calming any nerves. Some favourites from past engagement sessions I’ve done include building a beach fire in Tofino, and hanging out at a farm with the couple’s horses. Other options could be a session in your home baking, playing games, or building a blanket fort.

Tip 2: Use it as an opportunity for a hair & makeup trial

The engagement session is the perfect opportunity for a trial. Many hair stylists and makeup artists will do trials prior to the wedding day, so why not take advantage of being all dolled up? Alternatively, if you’re planning to do your own hair and makeup, this is a no-pressure time to go a little bolder than your usual everyday look and see how it looks in photos. 

Tip 3: Bring your dog

Although I will give you TONS of direction and cues so you know exactly what to do, having your dog with you can be a big help in allowing you to relax and feel more comfortable. Not to mention, I know your fur baby is part of the family so it’s important to include Fido in your photos too! No promises they won’t steal the whole show, though. 

If you’re thinking about bringing your dog to your engagement session, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure the session runs smoothly. Is your dog reactive to other people and dogs? If so, it’s probably best to do those photos in your home or backyard, or at a quiet location. Likewise, even if your dog isn’t reactive, try to visit the location at least once a few days before your session so it’s familiar to them on the day-of. Bring lots of really awesome treats so we can get your dog’s attention on us. For example, cut up hotdogs, cheese, or shredded chicken works wonders. For most dogs, regular old crunchy treats or kibble isn’t interesting enough compared to all the exciting, distracting things going on outside!

Tip 4: Make it a date night!

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of couples mention after their engagement session that they actually enjoyed having an evening together to just focus on each other. I’ll have you two cuddling up, laughing, and dancing while watching the sunset. Really, does it get any more romantic than that? Now, I recommend taking advantage of this and treating your engagement session like a date night. Dress up a little bit. Bring along a bottle of champagne to pop or some craft beers to crack open during the shoot. Book a nice dinner for after the session. This is an evening for you and your love to celebrate being engaged and be together. Of course, you’ll have me as your professional third wheel tagging along, but you get the idea. If you’re relaxed and enjoying each other’s company, the photos will reflect that.

I hope these engagement session tips help when it comes time to plan your shoot! Message me using the contact form below to start planning your session. I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

It's your turn!

Thanks for checking out this blog post! If you're interested in booking me for your wedding, elopement, or a session, send me a message here. I will most likely do a happy dance when I receive your inquiry!

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