You got engaged and hired a photographer, woohoo! But now your engagement session is coming up and your excitement is turning in to nervousness about being in front of the camera. We realize being in the spotlight can feel like a lot of pressure! Not to worry, here are our top 5 tips for a great engagement session. These ideas will help you relax (and even have fun!) in front of the camera. And trust us, THAT is the key to getting photos you’ll love.
1) Realize that it’s normal to feel nervous or awkward at first
Seriously, I would say 99% of people feel nervous before a photo shoot. So if you are feeling anxious, that is totally normal! It’s likely you haven’t had professional photos taken in a while, if ever! Great engagement photos require you to get close and cuddly with your partner, so you might feel awkward interacting so much at first. But luckily, after the first 15 minutes you will get the hang of it and feel a lot more comfortable. Trust me!
2) Plan an activity to do
Worried about being put on the spot? If you and your partner have an activity you like to do together, incorporate it into the photo session! Visit a cozy coffee shop, play a board game, pack a picnic, or pop a bottle of champagne. Having an activity to focus on gets your mind off any nervousness and distracts you from feeling like you’re in the spotlight. Better yet, it encourages genuine interaction and emotion with your partner.
3) Personalize your session
If possible, choose a location for your session that is meaningful to you. Maybe it’s where you met or somewhere that you spend a lot of time together. Even if it’s not a specific place, choose a location that reflects your style as a couple. If you are more into an urban lifestyle, you could choose a downtown location. If you love nature, a park or rural location would be best. Being comfortable with your surroundings will put you at ease.
You can also work in meaningful props to personalize your session. If you have pets, consider bringing them to the session to add a bit of fun! Or, maybe you both play instruments and could bring them along. Think outside the box in terms of what tells your unique story.
4) Feel your most confident
If you feel insecure about how you look, that will show in the photos. So making sure you feel confident is super important! It starts with wearing the right clothes. Be stylish and show off your personality, but above all wear something comfortable! Choose something you have worn before and feel great in. Don’t wear anything that is too tight, tends to ride up, is super itchy, etc. No matter how awesome you think something looks, if it is uncomfortable it will show in your photos! You can also elevate your outfits by adding interesting accessories, such as a jacket or scarf.
If you’re anything like me and are not exactly a hair and makeup wizard, consider having it done by a professional. Even a simple trim and blowout can be a huge boost to your confidence! Plus, then you don’t have to worry about styling it yourself and running late if it takes longer than you thought. It is totally worth it to not feel stressed and look amazing!
5) Relax! Don’t overthink or worry about posing
You don’t need to be a model to have a great engagement session. It’s not your job to pose yourselves–that’s what I’m there for! Our photography style is candid and natural, so I will guide you into poses that feel comfortable. Most of the session will actually involve you interacting with your partner, rather than static poses.
Every couple is different, so it’s important that you embrace, hold hands, and cuddle in a way that comes naturally to you. The best way to help your genuine love shine through in the photos is to have fun! Don’t overthink posing. Instead of wondering where to put your hands or worrying that you look awkward, focus on your partner and go with your instincts. I have some fun prompts and little games we will bust out throughout the session that will get you laughing and feeling relaxed. Above all, be happy. Be in the moment. Be in love!
Remember that engagements sessions capture a unique point in your relationship, so be sure to enjoy it! Imagine looking at these photos years from now, showing them to your kids or grandkids, and reliving all the emotion and excitement you feel to be getting married.
Aside from capturing great photos, engagement sessions also help you get to know your photographer better. Clicking with your photographer is super important, especially if they will be with you all day at your wedding. It also helps you get comfortable being photographed so you can enjoy your wedding day without feeling awkward in front of the camera!
Hopefully these tips for a great engagement session will take the pressure and stress out of being in front of the camera. Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun! It will make your engagement session a memorable experience!