An engagement session is a great way to get fresh, professional photos of the two of you for your wedding website, your save-the-dates, a wedding announcement or just because. Therefore, it is also a good way to get to know you photographer, especially if one or both of you are a bit uncomfortable having your photo taken.
Available in New York City and destinations.
I suggest wearing colors in the same tonal family (all bright, all muted, all neutrals, etc.), dressing the same level of casual or more dressy, and avoiding large or distracting prints and text. (Subtle prints and textures work just fine) It is also better to let one of you have a little flair than be both in solids, for example. When in doubt, you can send us a snapshot of outfits laid out.
In addition, you will also want to have a pair of shoes you can walk in for in between, if your shoes for the photos will be not the best for walking. Consider Rent the Runway or similar service if you don't own the attire you require. You can schedule an appointment and try on different options at its NYC store.
I ALWAYS suggest having professional makeup and hair (unless you are VERY good at this yourself). This is less important for the engagement session because it will only be a short shoot compared to a wedding day. However, there are still many benefits. Even if it won’t be the same look, it can give you an opportunity to work with your makeup artist and stylist and watch for any potential issues that could be a problem on the wedding day. If it will be hot or cold, professional makeup can hide shine or keep your nose from looking red longer.
Most important, professional makeup will look better on camera and, after all, engagement photos are an investment.
The best time to do your engagement session would ideally be 8 months to 1 year before your wedding. However, I've actually done them a few days before the wedding. I recommend morning sessions for locations that tend to get busy and, if at all possible, weekdays. Otherwise, evenings are another option as the light is nice.
If you are looking for spring flowers and trees, schedule your session in April (usually mid) through early May. If you are looking for fall leaves, mid/late October to early November.
For many couples, an engagement session will be your first experience on a professional photo shoot. You are likely worried about how you will look and what poses you will be in. Am I right? Some couples are naturals. Others struggle with awkward poses and need more direction. But only at first! You will be guided and given time to warm-up.
Portrait sessions are collaborative and turn out best when you share your fears or concerns before and during the shoot. We will know some poses and tricks to help you feel and look natural. However, you gotta bring the love! So turn off and hide the cell phones, focus on each other. Flirt. Get close.
My goal is to have photos that look as natural and most like “you” as possible. If you will feel uncomfortable having photos made in public, pick a less trafficked location. If you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, be aware it may feel awkward at first, but after 10-15 minutes, it should feel fun and more natural to be close with your soon-to-be spouse.
And of course, a glass of wine before doesn't hurt!
Some of my favorite locations for engagement sessions around the New York City area are:
Your favorite places to be together
It is always wonderful when we can include something personal in the session -- your neighborhood, pet or favorite restaurant or cafe, for instance. It will be fun to look back on this time in your life in years to come and remember those unique spaces of your lives.
TIP: An ideal location would be one that has many areas within a close walk that are great spots to shoot. You don’t want to spend a lot of time traveling during your session.