Are you researching how to prepare for your engagement session? You’ve come to the right place! Over the course of this blog post we’re going to explain the benefits of an engagement session, how you can best prepare for it, and what to expect from us during the session itself. Let’s get started!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a recently engaged couple looking to get some guidance on how to prepare for your engagement photo session. Or maybe you’re a new L+L Couple who are prepping for your session with us! Either way, welcome and we’re so excited you’re here!
You may be asking yourself, do we really need engagement photos? Is this really something we should do? The short is answer is, absolutely! We always recommend our couples do engagement sessions because we truly believe they are an ESSENTIAL part of the wedding photography process.
During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to meet us in person and get a sense for how we work together as a team to capture you and your partner during couple portraits. Having this knowledge in advance has a huge impact on the flow of the wedding day!
We’ll arrive already knowing how you two interact on camera, what poses work best for you, and how we can best encourage and support you throughout the portrait process. Not only that, the poses you learn at the engagement session will come flooding back on the wedding day, and you’ll feel like such a pro from the minute we start your portraits, which means EVEN MORE beautiful images of you and your partner! It’ll be worth it!
Plus, it’ll be lots of fun! Trust us 🙂
Honestly, you can schedule your engagement session any time before your wedding, but most of the time we recommend doing them between 6 – 9 months prior to the big day. Some folks do them as much as a year in advance if they want to use images from the session for their Save the Dates, and that’s fine too!
Since our weekends are usually filled with weddings, we only schedule engagement sessions on Tuesdays or Thursdays. If possible, we encourage you to make a whole day out of your session! Take the day off of work, grab brunch together, do a fun activity and arrive at your session feeling relaxed and connected! We understand sometimes this isn’t possible, but this kind of quality time before the session will do wonders to help you feel comfortable and in-sync on camera!
In general, engagement sessions are scheduled in the 2 hours prior to sunset, though some locations work better for sunrise or morning sessions. If you’d like some help deciding on your engagement session location, make sure to check out our blog post on the Best Austin Engagement Session Locations. In the spring/fall, most sessions are scheduled from 5pm – 7pm. Summer sessions are usually from 6pm – 8pm, whereas winter sessions are earlier, usually from 3pm – 5pm.
Although we block two hours for your session, it’s rare that we shoot for the full two hours. However, having 2 full hours to shoot allows us to have some time for a wardrobe change halfway through. Plus, if there is thick cloud cover or unexpected poor weather, having two hours before sunset gives us a better chance of having enough time to complete your session before the sun goes down.
There are a few different items you can add to your to-do list in advance of the session that will really help us make the most of our time together.
It’s entirely possible that you or your partner may not have seen what our engagement work looks like, so it’s worth spending a few minutes scrolling through the L+L Blog and reviewing some of our engagement blogs to get a sense of what to expect. If you need a good starting point, check out this fun downtown engagement session or this one at Mckinney Falls!
We love to offer the opportunity for an outfit change halfway through the session. For engagement sessions we encourage our couples to wear/bring:
Outfit 1: The Casual Option. Like what you two would wear to a nice date night out. And,
Outfit 2: The Dressy Option. Like what you two would wear while attending a wedding.
L+L Couples, feel free to reference your outfit guide for additional examples and guidance on choosing outfits, or give us a shout if we can help with this!
If possible, it is ideal to clean your ring before your session. We love to shoot a few macro shots of your diamond while you change outfits! The cleaner the better.
We mentioned this earlier in the post, but it’s worth repeating here. Having some time to connect with your partner in advance of your session is such an important part of making the most of your session. This is such a special and fleeting time in your lives, so really spend some time soaking it in. Spend some quality time together and give yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive at the session. That way you arrive feeling connected, relaxed and ready to have a great time!
Being lovers of natural light, our timing for your session isn’t a coincidence, it is scheduled so that we have the best lighting for your photos, so please make sure to plan your arrival at the location accordingly (and don’t forget to account for traffic!). We will shoot until the sun sets, so if we begin a bit late, we won’t be able to make it up at the end. So let’s make sure start on time!
A lot of our brides opt to have their practice run for hair and make up done for their session. This helps them feel a little more ‘done-up’ for the shoot and boosts their confidence. We’re not saying you have to do this AT ALL!! But for some it’s a nice treat to help them feel their best for their engagement session! If you’d like recommendations for hair and make-up artists, let us know and we’ll send over a few of our favorites who’ll take amazing care of you!
One of the most common questions we get from couples is what to bring to their session, so we’ve listed a few of the big items here. If you still have questions or would like more clarification, drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help!
If your session is in a state or local park, there might be some hiking involved to get to the pretty spots! Bring some sandals or comfy walking shoes so you can save your feet from hiking in the dressier shoes!
You may need to apply more lip color after one outfit change and a few kisses. (If you have a bold lip color, try to have a matte finish so it won’t transfer to your groom as intensely!). Hairspray and a brush will be helpful if your hair struggles in the humidity!
This one is TOTALLY optional, but some couples like to do a champagne pop or a photo toasting their new engagement. We usually save this shot for last, but you’re welcome to bring a second bottle and have a sip or two during the session too! A little liquid courage never hurt anyone!
Engagement sessions are a wonderful way to connect with your partner, and an excellent way to get to know your wedding photographer and maximize your portrait time on the wedding day. It’s a win-win!
We hope this blog post has helped empower you with the information you need to feel prepared for your session and rock it on camera!
Coming soon on the L+L Blog, an in-depth look at how to choose outfits for your engagement session. That’ll be a really fun one! In the meantime, feel free to drop us a line if we can help with any questions. We’re here for you!
With all the love,
If you enjoyed this post about how to prepare for your engagement session, make sure to check out our post about How to Pick the Perfect Ceremony Start Time. Interested booking your wedding, or an intimate engagement session with your person? Give us a shout right here!
Lacey + Lee Photography is a wife-husband photography team based in Austin, Texas who specialize in creating bright, timeless and romantic wedding and elopement photography. Within the Austin Area they serve South Congress, East 6th, South Lamar, The Seaholm District, Mueller, Dripping Springs, Kyle, Hutto, Georgetown, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Bastrop. They also serve San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Waco, Dallas, Houston, and any State or National Park you get to by plane, train or automobile. They are available for destination weddings, proposals, elopements and micro weddings.