How to Plan a Great Engagement Photography Session

Yay! You are engaged! This is a really special time in your life. Let’s document it with some beautiful photos that capture your story, joy, style, personality and LOVE!

You are only engaged once and it goes by so quick! Don’t let the time pass without getting some great photos to remember all the excitement. It is also a great opportunity to get some casual and fun photos to accompany your more formal wedding portraits.

It is also great practice for your wedding photos! It may sound strange, but taking engagement photos actually improves your wedding photos. You become more comfortable working with direction and understand the process so that we move more quickly through different posses and you know what you like.

Central Park Engagement photography, NYC

Samantha-sneakpeek-2

For the shoot, the most important thing is to have fun! Relax, laugh, be comfortable and enjoy the session. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of your photographs.

Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall?

To plan the best time to take your engagement photos, think about the season, the weather, your seasonal outfit options and the locations that might be available. You may also want to plan your session based on when you want to send out save the dates or an announcement. If it turns out that the weather is bad on the day you’ve selected for your shoot, we can reschedule, no problem.

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Punctuality = Awesomeness
Natural light is very important to beautiful photography. The timing of your session is really important, because the sunlight greatly affects the shoot. Please arrive on time. Once the sun goes down, it is too dark to continue the shoot. You can check the sunset time for any day of the year using this calendar.

What should I wear for my engagement session?
Plan to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. Please bring one outfit change. Most couples choose one casual and one formal look to add variety to their images. I tend to discourage all black or all white outfits and really encourage pops of color. Don’t bring more than one outfit change or the time it takes to change will cut too much into the session. Accessories are also great ways to add variety including scarves, hats, cardigans, etc.

Check out some wardrobe ideas on Pinterest. It can also be fun to bring items that tell your story like a picnic, bikes, your dog, records, coffee cups, or a banner that says “love” or “save the date.”

For the ladies:
Consider having your hair and makeup done professionally. This could be a great day to schedule a makeup and hair trial with the stylist you are using on your wedding day. I will also be taking close ups of your gorgeous ring on your finger. Why not treat yourself to a manicure! These ideas are absolutely not necessary, but I like to recommend them because how often do you have professional photos taken? Why not take advantage of this special time in your life and make yourself feel pampered and beautiful!

Where should we have our engagement photos taken?
There are so many amazing locations perfect for photography. I am happy to help you plan the best spot for you that fits your relationship and expresses your personality and style.

Ideas for great locations for engagement photography in the NYC area:
The High Line, Brooklyn Promenade and Dumbo, Coney Island, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Park and the Flatiron, Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Bryant Park and the Library, The MET, Lincoln Center, Central Park, Central Park Zoo, Fort Tryon Park at the Cloisters, NY Botanical Gardens, Hoboken, Columbia University, Chelsea Piers, etc.
*Please note some locations may require a photography permit or entrance fee.

Ideas for great locations for engagement photography in the Washington, DC, area:
Georgetown, Meadowlark Gardens, Brookside Gardens, Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral, The National Gallery of Art, The National Mall, Tidal Basin, Downtown Annapolis, etc.
*Please note some locations may require a photography permit or entrance fee.

Or find a cool nearby location:
Vineyard, orchard, farm, train station, beach, dock, sail boat around the city, gardens, ice skating rink, biergarten, etc.

Another idea is to choose some of your favorite spots:
The place you first met or a favorite cafe, restaurant, cupcake place, book store, etc.

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To take a closer look at an engagement session, check out these links:

Greenwich Village & Central Park

Lower East Side

SoHo Chic

Central Park 

If you have any questions, please ask. I want your session to be great!

***This post was updated Spring 2016.

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