How to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

I'm so happy to say we are finally settled in Maryland. Things are falling into place, and I'm excited to begin this new journey as a Gaithersburg wedding photographer and work with more amazing couples in love. I've found some time to continue writing blog posts and wanted to address some of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding engagement sessions.

You might remember that super old blog post I write last year about reasons why you need to have an engagement session. I still think it's so important and one of the best things you can do as a couple to prepare yourselves to be in front of the camera on your wedding day. I've written content on this before, but I never decided to publish it, for one reason or another. The draft of it settled and got lost in the mix, and I never got around to digging it back up before we moved across the country. As photographers, it's extremely important that we discuss these things with you, our clients, because it's our job to make you shine in front of the camera. I want you to get the most out of your engagement session and I find it's better to over-prepare than to not mention anything at all. The more you know, right? 

Besides the usually hugging and kissing poses, I want to give you a little something extra you might not find anywhere else. Call me a hopeless romantic if you want, but in my mind it's the little things that end up being the most memorable. As a bride going through all this myself, I can tell you I know what it's like. There are things I wish I would've done differently, but most things I'm glad I didn't waste my time worrying about. Our engagement session was fun and memorable, not because we had the perfect poses or the perfect outfits, but because we were spending quality time together, feeling carefree, laughing and cracking jokes, and growing in love. We were relaxed, and for me, that's the key when it comes to an organic and authentic engagement session. 

maryland-wedding-photographer-fine-art-film-michelle-whitley

here are a few things to remember:


Choose a meaningful location. Not necessarily somewhere a friend of yours saw online that is the most popular place for pictures. Not there. Instead, consider a location where you grew up. Maybe it’s an ice cream shop where you met on him your first date and created your first memories. Or maybe it’s his mother’s house where you spent countless hours together talking and daydreaming about what life would have been like if you hadn’t met him when you did. Perhaps it’s a private airfield that a buddy operates on weekends and he’ll allow the two of you private entry for the evening. Because he loves you and will help out any way he can. I must say that the more unique your location is, the more memorable your photos will be. And the first time you look back on your engagement photos, you’ll not only see the happiness the two of you shared in those moments, you’ll feel it, too. And that is what an engagement session is all about. Therefore, pick a location that is meaningful.

Only wear clothes that you feel fantastic in. Because you’re not you when you’re not comfortable. And if you’re uncomfortable in your photos, you will notice it. Maybe not during the session, but afterwards, when you’re viewing your pictures for the first time. Ultimately, when you feel comfortable in your skin, you feel less worried about how you’re dressed and more in tune to being in the moment with the person next to you. When you’re not worried about what you're wearing, you allow your emotions to flow freely. As a result, your actions, reactions, and expressions instantly become more authentic and organic. Because there's not one person in the world who looks back on timeless memories in photos and wants to feel regret about something as simple as a change of clothes.

Choose neutral, solid colors. The camera portrays neutral tones exceptionally. Neutral tones never distract the eye and always assure the focus stays on you, the subject. Neutral tones are classic choices and not something you’ll regret years down the road when you look back and wonder why you ever chose that hot pink dress or that goofy bow tie. On the opposite end of the spectrum are brights, bolds, patterns, and neons. Brights tones will absolutely negatively affect the end result of your photos. You notice it mostly in your skin tones, which may appear red or green in the final image. Big, bold patterns are not recommended because they distract the eye away from the subject in focus. I also advise staying away from company logos of any kind.

Don't be nervous. The time you spend in front of my camera is about the two of you in love. Years ahead when you look back on your memories, I want you to see yourselves as who you truly were in life's most pure and raw moments. As if you can hear his distant laugh in your mind when you look at the photo. On the surface, it is intimidating to have a camera in your face as you try to be intimate with your fiancé, but it is so much more than that. It’s a time to celebrate and to soak in all the feelings and emotion. It’s a time that’ll fly by in the blink of an eye and you’ll wish you would’ve slowed things down a bit. It's a time to roam freely and leave senseless worries behind. Because it’s these moments you’ll remember the most.

I'm truly looking forward to the opportunity I can photograph your engagement session and document your love as a couple. If you're interested in my photography, head over to my contact page to get in touch! 

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