How to Prepare for your Engagement Session

THE JGP JOURNAL

Jason Goldfarb Photography is a Seattle wedding photographer who values telling your story through timeless, candid, and true-to-life images. He photographs weddings and engagements in Seattle, Washington and throughout the PNW. 

How to Prepare for your Engagement Session

What is an engagement session?

An engagement session is a couples photoshoot that happens prior to a wedding! It allows you to understand how I work as a photographer and allows you to meet me before we spend your entire wedding day side-by-side. During your engagement session, I’ll be able to teach you my four core poses and variations, so couple portraits will just FLY BY on your wedding day.

It also gives you the opportunity to have professional photos that are NOT just wedding photos. These can be great for save-the-dates, Christmas cards, and just hanging in your house. Think about it — your wedding photographer will deliver 600-1000+ images from your wedding, which will be AMAZING, but an engagement session allows you to get professional photos of your relationship in a more casual setting.

My engagement sessions typically last about an hour to an hour and a half. I encourage my couples to bring 2 different outfits to get a few different “looks” with their photos.

If you have any pets, and would like some photos with them, that’s always SO much fun – just bring along a 3rd person who can watch your pet while we get some solo couple photos! (I freaking LOVE dogs! — I have a golden retriever myself)

How to Prepare for your Engagement Session

CLEAN YOUR RING! — I will be photographing your gorgeous diamond! This means that this would be a perfect opportunity to have your ring cleaned so that it’s clear of dirt and build up that may be visible in photographs!

HAIR & MAKEUP — Splurge a little! If you were considering getting your hair and makeup done, this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself ! You will cherish these images forever and so investing in professional hair and makeup can be an extra fun way to celebrate the occasion and allow you to be extra confident during your shoot! Tip: If you’re worried about looking tired or just want a little something special for your portraits, getting false lashes make the most impact in portraits! There are all types of lashes that range from looking completely natural to looking like Beyonce! I would lean towards the natural end of the spectrum! 🙂

GUYS, GET A HAIRCUT! — There’s NOTHING better in this world than the feeling of a FRESH haircut. Trust me, I won best hair in college (multiple years in a row). You’ll feel really confident coming into the shoot with a fresh cut.

EMPTY THE POCKETS — you don’t want any weird bulges or cell phone marks on your pants that come through in your images! Leave your stuff in the car!

THE TIMELINE — I’m always a few minutes early to engagement sessions so that I can scope out the location and find light that will be flattering on our couples! Because we are racing the sun and cannot shoot after it has set, I recommend leaving 15-30 minutes earlier than you originally planned just to be safe!

TAKE A DEEP BREATH! —You’re going to be amazing models! I always tell our couples that the BEST models are the ones who have never modeled professionally before! And I mean it! The couples that are usually most nervous are the couples who totally rock their session! So be encouraged! I have worked with EVERY personality type and EVERY body type and always create images that our clients love!! Get excited!

What should I wear to my engagement session?

This is the NUMBER ONE question that I get asked by my couples prior to their session. Here are my top tips:

I recommend a maximum of 2 outfits for your engagement session to ensure that we have plenty of time to capture both looks before sunset! When you change for your engagement session I will photograph your rings while we wait! I always recommend a more formal outfit and a more casual one so that you have plenty of variety to choose from later. Neutrals such as blush, tans, link pinks, faint blues and teals, creams, grays and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look to your images. These colors photograph softer and more romantically! Layering adds great texture and dimension to your photos! If you’re really looking for a soft, romantic look, I recommend a flowing, maxi-length dress or skirt! The movement of this type of fabric photographs beautifully!

The goal is to COORDINATE instead of MATCHING! We also recommend avoiding both of you wearing WHITE as a top. This won’t allow for any contrast in your images. Guys, I recommend that you AVOID patterns that are SMALLER than a dime! These small patterns can create strange visual effects in a digital camera. Close-toed shoes photograph well and I recommend avoiding graphic tees and tennis shoes! Gals, I recommend that you wear something that flatters the parts of you that you love the most and also allows you to be extremely confident! If you are uncomfortable, then that probably isn’t the best outfit choice for you.

What Should I Expect During My Session?

Most people tend to feel a little awkward getting professional photos taken, and they think that the images will turn out weird or strange. NOT. AT ALL. During your engagement session, you can expect a range of posed and candid images. You do NOT have to memorize or prepare anything! I like to start my sessions teaching you my core 4 poses, and move onto the variations within them. We’ll start simple, and maybe even move into advanced posing! I’m super excited for our shoot together!!

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