10 reasons to do an engagement session

1/25/14

1) Art for your home

You will have some fantastic photographs to enlarge and hang on your wall after an engagement session. I think an engagement photography session is the perfect chance to get professional captures of you as a couple without being ‘too posed’ or stiff. I always try to focus on telling a story and I love to capture real and true emotions in my photos. It’s all about waiting for those unexpected and unplanned moments. Some of my best captures are taken when the couple is completely immersed in themselves, and relax enough to forget about me being there, and for a short time just live in the moment. If you’d like to read more about getting great art for your home, I’ve written a whole post on the topic here dubai wedding photography, wedding photos dubai beach, wedding photographer dubai, wedding photography in dubai

2) A chance to be creative – shout out to DIY couples

For all you DIY people out there, this will definitely be high on your lists! An engagement session is your opportunity to get creative. I view every one of my engagement shoots as a mainstream photo-shoot complete with props and décor items. The more personal you can get, the better:) Props help tell a story, and it also helps a couple to engage better with the scene. Props can really ‘make’ the photo, making the images unique to you. So get creative, try things you’ve never tried before and create your character shoot! Ideas that are fairly simple are to bring something along with you that you are both interested in. For instance, if you both adore photography, bring two vintage cameras along with you. If you are both into music, bring two matching iPods & headphones. If you’re really into following the news, bring a newspaper. If you have a dog and love it, bring him or her along:) There are so many things you can do, all that’s stopping you is your imagination.  If you want to get crafty, build a mountain of pillows in your garden and make a cosy book corner! What to remember here is that if you decide to bring props along with you, make sure that you go with stylish props and that you’ve thought about what to do. If you’d like to get some ideas on props for engagement session, read my top prop picks.

3) Celebrate your milestone!

In today’s day and age, we’re far too stressed in our lives. We run around like maniacs today and take tomorrow for granted. We shouldn’t forget to embrace the moments, enjoy our time and celebrate lovely things in our lives. An engagement is a beautiful milestone and absolutely worth celebrating in so many ways. Get yourself a beautiful summer dress, cool shorts or chinos, some vintage props, and celebrate your engagement in style!

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4) Enjoy a different day

What do you usually do on your weekend, or even a weekday afternoon? An engagement photo shoot can be your little weekend adventure. Although I had to bribe my fiancé to do an engagement shoot with me (yes I’m an excellent “briber” when it comes to my fiancé) he was so ecstatic when he got to see the images and really loved them. I don’t think I’ve ever even managed to capture him on camera but this was so great that he even wants to put it up in our bedroom. It’s a great way to spend a few hours on the weekend and it’s something different for you to do as a couple. Who knows, you may discover something new…? When I’ve booked shoots with other photographers in the past, I’ve always discovered something new, stumbling upon a new favorite spot in the desert, an organic café, or a new cool location where I’d like to take my family and friends or the fact that my fiancé likes to put his own sound effects to stuff(!).

5) Let your hair down 😉

As a wedding photographer I really love it when a couple wants to have fun and kind of go with the flow in front of my camera. It doesn’t have to be so complicated, just relax, kick your shoes off, let loose and have fun with it. The more you let your personality shine and the more you get lost in the moment, the quirkier and cooler the photographs will be and the greater the art for your walls. We as photographers are there to document your personalities, so if you feel like laughing or crying out loud, just do it:)

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6) Test your hair & make-up

I always encourage my brides to put effort into getting ready for an engagement session, as you’ll feel confident with full hair and makeup done, either professionally or at home. A general tip is that make-up tends to look more toned down in photos so this is the day to splash out on fake lashes and a little extra strong smokey eye;) If you don’t know where to go, I’d be happy to recommend great makeup artists and hairstylists for your engagement shoot.

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7) Spruce up your wedding invitations with a save the date photo

If you recently got engaged and booked your wedding date a few months ahead from now, I’d really recommend getting some save the date shots for your wedding invitations. I have recently done an engagement shoot myself and used the images for my own save the date website – it really looked so cool and uniform and I’m so excited to share the site with all my friends. For me, I felt that it was the perfect time to have a goofy and fun time with my fiancé and at the same time get great shots to use for our walls. You don’t have to go for the normal lovey-dovey poses, you could find great angles and different captures “in the moment”, that you’d end up using as save the date cards and wanting to hang on your wall.

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8) Get to know your wedding photographer

Come your wedding day, you want to feel completely relaxed with your day, surrounded by your closest friends. The engagement session is the perfect time for you as a couple to get to know the photographer and vice versa. The photographs of your wedding day will be a marriage between what you’re looking for as a couple and the photographer’s style and photographic voice. I did the same with my wedding photographer and I think it’s a really good way of knowing whether you’ll like the style of photography or not.

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9) Try two different clothing styles

Some couples would like to bring two outfits to a session, and I’m always happy to accommodate two different clothing styles. If you’d like to bring along two, think of a place where you can change (car always seems to work). If you’d like to bring two outfits, I’d recommend you to bring one casual everyday outfit, and one smarter outfit. One of the most important things to remember is to colour coordinate your outfit. For example if you wear a cute cocktail or summer dress, your other half could match your dress by wearing a tie or bow tie in the same colour. Colour coordination doesn’t mean that it’s the same colours. You can always use shades of the same colour. The same goes for the style. If you’ve chosen to go for a vintage, rustic farm look, make sure that both of you carry the same look. If you wear a flirty summer dress with vintage boots, he can rock up in jeans, a shirt, and a loose tie. If instead you choose to go for a more elegant look, he could wear some nice leather shoes, suit pants and a vest and you could match his outfit with a chic cocktail dress, a stylish bag and cute pair of high heels. Think about a location that you’ve chosen and try to choose appropriate clothes for the location. If you’ve chosen to be at the beach for instance, choose clothes that would work well with that backdrop. If it’s a rainy day, put on your rain boots and bring an umbrella! For my own engagement session, we chose to keep it simple and go with light colours. I wore a light blue polka-dot dress with a large vintage leather belt in the waist and he wore light green pants and a relaxed jeans shirt and similar coloured loafers. We tried to think of matching the colour tones so that it would look good together. If you know me, you’ll know that I’m always open to any suggestions that may come your way, and if you want to bring a hat or some cool boho sunglasses along, I’m going to love it! I may even pick you up a fun prop on the way, so be prepared;) At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing to the shoot – the more comfortable you are, the better the photos!

10) Find a perfect location

This is your chance to pick a cool location that is meaningful to you as a couple. I think that a location is more interesting the more different and unusual it is.  From industrial areas and beaches, to highway bridges, backyards, and colourful mural backgrounds; there is always a great contrast, giving the photo’s an additional ‘pop’ when shooting in these areas. The best locations are those that have a true meaning and connection to you as a couple so important to understand why the couple has chosen their location. Is it because they met at the beach or because they spent time here growing up? When choosing your location, think about finding a place that has a variety of backdrops so that you can get a wider selection of photos. Choose a place that offers diversity, but is still within the same area; such as a beach that has a barbecue area nearby, a few beach huts, some old boats dragged up on the beach etc.  Or a cityscape where you have both buildings as a background but you can quickly change it up by photographing under a bridge or moving to a gorgeous green lush park. You can also never go wrong with great architectural places like a huge sculpture, or horse stables for instance.

Just keep in mind that in the UAE, you will sometimes need to make sure that you have permission to take photographs at your chosen location. Try to find a place that reflects your personalities and that’s different from the norm, as you want it to be a location that’s unique to you. If you know the type of location you would like, but you’re not sure where to find it in the UAE, let me know as I’ve established good relationships with several locations and I can help you find your unique gem.

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