How to Prepare for Your Engagement Photo Session: Here are some important considerations and suggestions to help me help you create ART. We are not just snapping casual selfies here. You hired a professional photographer to help you create something memorable that can be used and enjoyed. Please take few minutes to read this article so that you make the most of your engagement photo session:
Engagement photos have traditionally been created at the time of your actually engagement. This was the case many years ago when men proposed to their girlfriends in front of family and friends. While this still happens (and I recommend you hire me to capture this beautiful and memorable moment if you aren’t engaged yet!), more often than not, engagement photo sessions occur weeks and months after the actual proposal took place.
Engagement photos are now used to announce the engagement to family and friends via cards, letters, social media postings, etc. Here are other ways engagement photos are used:
While it is possible your date and time have already been selected, if it has not been selected yet, you should consider any time between May through November, with a slight preference toward the May and early June, as well as October and November, to capture better Spring and Fall colors.
Generally, my availability is any day of the week, with the exception of prior appointments and weddings.
For the “time of day”, I always prefer to do engagement photos during the late afternoon, about 1.5 to 2 hours before sunset. If the location we select for photography has a low-lying horizon, about 1 to 1.5 hours before sunset will do. If sunset will take place behind tall trees or buildings, we should begin 1.5 to 2 hours before sunset. This not only gives us the option to get sunset photos (weather, terrain, and other conditions permitting), but also allows us to exploit the “Golden Hour” when the sun is low on the horizon and casts a warm, fiery, golden color across the faces (as opposed to the harsh mid-day sun that casts strong shadows and makes people squint). Check here to learn your sunset time for your appointment date and session location: SUNSET CALCULATOR. All standard engagement photo sessions are 1 hour in length, with exceptions made due contractual agreement, or made on a case-by-case basis strictly at my discretion.
Most of my clients prefer to have their engagement photo session done in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. Some (and this may be you!) like to have that Winter feel – you know, that snowy, cold, sweater and cozy holiday feel. If that is you, I am happy to accommodate you! For more information about how to prepare for a Winter Engagement Photo Session, click this link.
If you are in Maryland, your are lucky! Maryland contains various scenic areas to satisfy any taste and “theme” for your engagement photo shoot. Rich with scenic beaches and beach towns, cityscapes, State and local parks, mountainous regions of Western Maryland, historic locations, quaint towns like Annapolis, wineries, and waterfalls. Consider these locations to start your planning, but do so in consideration to the time of the year, driving distance for you and me, costs (if any – please note that entrance fees/parking to parks or other locations in excess of $10 for the photographer, should be covered by the client), open/close times, lighting and weather conditions, and time of the day your shoot may take place. Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, but one that I am mostly familiar with. If you have other ideas, please discuss them with me. Also, all standard engagement photo sessions offer an allowance of a maximum 30 minute drive. *Longer drive times require a travel fee ($50 for any portion of each additional 30 minutes) – please inquire prior to making this arrangement.
* Again, it is your responsibility to confirm the open/close times of these facilities as they change often and seasonally. If after arriving we discover that the property is closed and are unable to take photos, a fee to reschedule will be added in this case.
Now that you have a place, date, and time, you’ll need to prepare your wardrobe and yourself. Having done many, many engagement photo sessions, I can’t stress enough the importance of intentionally planning and being prepared in order to create “WOW” photos, not just posey, regular, boring photos. We want to create artistic, tasteful, thought-out, and different images than the normal, run-of-the-mill images that look like everyone else’s! Please consider the following: