It’s engagement season!!! At least it is while I am writing this blog, and if you are one of those newly engaged couples you may be thinking “NOW WHAT”. Pick a date is the first step, then a venue, and then a photographer (you can go in any order you would like but this is the norm). Following booking the photographer for your big day, it is often followed by doing an engagement session… I put together this New England engagement photos guide as a way to help couples by easing the process with some tips.
I am focusing on New England because that is the area I am most familiar with. This engagement session guide will cover :
- What to Wear
- Other Tips
The New England Engagement Photos Guide
Now, picking a location isn’t as hard as picking a location for your reception, but it is one of the nig decisions couples make. When guiding a couple I always suggest picking a place that has meaning to your relationship… If you love coffee maybe go to a coffee shop and have the barista/baristo write the date on a coffee cup. If you love walks on the beach having a sunset session at your favorite beach can be fun. If you like relaxing at home an intimate at-home session may be perfect.
If you don’t have a place in mind you can carry the theme of your wedding into your engagement session. If you are having a rustic wedding at a farm. A field may with rustic buildings is a great option. If you are having a classic wedding at a ballroom you can have it in an urban setting.
Some of my favorite places to shoot in New England are:
- Harkness Memorial State Park
- Hammonassett State Beach
- Yale University
- Downtown Hartfard
- Downtown Boston
- Topsmead State Forest
- Edgertan Park
- Waveny Park
The weather in New England is always changing, so here are some tips for the four seasons so you are prepared
If you’re planning to take your engagement photos during the winter, keep in mind that if your session takes place in the evening, you should begin shooting as early as 2:30 pm to catch the sunset. I recommend dressing in layers so that in between photos you can warm up. Make sure you bring a little extra makeup and tissues in case your nose begins running.
Even though Spring begins in March, I typically suggest waiting till mid-April because the weather in New England is still pretty chilly. When you schedule spring dates, I highly suggest you schedule both a primary date and a backup rain date.
In spite of the heat, I am a big fan of summer sessions! Because of the later sunset, sessions sometimes begin as late as 6 pm. If you’re taking your engagement photos during the summer, I recommend bringing extra makeup and a few towels to make sure you stay fresh throughout your session.
Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year on the East Coast and because of the perfect weather, your photographer’s schedule typically books up quickly! If you have your heart set on a fall engagement session, I recommend scheduling it as soon as you book! Also, try to find a weekday that works for you because weekends are typically busy with weddings
Though this is an engagement session guide here are some seasonal wedding guides
Your pet is a big part of your family, which is why it is fun when couples choose to incorporate pets into their session. Keep in mind that bringing a pet along often means that you’ll need to choose a pet-friendly location.
I recommend planning for your pet to be at the first part of your session and then either dropping them off or having a friend take them home. Pets aren’t typically used in every single photo so it’s also nice to have a friend available to hold him or her in between shots.
If you’re going to bring a pet, I recommend exercising your pet before the session and bringing your pet’s favorite toy or treats! Depending on your pet’s fur type, it might also be a good idea to groom them before the shoot.
Sidenote: Make sure you ask your photographer if he or she has any type of pet allergy
What to Wear
When picking outfits I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to choose a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones.
Generally, couples pick two outfits for an engagement session: a more formal outfit and a casual outfit. I recommend saving your favorite outfit for later in the session when couples usually feel more comfortable in front of the camera. And don’t forget to bring a few accessories! Statement necklaces, cute shoes, and classic watches are great ways to add detail to outfits.
- Schedule a rain date
- Have your ring cleaned before your session
- Use props that have meaning (one prop is enough)
- Make your engagement session a date night
Looking for a wedding photographer? Check out GEM here
Need a little guidance on when to book what chack out this resource