FAQ: Prepping for the Engagement Session


For many people, an engagement session is the first time they’ll have professional photographs taken of themselves. It can be nerve-racking deciding what to wear, where to go, and whether to even have the session. Following are my answers to the most commonly asked questions I receive about e-sessions.

Q: How long will the session last?

A: The engagement session will last at least an hour, depending on our chosen location(s). I generally ask that you block out two hours so we have some breathing room, and if we plan an e-session tour of Chicago we’ll probably need longer! We can tailor the session to fit your schedule and our combined vision.

Q: We don’t know where we want to have the session. Can you help us pick a location?

A: Absolutely! Think about places that are special to the two of you. Maybe you met at a bookstore, had a really great first date at a restaurant, or one oCLP_Clare_Angelf you proposed in a forest preserve. Are you more urban or do you seek an outdoorsy escape from city life? Feel free to send me information like that and I can help you determine what will make for a successful session. When we have an idea of the backdrops that appeal to you, we can narrow down ideas and come up with the perfect location(s).

Q: What time should we schedule the session?

A: We’ll have much better light if we meet early in the morning or in the two hours before sunset. While we can get nice images at any time of day, it’s not fun to be constantly fighting against the noon sunlight. Morning also has the benefit of fewer people being around most public areas as well, while a beautiful sunset can make for some dramatic, colorful images.

Q: What should we wear?

A: This answer of course depends on the season. I love showcasing texture and jewel tones in fall and winter, and a light and airy feel in spring and summer. Complementing one another without being overly matchy-matchy is an art and I’m happy to review any outfits you’re considering (bringing extra clothes along for a change is encouraged!). What is MOST important, though, is that you both feel comfortable in your chosen outfits. If we are walking a great deal (which is likely), make sure your shoes won’t rub your feet raw! Not only should you be physically comfortable, though – what you wear should reflect who you are as individuals. If you hate wearing formal attire and that doesn’t reflect your personalities, go casual. Are you obsessed with your tattoos and piercings? Go ahead and show them off! I want people to look at your photos and think “that is SO them!”

Q: We are really shy in front of a camera. How will you make us comfortable?

A: This is something to which I totally relate. When there’s a camera, especially a professional one, pointed at my face I get that awkward, twitchy smile. It’s so hard to act normal, let alone romantic, in public and in front of a camera. This is EXACTLY why an engagement session is such an important part of a wedding photography package (and it’s complementary with the three packages I offer). During the session, we’ll chat about your plans and get to know one another. You’ll probably hear about my dog, and I want to hear about yours (or perhaps include your furry friends in our session…). We’ll get some easy portrait poses out of the way to ease you into the session, then have fun as we explore the location(s), collaborating on ways to showcase your relationship in the photographs. By the end you’ll be saying “that was actually fun!” This will make your wedding portraits so much more natural, because you will both be professional photo subjects by then!

Q: We don’t need engagement pictures since we aren’t using them for a save-the-date. Can we get a discount?

A: As I mentioned above, the engagement session is a wonderful way for us to get to know each other and get you comfortable in front of the camera. If you really don’t want to have a session, you can use it for rehearsal dinner coverage, a trash the dress session, or other wedding-related event in Chicagoland. If none of that appeals to you, we can chat about other options.

Did I miss a pressing question of yours? Send me an email or leave a comment and I will be happy to respond!

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