Setting a great fun vibe is so important to having a successful engagement photoshoot. This isn't just for the couple to get some photos, it's for them to create wonderful memories in the journey of their wedding planning, and something they should be able to look back on and remember!
1) Be fun and friendly all the time!
Compliment their outfits, most likely they bought outfits just for this session and put a lot of thought into them!
Thank them for taking time from their day to get ready and come out to meet you. A lot of times girls will get their hair/makeup/nails professionally done just for the engagement shoot, make sure they know it is noticed!
Ask them how their wedding planning is going, if the bride has her dress picked out yet, if they’re doing anything unique at the reception, etc. Obviously this is actually good information for you to have, but also lets them know that you actually care about them as people and aren’t just showing up to “do another photoshoot”.
At least 90% of my couples say this before we even start shooting: "We’re probably going to be so awkward and have no idea how to pose, sorry in advance!" Start by letting them know that there’s nothing to be intimidated about and that all of your clients are regular people just like them, not professional models! I like to keep most of my poses and angles very candid and natural, almost like the couple is just having a fun date by themselves and I just happen to be capturing it.
2) Be the leader (posing, locations, game time decisions)
Most couples have never been part of a photoshoot before and don’t know what is going to look good as a background, a pose, etc. It’s your job as the experienced pro to guide them through a good photoshoot.
Emergency issues can occur, you should be part of the decisions or even lead in making decisions when the couple might be unsure. (Race Street Pier construction blocked off, go down to Spruce St Harbor Park instead)
3) Two Hour Session Time
Allows time to take it easy and get to talk & get to know you better. This time should let the couple get to know about you as a person and become friendly too so that things are more comfortable on the wedding day.
I’ve done 1 Hour engagement sessions before and there’s just much more pressure to rush and get a lot of poses/backgrounds in as fast as possible, not as much time to talk with the couple.
If you have to wait for clouds to pass for better lighting/etc, there’s less pressure to wait and get things done as quickly.
Feel free to end early if 1hr-1.5hr was enough time.
4) Unique Experiences
Meet the couple at a fun place that they would normally enjoy, like getting Pizza/Ice Cream, or meeting at a local brewery for the start of the session!
Bring champagne for the couple to pop (or ask them to bring some)! This is literally always a fun time and makes for great photos. A super cheap bottle for $10 or less will work, just make sure it has the actual cork that can be popped.
Thank you so much for taking the time to view my work!
Based in Marlton, NJ within easy range of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City. My favorite locations are in the pinelands and beaches of South Jersey where I grew up!