Advice | Your Guide to Engagement Photo Sessions with Radian Photography
Wedding bells are ringing, but before the photos of you walking down that aisle, you need another set: your engagement photos! While this can be a cause of stress for many couples, it doesn’t need to be. Use the tips below to make sure you are prepared for an engagement session that will serve as a welcome break from the stress of wedding planning as opposed to one more thing to check off of your to-do list!
1. Choose your photographer
Engagement photos are wonderful to use on save-the-date cards and to have a set of professional photographs of yourself in something other than a big white dress and suit, but as a photographer, the relationship-building time that happens during an engagement session is one of the biggest reasons that we make sure all of our couples have an engagement session.
If you have already chosen a photographer to work with on your wedding day and can schedule an engagement session with them as well, we strongly encourage it! This way, your photographer will get to know you better as a couple, and you will see how they work. You can avoid all of the day-of-wedding jitters by spending this time together beforehand. We can’t help but notice how much more smoothly wedding days go when our couples already trust us to capture them after seeing their engagement photos!
2. Choose your location or theme
After having a photographer lined up, you will choose where you want your photographs taken. There are so many beautiful spots in the Raleigh-Durham area, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to the ‘where’ of your session, and you certainly don’t have to limit yourself to what you have seen others do.
One question we like asking our couples when planning for their engagement session is if there are certain hobbies they enjoy doing together. Many times, this sparks a thought that leads them straight to where they should go for their engagement session. For example, are you a couple that loves cooking together? Consider skipping the ‘walk in the park’ session and opt for an at-home engagement session that will yield photos more true to who you are as a couple. Or, do you have a memory of a special date together that you can recreate? We once had a couple who lit paper lanterns on their first date and recreated it for their engagement session! Again, there is limitless potential to create a session that is truly unique and memorable.
3. Plan your palette
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our couples is what they should wear for their engagement sessions. Instead of thinking of exact clothing choices, we encourage you to consider a palette, just as if you were decorating a home, and go from there. For example, imagine a calming home with cream walls and light blue and grey throws, rugs, and pillows as decor. Now, imagine that same palette in clothing choices -- maybe with some added patterns like plaid, or accessories like scarves or jewelry, thrown in.
Our biggest tip here is to make sure colors coordinate and aren’t too matchy-matchy! Neutral colors with subtle textures evoke a sense of calm and draw attention to you, while brighter clothing with larger textures can lend a more dynamic, attention-catching feel to photos, drawing the eye to the clothing.
Consider where your session will be in terms of both competing with your surroundings and in terms of dressiness. For example, if you will be outside for a spring or summer session, consider wearing muted neutrals to let the natural colors around you shine so that you’re not competing with them. If you’re inside in a minimalist home, you can bring a little more color into your clothing choices. Also consider where your session will be and how you want it to feel in terms of dressiness. If you’re doing an at-home session, casual clothing is totally fine, whereas if you want a more elegant look, you could choose flowier fabrics in softer colors. Whatever you wear, make sure you feel comfortable and like yourself. You want to look back and think, “That was so us!” and NOT, “That was so 2017!”
4. Relax and focus on each other
There aren’t many wedding-related tasks that you will do where you will be encouraged to actually forget about your wedding. We always tell our couples that we want them to have fun together at their engagement session without wedding thoughts in the way. This is a time away from picking out details for their wedding day and time to, instead, celebrate the love they have for each other. Leave behind the cake tasting and the flower picking and the invitation designing and try to soak in the reason you two are together and enjoy this time. As hard as this may seem, try to forget about the camera and instead concentrate on your partner. This always yields better photos!
5. Plan a date night afterwards!
One way to have ensure a great experience for your engagement session is to plan a date night afterwards! Most likely, you will already be dressed up, so why not make a real event out of it and get reservations at your favorite restaurant? Having something to look forward to always makes our couples feel like the session is a part of a fun date as opposed to an entire event in and of itself. It’s such a fun way to end a session!
About our guest blogger, Radian Photography:
We understand what it’s like to carefully build strong relationships and remember all the little moments. Our aim is to make those memories everlasting. We intentionally create an atmosphere of friendship from the moment you contact us. Through conversations and coffee dates and asking the right questions, we center ourselves on what truly matters: your relationship and marriage. At your wedding or photo session, we are by your side and your biggest advocates throughout the day. We never want to hear you say, "I blinked and it was over." With us by your side, you will live the most meaningful moments in the present and over and over again in the future. During your session we’ll ask you to soak in the moment, feel the tulle of your dress, or smell the air after a fresh rain. After your wedding or session, we deliver your images through a stunning online gallery that allows you to pick your favorites to display in your home, print in your album, and share with family and friends. We make ordering albums, prints, and products a breeze so that you can share and preserve your memories beautifully.
Feature Photography by Radian Photography