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Engagement Sessions What to Expect and How to Prepare

I am so glad you have chosen me to capture your upcoming wedding! I am looking very forward to photographing one of the most important days of your lives together, but before we journey down the aisle, let's prepare for your engagement session.

This guide contains tidbits of information that are intended to help you prepare for your engagement session. This experience will provide a perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other before your wedding day. Think of it as a wedding day trial-run; this will give us the ability to get to know each other's styles, photography preferences and will help build confidence & experience in front of the camera. These are all things that will also help you prepare for your wedding day.

Let your love SHINE. Knowing and trusting me as your photographer is an important key to creating genuine photographs that are natural and most importantly, truly show who you are as a couple. I strive to create a fun and comfortable experience and would love to get your creative input!

When should we schedule our session?

Most often, images taken during the engagement session are used for Save the Date notices. Usually, save the dates are sent 5 months prior to a wedding date. If you intend to use your images for your save the date cards, schedule your session around 6 months before the wedding date to allow time to edit and deliver your images. As for the time of day, I most often shoot during those dreamy, 'golden hours' of light that occur in the last few hours before sunset. Plan on spending 30-45 minutes with me for your session.

As a photographer, I am always chasing gilded light. I love to hold my sessions during those magical 'golden' evening hours, which occurs before and during sunset.

Pro Tip #1 : Posing Challenge - The Almost-Kiss

Allie & Alec mastered the 'almost-kiss' pose for their engagement session. This pose prevents faces from being smashed together.

It might sound kind of silly at first, but a great exercise in getting comfortable with being up close (in front of a camera, anyway) is to practice the "Almost-Kiss" pose. Start by standing or sitting next to each other. As you go in for a soft kiss, stop just before you touch lips and stay in that position for a few moments. No need to look at each other directly in the eye - directing your gaze downwards to your partner's lips creates a very intimate pose. Being up close, especially without an objective (the kiss) can feel strange at first, but it is a great way to practice being very close to each other.

What should we wear?

Coordinate & Compliment.

Deciding how to dress for your engagement session is really up to the two of you. I encourage my couples to simply be themselves. Whether that is a pressed suit & mini skirt or hiking gear or both - be YOU. If time and your location allows, you can certainly bring multiple outfits. I generally recommend bringing one casual outfit and another dressier outfit (which is often used for Save the Dates). I try to stress that you should coordinate & compliment not match, your attire. Try to avoid heavily logo'd apparel and shirts with very distracting prints or patterns. I usually recommend bringing a pop of interest via a bold, solid-colored apparel item or accessories. Try to avoid any clothing that may show undergarment straps, tags or semi-transparent clothing that could accidentally reveal undergarments under different lighting situations.

What will we do during our session?

We'll PLAY!

I really like to personalize engagement sessions by incorporating activities and hobbies that you both enjoy doing together. Whether that is enjoying a nice walk in the park or hiking the hills, running around downtown and visiting the Riverfront or enjoying each other's company in your own home - my goal is to show in photographs the true nature of yourselves as a couple. While I will take a few posed, 'smile at the camera' shots, I strive to provide a more candid or documentary-style overall. I love visiting new places and am always up for something different and unique. Tell me your ideas!

Expect a mix of traditional, candid & photo journalistic photography. I like to create a few fine art landscape photographs, as well.

What can we bring?

You're welcome, in fact - encouraged to bring mementos, heirlooms or other important and significant items to your session that can help tell your story.

Sunset engagement drinking hot chocolate in a field...sure, why not? :)
Often a couple's 'first child' is their pet! I love animals and am so excited at every opportunity to include a couple's pet into their engagement session.

Pro Tip #2 : Clean the Bling

Clean the BLING.

A tangible testament to your commitment to each other, your ring is beautiful and unique, and I want to photograph it! I love the opportunity to break out my macro lens to photograph beautiful jewelry. If possible, I recommend getting your ring cleaned before your session to ensure it looks its best.

Session End : dreamy, gilded sunsets.

I love to finish engagement sessions under romantic, sunset light. This is a great time to get a little creative and end the session with a BANG!

The beautiful sunset light in this image was amplified by the white and pink flowers from the surrounding trees.
The sun was just setting as we finished this white sands engagement session.
This couple enjoys hiking together so we incorporated that activity into their engagement photography. To end their session, we hiked to the top of a hill overlooking a river. Wrapping up in a blanket created a cute and cozy finish!

Pro Tip #3: Practice Makes Perfect

Remember that old adage, practice makes perfect? It can certainly apply here! I encourage my clients to practice posing together. Gather your posing inspiration and practice executing it! Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourselves - look at the angles, how you hold position your hands, your overall body posture and your facial expressions. Not only will it help you be prepared for your engagement session, practicing will also help reduce the time spent amid awkwardness while falling into poses in front of the camera.

Thank you for taking the time to read this presentation. I truly hope the contents are helpful in preparing for your engagement session. I look forward to working with you!

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Copyright © 2019 Lindsay Blum | Saint Louis Fine Art Wedding Photography & Travel Photojournalism | Mid-Missouri & Worldwide

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