Cincinnati wedding photographer

How to prepare for your engagement session

So you’ve never had professional photos done before and you’re kind of freaking out for your engagement session. If you’re worried about being embarrassed in public, how your fiancé will react, or just flat out afraid of being awkward in front of the camera, I’m sharing a few tips on how to prepare for your photoshoot.

Finding a location

Some things I like to suggest when choosing a location for your engagement photos is to brainstorm several places that have a significance in your relationship. Is there a favorite park you guys always go to? A brewery? Where did you first meet? Where was your first date? Do you have a cute home together? Do you both love ice cream, hiking, and your dog? I love the challenge of making strange places look beautiful, so even if you feel it’s odd, I definitely want to hear your ideas so I can help tell your story.

Finding a time

The time of your session will most likely depend on what season you are looking to have your engagement photos. I like to suggest at least booking 3-6 months before your wedding day. If you are planning on using these photos for save the dates then I would encourage these photos to be done even before then. I tend to shoot sunrise or sunset golden hour engagement sessions because the light works really well with my style of photography. Consider when the sun rises and sets for your time of the year. Please also keep in mind that many photographers are busy during the weekends, well, because they are photographing weddings of course!

Figuring out an outfit

Try not to be too matchy when it comes to your outfit choice. Find outfits that compliment each other rather than look exactly the same. Solid neutral colors tend to photograph the best in my opinion and try to be cautious with choosing something with a lot of patterns. Consider the weather when choosing your outfit and please make sure you are comfortable!

Day of preparation

Show up on time so we can make sure we get as much use of the sunlight as possible. Schedule a lot of getting ready time too so there is no stress as you’re walking out that door. You can even plan a little date night after to make the most of getting all dressed up together!

Sometimes I will suggest for you two to have a drink together beforehand to loosen up. I love capturing those silly candid photos where your TRUE selves come out, and it definitely helps after you have some liquid courage/giggles in you. I have several other techniques to help with this to make sure you both are comfortable so we can get those cute effortless moments. You do not need to be a pro at this so you can relax and let me work my magic!

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

So, you are in the process of searching for a wedding photographer. You may have a few great photographers in mind and have several meetings set up, but are struggling with exactly what kind of questions to ask them. The first thing you should think about is how you want to remember your wedding day. Create a descriptive list of how you want your special day captured, such as the mood you want to feel and even write specific photos you may be looking forward to most. Do you see a trend in these? What, or who, are most of these photos of? This can help decide what you are really looking for in a photographer.

Here are a few starter questions you should ask your potential wedding photographer, which can help narrow down who is the right fit for you.

  1. What is your style of photography? You should already know if the photographer has a similar style to what you are looking for, (light & airy, colorful, dark & moody, etc). Hearing how they describe their own style approach should also match what you are looking for, (Traditional, Artistic, Editorial, Documentary, Authentic etc).

  2. Do you include a second photographer? I include a second photographer in every package I offer because I feel this is so important and 100% worth it.

  3. Is additional hourly coverage available and what is the cost?

  4. Is an engagement session included?

  5. How many images will I receive and what is the turnaround time for the photos? Make sure you are actually okay with this turnaround time and see if you will be receiving any sneak peeks.

  6. Are prints or an album included?

  7. What is the emergency plan if you are not able to photograph the wedding? There should always be a back up plan. Unfortunately, emergencies happen and there should be a clear understanding and direct wording in the contract which states this information.

  8. Have you ever shot at my venue? - If the answer is “yes,” ask them to send an example gallery so you can have an idea of what to expect. If the answer is “no,” ask to see a similar wedding they have shot.

  9. What is the booking process? Make sure there is an official contract you are comfortable with.

  10. Is there a deposit? When is final payment due?

These are a few technical questions to get you started with your meeting. You should also make sure to ask some personal questions and to see if you are comfortable around them and genuinely trust them. You will most likely spend more time with your photographer the day of your wedding then you will with your own spouse.