You booked your photographer
and now it's time to start figuring out your engagement session. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a location. I try to tell my couples to choose a location that means something to them. Usually this is a place where they like to go to unwind from a long week at work, where they used to walk their dog, where they first met, where the proposal happened, etc. You will love your photos a little bit more if the location means something special to you. On the other hand, I sometimes have couples who really just want a pretty location - which is totally fine!! Luckily, I live in Savannah, so there are a lot of those.
Next thing to consider - make sure to look up your location to see if there are any rules or fees associated with shooting there. Some locations even have a document for the photographer to fill out, so make sure they know to get there early enough to fill this out. You also want to make sure that they are open when you decide to show up. Check their operating hours and share those details with the photographer. If there are hours of operation, obviously that will determine when you can be there. If you decide to shoot in a public area, you should check if there is anything happening in that location on the day you're planning on doing your session (a 5k race, a pet adoption, a city parade, etc). It's important to figure all this out beforehand, because it can definitely be frustrating to show up and have to make a new game plan on the spot.
Most of the couples that I shoot, usually haven't had any photos taken together. This is usually their first time in front of the camera together. Because of this, I like to start off my engagement sessions with a few easy poses so that everyone has a chance to warm up, me included! I also like to give my couples a heads - up that we will all be getting nice and close on the afternoon of their engagement session. Not only will you be getting physically close to your fiancé for photos, but I will be moving from far away to maybe a foot or two away from you during your session. So my suggestion is to work on getting real close together (basically in each other's personal bubbles) for at least a few minutes. I know that not all couples are super into getting that close - it's not their norm. Totally fine. Just tell me that!! I want you to feel comfortable in front of my camera. That's my number one goal. But if you really LOVE those photos where the couple is really close - foreheads together and being super romantic - I suggest trying a few of your favorite poses in the comfort of your home so you can get used to it. Practice makes perfect, right?!
Spending time with your photographer BEFORE the wedding day is really important. You want to make sure that you feel 100% comfortable around one another. It's also a great way to get used to poses, how your photographer operates and what to expect from your photographer on the wedding day. You will spend about 95% of your wedding day with your wedding photographer. Isn't that crazy?!! But it's soooo true. We want to make sure that we capture all those gorgeous posed moments, but also those lovely in-between-not-planned-at-all moments between you and your wedding party, family & friends. If you find that on the day of the engagement session, something feels off between you and your photographer - it's totally fine to say something about it. More than likely, the photographer felt the awkwardness too and it's good to clear the air and figure out the disconnect before wedding day.
The biggest take away I can give you from this blog post is - do an engagement session, pick a location that you LOVE, connect with your photographer & get excited about wedding day because now you are all super comfortable with one another!