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Stressed out about your upcoming engagement sessions? Don’t! We’re here to help with our 11 tips for getting the perfect photos!
So you’re probably more amped about this day than the soon-to-be-married couple! You’ve scoured videos and researched posing until your eyes fall out. Here are a few quick tips to ease your nerves and get the day started on the right note. Planning and communication are imperative, along with just HAVING FUN! When you’re relaxed and stress-free, your couple will more likely feel at ease and comfortable. So let’s get started. Here are 11 quick tips to ensure you get magazine worthy engagement photos!
1. Preparing for the big day!
Communication with your couple is KEY! Before the session, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve answered all of their questions and that they are comfortable with what is to come. On the DAY before the session, make sure to gather all of your gear, clear your cards and make sure that you know what time and where you’re meeting. Make sure to send your couple an email telling them how excited you are to meet them and to confirm the time and place. Be sure to go over any posing techniques and if you’re having trouble remembering, take a photo of some poses on your camera (so you can scroll through them if you forget).
Regular portrait lenses are great for engagements! Here are some recommendations for lenses that engagement and wedding photographers tend to love! Don’t stress if you don’t have these lenses (kit lenses also work great)! You can work with what you have!
3. Camera Settings
Getting dreamy or bold engagement photos can be done in camera with the right settings. For those dreamy shots full of compression and bokeh, try opening your aperture! Maybe focus on the ring or the bride/groom’s face, while letting the rest blur into perfection. Make sure to be aware of your focal planes if you want to capture the entire image in focus (so f/4.0+). You’ll want to use a few different lenses for different shots. For example, a 24mm or 35mm will allow for those pulled back shots, while the 135mm will get you up close and personal!
It’s ok to play around with new techniques if time permits. The great thing about engagement photos is that the sessions tend to last a little longer than a normal hour-long session.
Suggest to the bride and groom before the session bringing along a special memento to be photographed with, like a memento from their engagement day (like a movie ticket or a special item they plan to use on their wedding day). If you want to impress the couple, bring one for them as a gift! Like an embroidered handkerchief or a fun engagement frame (for one of your photos)! As a side note, don’t forget to work it into your CODB so it doesn’t eat up your profit!
5. Specialty Shots
Make sure to ask the couple if there are any MUST have shots! You really want to communicate all of this before and have them send photos or ideas so they don’t spring them on you the day of the session! Managing expectations can go a long way, especially if you are also photographing their wedding day. Make sure to focus most of your shots on FUN, LOVE, and EMOTION! You can’t go wrong if you capture their love story in your photos. You want to capture them as authentically as possible! They want to see THEMSELVES and their unique love in their photos.
Pricing will vary (depending on a lot of things…like location, your skill level, etc.)! Many photographers include a complimentary engagement session when a couple books a full wedding package!
Here’s an example:
Average 60 min portrait session: $350
A stand-alone 90-minute engagement session: $500
A complimentary session with wedding package: FREE
Engagement sessions tend to last from 90 minutes to two hours. The reason for this is outfit changes and location changes. This will also play into your pricing, as travel may also be a factor. Make sure to determine time and outfit changes BEFORE the session, so you can properly manage your time (and the light)!
8. Sneak Peeks
Sneak peeks are vital with engagement sessions! Newly engaged couples are DYING to see their photos of such an exciting time in their lives. This is a great place to use an organic reach approach on Facebook too. You can offer a FREE print if the couple gets “100 likes!” Encourage them to share with their family and friends so they can receive their gift)!
9. How to WOW!
There are some fun things you can do to really wow your couple! Adding extra time or photos to their package is ALWAYS a big hit when trying to impress. You can say, “as a big thank you, I wanted to add 15 minutes to your session and an extra ten photos! I’m just so in love with you two, and it’s the least I can do to celebrate such a special time for you both.” You can’t go wrong with being friendly and genuinely happy for them!
10. Gallery Deliver and Delivery Times
Pixieset and Shootproof are both excellent options to deliver your images! As for delivery times, this will vary depending on your time and workload. You always want to under promise and OVER deliver. So that means if you say you’ll turn the photos around in three weeks, send them in two! There is nothing better than a surprise in your inbox WAY before you expect it.
11. Give a Gift!
Consider sending a few prints to the newly engaged couple! They’ll LOVE you, and you’re making it easy for them to show their family and friends! Making sure to add value to your client’s experience is what is going to get you more clients…so it’s worth the few extra bucks to impress!
Engagement sessions can really be a fun way to connect with your couple, especially if you have been contracted for their wedding as well. The main point of this who article is to impress that if your goal is to serve your client from your heart, you really can’t go wrong! Take it easy, prepare, and make sure that the day is stress-free and full of fun!