I’m pretty sure engagement sessions are hands down one of my favorite things to photograph. Don’t get me wrong… I love a fantastic wedding, but with engagements we have ample time to work with our couples and can creatively control when and where images are captured. One of the most common questions aside from what to wear (see this post for those details) is when to schedule your engagement session. I personally REALLY like our clients to make the schedule decision based off of the time of year since well.. they’re your images, ones you’re going to look at far more regularly than myself and hopefully not punish to be kept on a computer or USB but proudly displayed in your home and on your walls (end soapbox) plus you guys probably know what seasons you enjoy the most.
Schedule wise, first the time of year should be chosen appropriately. About 75% of our client family chooses to have their sessions captured between the beginning of April to the end of June also known as prime time Spring and early summer season. The other 20% choose autumn months starting towards the middle of September into the end of October. The remaining 5% are our gladiator couples opting for summer months of July and August or the winter months between December and February. Scheduling also really depends on your location, such as a winery like recent couple Kim and Ethan chose for their late May session. Kim and Ethan definitely wanted greenery and to have some open foliage on the vines to accent their backdrop, basically choosing the perfect time to capture this and not sweat it out like a 5K runner at the gym.
Along with the time of year, the time of day is equally crucial and in most cases when scheduling with our couples I will do a quick internet search to see what the proposed sunrise and sunset times are versus the chosen location. Valleys or tree covered areas I want to get a start time sooner in the evening versus a mountain top or open field area to capture the right lighting based off of the couples preferences. For morning sessions I want to start a bit earlier in the day to avoid heavy face shadows around the eyes if possible. For Jocelyn and Brandon, whom we captured a few weeks ago, grabbing key images around the “golden hour” was key to starting the session at a certain time based off of their covered bridge preferences then to an open field where sunset was approaching, making way to some stunning colors as a backdrop.
In closing, your preferred look, theme, or outfit should also be taken into consideration when scheduling. Having a gorgeous summer dress would look a bit.. odd in October, as would sporting a long sleeve button down and a vest for the guys in the heat of summer. When it came to pairing an outfit with the time of year, Dana and Stephen hit it perfectly for their late May session. Dana chose a very classy blue and white a-line dress while Stephen chose khaki pants and a classic green button down making this perfect pair look as if they stepped off a Ralph Lauren catalog and right into their engagement photos.
There’s a lot of food for though when working through your who, when and where’s of your engagement session, but start basic. Choose the time of year first, then the type of location you prefer, and work around the best timing for the lighting you love and when all else fails contact your photographer, most have seen it all:)