After an iffy few days weather-wise, we got a lucky with a few hours break in the rain. We were so lucky that the weather lucked out. I met Marissa and Grant at the Tree of Life in Audubon Park, where we were going to start our session. When we walked up though, there was a wedding party there and then we quickly realized there was a whole wedding happening under the tree. So after walking a bit further away we happened upon the stables at Audubon Park. The owners there were so nice and allowed us to take a few photos with the horses, which was huge for Marissa because she grew up with horses. We walked all around the park, and had a few more animals come up to us. We had some ducks in the background of photos and even a swan. So it was quite the array of animals in this engagement session, which made it even more fun and exciting. It was such a fun afternoon walking around with these two, and I’m so glad we were able to make it happen. Congratulations again to Marissa and Grant, I know you two will have such a beautiful wedding day!!
Since I live just over the border to the beautiful city of Boston (in Brookline, MA), I end up doing quite a bit of city engagement sessions in Boston (and also more recently in New Orleans, since my parents live there). From my experiences doing that, I would love to provide a few suggestions that will make your engagement session in the city the most amazing experience.
If you want a photo in a popular place, the best time is right after sunrise.
The best light is during “golden hour”, but keep in mind for huge skyscrapers you may have to alter your plans for that extra blocked light.
If it’s a park or a well known feature of the city make sure you have a photo permit if it’s required.
If you have an evening session, keep in mind you might have to work around people walking by.
Have fun with the city landscape!!
1) If you want a photo in a popular place, the best time is right after sunrise.
Generally in cities, the very popular destinations for taking photos are also the most heavily foot trafficked. Meaning, if you want photos there later on in the day, there will be a ton of people to work around and you may not get those images you were dying for.
An example of this is on Acorn Street in Beacon Hill, this area gets super popular with tourists anytime after the early morning hours. So during the day you often might have to wait on other groups taking portraits.
2) The best light is during “golden hour,” but keep in mind for huge skyscrapers.
The time I generally recommend that my couples do their engagement session is during what is called, “golden hour.” This consists of the first couple of hours after sunrise, or the last couple of hours before sunset. The light is at the most beautiful during this time, and will give you the most stunning images making you look amazing. One thing you do have to account for when you are taking photos in a city is how the skyscrapers can block that light.
For example, if the best light is at 5:30 pm everywhere else, you will actually probably want to be there at 4:30 pm because at 5:30 pm the sun will have gone behind the skyscrapers.
3) If it’s a park or a well known feature of the city make sure you have a photo permit if it’s required.
There are a lot of parks within the Boston city limits that actually require photo permits, same goes in New Orleans. In general a lot of city parks will require a photo permit, so if you want to take engagement portraits there, I recommend that you look over on the website to double check if you need one. You won’t always get in trouble for this, but sometimes they do have park rangers on patrol who will kick you out and in some cases fine you.
4) If you have an evening session, keep in mind you might have to work around people walking by.
Most people opt for the evening engagement session because well, most people don’t enjoy getting up super early. This is something I totally understand. For engagement sessions within a city, you just have to prepare yourself that people will be walking by and just practice some patience with this. In general people will be pretty respectful and wait for me as your photographer to take a photo before crossing in front but sometimes you do have to wait. I know that one popular place for engagement sessions is the Esplanade in Boston. You can get some gorgeous portraits there, but if there’s a path in front of where you want portraits, chances are you may have to wait for someone to run or bike by you before taking a photo.
5) Have fun with the city landscape!!
Most importantly, having a city engagement session should be fun. It’s so cool being able to grab portraits in front of the big sites of the city or within the small neighborhoods that make up the city. Every session that I have done within the city has been different and amazing at the same time. Depending on the weather, time of year, and time of day you can get vastly different looks which I find so awesome. Especially if this city is your city, it’s so fun to capture something that’s a big part of your life as the backdrop in your engagement session. A city engagement session should be lots of fun, and following these guidelines will give you the best experience.
Hi friends, hope you are having a wonderful week. Today I am addressing a topic that comes up when I am responding to an initial client inquiry or at a meeting with a potential client: Why should I do engagement photos?
So today I’m going to give you all the pros of doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer before your wedding. I’m not going to list any cons to this, because frankly from my perspective I can only see positives of doing an engagement session.
Without further ado, here are some major pros of doing an engagement session:
Helps you feel more comfortable in front of the camera
Gives you beautiful portraits of just the two of you
Gives you practice before the wedding day
Helps you and your photographer get to know each other
Can provide beautiful photos for your save the date or guestbook
1) Helps you feel more comfortable in front of the camera
Most of us aren’t models posing in front of the camera all the time. So naturally being in front of the camera and trying to figure out how to pose can be a little stressful. Even as a photographer, whenever I get in front of the camera, I’m suddenly trying to remember flattering poses and what to do with my hands (which suddenly become an issue even though I never think of this otherwise). An engagement session provides a super relaxed time for you to start getting used to being in front of the camera. All eyes aren’t on you like on your wedding day, so this is an opportunity to get used to the camera and have it feel a bit more natural.
2) Gives you beautiful portraits of just the two of you
When you look back on your life, can you think of any times where you had professional images taken of you and your significant other. More than likely that isn’t the case. Generally it’s when you are starting a new chapter of your life that this happens. It’s usually when you get engaged that you start thinking about hiring a professional to capture beautiful images. It’s so nice to have the opportunity to have great quality images of just the two of you, and you will definitely never regret that. You can show your nieces and nephews, or kids later on these portraits of this time in your life before them. I think that’s a pretty awesome thing to be able to do, I believe this is one of the best parts of photography.
3) Gives you practice before the wedding day
This point echoes a bit of number 1 as well. On your wedding day there’s already a lot of stress, and doing an engagement session takes away one possible stressor. You will already have the practice being in front of the camera without it happening when all eyes are on you. By having a session before your wedding day, you will honestly start to forget the camera being there during all of the important moments and just be able to enjoy it. You also will be in sync with the photographers about what poses you like and don’t like, or if you don’t like the posing photos at all. These are all things that can be ironed out in an engagement session.
4) Helps you and your photographer get to know each other
This point is frankly the most important to me, and generally a reason why I include engagement sessions in a lot of wedding packages. It’s with having meetings, sending questionnaires, and having an engagement session that I get to know you two. In an engagement session, I get to understand if you are the type of people that love to do dramatic poses, or if you are a bit more shy in front of the camera. I get to see which poses might work for you and which won’t. I can see if adding movement will help you relax in front of the camera. Most importantly, this is a time when we get to break the ice and get to know each other in a relaxed setting. By the time it’s your wedding day, I want you to feel like I’m basically just an old friend who is around taking beautiful photos.
5) Can provide beautiful photos for your save the date or guestbook
One of the things for which engagement session photos are the most used, is for save the dates or for a guestbook on your wedding day. I absolutely love when I get in the mail save the dates that were made from a photo I took on your engagement session. It’s such a lovely way to kick off the wedding celebration. I have also seen photos from engagement sessions used as the cover of a guestbook for a wedding day, and I have even seen couples print out a large image from their session and had their guests sign it. There’s just a ton of things you can do with images from your session.
I think the question, “Why should I do engagement photos?” should be rephrased. With this list, the question should be “Why not do engagement photos?!”