We’re switching gears a little today! Lately the blog has been directed at my brides, but this blog post I’ll be chatting to my fellow photographers! We’re sticking with the Engagement Session theme and discussing a few things PHOTOGRAPHERS can do to best prepare before shooting an engagement session.
I don’t know about you, but I still get nervous before sessions! However, when I stick to a routine it helps me to feel calmer and more in control. Here are five things I suggest doing before your engagement session starts!
The last thing you want to do is show up to your session and have to make an unexpected change! Sometimes bad weather can throw things off. Or, sometimes parking isn’t ideal, or an event is going on when you thought you’d have the whole place to yourself. A quick Google search can generally ease your worries! Check the weather, and check your location out! Hit up Google maps and make sure the roads are clear. Click through to the location’s website and see if there are any events happening. You can also check out apps like The Photographer’s Ephemeris that allow you to map out what direction the sun will be in at the time of your session.
If you want to really “wow” your couple, you have to prove to them you are the expert in any given situation. You can best be prepared by showing up early! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that being late to your own session is just a bad first impression. Plan for traffic. Then plan to arrive early. I love to arrive with enough time to scout out the location and create a plan. I like to find three spots I want to take the couple. Then I try to decide things like, when the lighting will be best in each location. When to have my couple changes outfits. What lens I want to use in what spot. Knowing things like this ahead of time assure my couples I know what I’m doing, and each choice I make has a reason behind it.
Sometimes when I get really excited about a location or session, my mind might want to focus on me and all the pretty shots I’m going to get. But it’s always important for me to step back and think of my couple! This is actually THEIR engagement session, THEIR love story, and THEIR session. When I put my couples first, I know I’m serving them as best as I can. It means that no matter what they are wearing, if they got professional hair and makeup done or not, or if they want to do a specific pose or location – the end result should be that their images reflect them and this season in their life. Putting their needs and desires above my own is my job as their photographer! Being more concerned about getting the shots they want instead of the shots I want is how they will feel most loved and cared for!
Sometimes during busy season, it can feeling a bit draining to shoot session after session. Sometimes we might feel uninspired or in a creative rut. Instead of feeling like you’re doing the same thing over and over, we can switch things up! I try to think of one new thing I want to try at every session. Sometimes that just means looking for a new angle or view at a common location. Or it can mean trying a new pose, or using a different lens more often. Maybe you have a few “artistic” shots you want to try for, or you could even bring out a flash and try something really unique. Whatever it might be, make sure you are incorporating new ideas into every session to keep you fresh, challenged, and inspired!
Above all else, show up to your session feeling confident. If YOU know you’re going to rock this session, then your couple will too. Remember you got where you are today for a reason! This couple wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t trust you! Now go out and prove them right! Even if it’s a “fake it till you make it” scenario, that’s okay. Put on your brave pants and do the job you know you were meant to do!
If you liked this For Photographers post about What to do Before Shooting an Engagement session, be sure to check out my other advice posts like What to Wear to an Engagement Session or 8 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer.