Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Engagement Session

It is so important for you to get to know your photographer and that your photographer gets to know you a little better before that all important wedding day!    One great way to facilitate this is with the engagement session.  The engagement  photos are great for displaying at the wedding and for creating Save the Dates or invitations, but the most important underlaying reason is to get familiar with the way your photographer works and also to let him/her see how you and your bride/groom interact with each other. 
In preparation for the the session we often get lots of questions:  What should we wear? Where should we take them?  How much time should we allow?  When is the best time to take them?  Can we go to multiple locations?  Can we change our clothes? Is there anything else we need to know? 
We hope to answer those questions and more here.  
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are both comfortable with the location, your outfits your hair and make up etc.  
1. Where should we take our engagement photos?  We like to get a little bit of information about you both and your likes and then we can make suggestions based on that.  Here are few ideas.  Shannon & Roddy wanted something to reflect their vintage themed wedding so we suggested History Park in San Jose.  Here we were able to use the vintage scenery to capture a some stunning fun images of them.

We took Gabriela & Martin to their meeting spot, high school...  We had lots of fun with them at Mt Pleasant High School and few other local spots.
Jackie & Daniel were huge Giants fans and we took them to the stadium to grab some of these shots...
2. What should we wear??  Most important here is to wear something you feel yourself in.  If your comfortable your more relaxed and if you're more relaxed then it's easier for us to  capture the real you.  That means if you're most comfortable wearing jeans and t-shirt or in a dress, or shirt and tie wear what is you.  In addition, if we're going to the beach or on a hike you'll want to wear something you can move around in.  In terms of colors,  matching or coordinating colors will photograph better.  Lastly if at possible try avoid different patterns on both of you.  
Here are some great matching and coordinating color examples
3.  Yes they changed!  Which brings us to our next question.  Can we bring extra outfits?  
Yes, bring as many as you like.... I also suggest you bring an extra change of clothes for the ride home.  Most of the time when we photograph you at the beach, you'll get wet and it's a long ride home in wet jeans if you don't have something to change into.  
4.  How long will the session last?  We prefer to shoot engagement photos just after sunset or just before sunrise.  Whether we schedule you in the morning or the afternoon plan on joining us for about 1 to 2 hours, plus travel time.  A good example would be for a sunset session in San Francisco, we would leave San Jose around 3:30pm to avoid traffic and arrive in SF about 5pm (during daylight savings time) we take you to a couple of little spots and then on to the beach.  We would be done about 7pm and head for a quick bite to eat before heading back and arrive back in San Jose about 9:30.
5.  The last question we get asked a lot is When should we take them?  We need at least a month before your wedding (in rare occasions we have been known to do some amazing things in less than a week) to edit and create a guestbook , print prints etc..  However you can take them whenever you and your fiancĂ© are ready.  Maybe you 'd like to use them for your Save the Dates a year in advanced or your invitations 6 months in advanced or maybe you would just like to have some amazing portraits to post on your wedding website or Facebook page.  Whatever the reasons are, we're here whenever you're ready.  Keep in mind these additional planning tips:  The spring and summer in San Francisco can be very foggy. If you are looking for the shot with the bridge in the background this can be difficult to get during the summer.  Also our summer calendar is crazy, we have very few weekends off during the summer, so if you definitely need a weekend it might be best to take your engagement photos in the winter.  These were taken in mid November, just to give you an idea....
One last little tip:  we'll be focusing in a your hands and engagement ring a lot, so you might want to have a your ring cleaned and get a manicure  before the session.  
The one thing we cannot stress the most is to be relaxed and be yourself.  We want you guys to have a great time with each other and we want to get to know you a little better, we'll just go and have some fun! 

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