“When and where should I book my engagement session?” is usually one of the first questions I receive from engaged couples. Generally, couples have a vague idea or vision for what they want their engagement session to be, but have no idea how to carry it out. Deciding on time of year, time of day, and the location are a huge deal. I make it a goal to educate my couples as much as possible so that they can make the best decision for their style and personality.
Because I have a lot to say about this topic, I’ve decided to break up this post into two parts. Today, I’ll be talking about when. Next week, I’ll discuss where.
There are a couple main factors to consider when booking your session, and these factors change from couple to couple. The time of day that I recommend stays relatively similar for all of my clients. However, the season you select is often dependent on when you get and engaged and when you’re getting married. Considering when you need your engagement photos (and for what purpose) is also something that may give you more or less flexibility. Read on to learn more about each of these factors.
TIME OF DAY
Engagement sessions are typically in the evening. I like to schedule them one to two hours before sunset because the best and most flattering light is found in the hour before sunset. You may have heard this referred to as “Golden Hour.” Golden Hour occurs in the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. Sunrise sessions are an alternative option, and these are equally as beautiful if you are up for the early hours. These can actually be more favorable because there are less people around. That means more privacy and no chance of strangers in the background! Some of the most beautiful sessions I’ve had have been during this time, so if you are up for the early morning, this is a great choice!
Occasionally, I will shoot at a different time of day if needed. I’m always opened to your suggestions, but I also want you to have the most beautiful (and flattering) photos, which is why I suggest Golden Hour.
WEATHER & SEASON
Depending on the weather on the day of our session, I may move the session a half-hour earlier or later than originally scheduled. It’s smart to leave a little buffer time before and after the session. If it’s super cloudy, we’ll probably start a little earlier. If it’s brilliant sunshine without a cloud in the sky, we may start later.
Each season has its own beauty to offer. If you have lots and lots of time before your wedding date and you’re not under a deadline for needing your photos, you should choose a time of year with elements that you would like to incorporate in your photos. Think about the dress, atmosphere, and props that make sense with your vision. Layering and cozy hats are great in the late fall and winter, and ice cream and sundresses are beautiful for the summer. It’s all about your style and vision! Think about these things and choose something that matches your personality or wedding theme.
If you have a limited amount of time, make sure you leave enough time for photos to be taken and delivered. If you’re planning on sending Save-the-Dates with engagement photos, don’t plan your session right before the Save-the-Dates need to go out. It’s smart to book your engagement session at least 5 months in advance from your wedding if this is the case. Some couples have album or framed prints of engagement sessions displayed at their wedding. If you’re thinking of this as an option, book your engagement session at least 2 months before your wedding.
There you have it! I hope this post has been helpful, especially to those of you currently thinking about when to schedule your engagement session. I’d love to answer any follow-up questions, so feel free to drop me a line or comment on this post!
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