We strongly encourage an engagement session as a way to get comfortable both with your photographer and being photographed as a couple before your Big Day. These photos can be slightly nerve-racking for some couples so we reached out to photographer Andy Carretto of Carretto Studio Photography for some advice. We’re lucky to refer to Andy as a friend and frequent collaborator on client weddings and a Style Me Pretty inspiration shoot. Andy’s shared with us his pro tips and tricks below and be sure to check out our Pinterest Engagement board for ideas on outfits and overall vision!
At Carretto Studio, we’ve done tons of engagement sessions, and over the years, we’ve learned exactly what to do to make your photos turn out their very best. Here are our top 5 tips for the best possible engagement session.
5. Choose great outfits. We personally feel like there’s no such thing as being too dressy, and we love to see our clients looking their best. Typically, we recommend one dressy outfit and another outfit of your choosing. For the dressy outfit, the groom can’t go wrong with a well-fitted suit. For a bride, it could be your favorite little black dress, a colorful cocktail dress, or even a gown from Rent The Runway. For a second outfit, it could be something more casual (jeans and a cute top or button-down) or it could be a different dressy option. Maybe if your first dress is black, a bright and vibrant red dress might be perfect. Add some accessories (and if you aren’t sure, just bring some options with you!). Most importantly, choose clothes that fit you well and that you feel fantastic in.
4. Have your hair and make-up done. There’s no question that professional hair and make-up artists know how to make you look your very best in photographs, and this is the perfect time to enlist their help. In fact, an engagement session is a great opportunity for your trial run for wedding make-up, since you will be able to see exactly how it will photograph. Professional hair and make-up is well worth the investment, and it will make your engagement photos turn out even better. Trust me, you won’t regret having flawless skin, sparkling eyes, and perfectly contoured cheekbones in your photos!
3. Envision your ideal session. Engagement sessions are not one-size-fits-all, and it’s important for you to communicate the vision of your ideal session to your photographer. Think about how you would like to use the photos — a save the date, prints to give your family, a great canvas for your wall. Look around your home, and ask yourself if there’s a certain place where you would love to hang a canvas. If your home is sleek and modern, maybe a striking and architectural black and white photo would look amazing. One great technique is to have each of you think of three words that you hope to have displayed in your engagement session. Whether your words are “romantic, soft, and joyful” or “striking, elegant, and modern”, your input will help guide your photographer as they approach your session.
2. Trust your photographer. While the best engagement sessions involve collaboration between you and the photographer, it’s important for you to let them do what they do best. You hired them for their beautiful work, and after you’ve given them your vision, it’s important to let them determine how to bring that vision into reality. Be open and flexible with details like location and time. Sometimes even the best laid plans fail, and your photographer may need to alter the plan based on the light and weather. You hired a talented professional for a reason, so trust your photographer to work with any light and situation.
1. Get ready to have a good time! If you followed all the tips up until now, this one should be the be the easiest. You’ve planned a great session and you look incredible, so what’s left? When your engagement session finally arrives, be ready to be yourself and have fun. While it can be a little unsettling to be in front of the camera at first, your photographer will do their best to help any jitters pass quickly. The goal is for you to be relaxed and comfortable, so that we can capture photos of you laughing, smiling, and enjoying the one you love. That’s the point, after all!