The best way for us, wedding photographers, to get to know our bride and groom before their "big day" is to photograph them during the engagement session (or e-session). That actually is a great opportunity for us to get that unique connection with our couple, that helps a lot during the wedding day. There is no time pressure for the bride and groom during the engagement session, just because we normally have plenty of time to change locations and outfits and we don't have a tight timeline of a wedding day. This is also a great opportunity for the couple to click with their photographers and tune to their pace, posing and directions and overall style of photography. That will help a lot during the wedding day, when photographers will be capturing happy moments of one of the happiest days of your life. If you think about it, the last thing you want to do is to get frustrated with your photographers during the wedding day.

There are so many things we can tell you about engagement photo session and how to get best pictures out of it, but we decided to put together our top 5 tips for a successful photo session:

1. Outfits

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One of the things that Olena and I are talking about during our pre-engagement photo session meeting with our clients is to how to chose their outfits for a session. Not all the combinations, colors and patterns work best together. The simple rule is not to go with more than 3 colors. Try to avoid mixing high-contrast colors, like red-green-yellow. That might be your favorite combination but it may not look so appealing on your pictures. Try to combine tints and shades of the same color and have them in each others' clothes, like his navy blue jeans will perfectly work with lighter blue of her blouse. Any colors that compliment each other will definitely be a preference for a photo session. Don't forget about weather, so choose appropriate apparel and wear layers. Actually wearing layers will help to have a variety of looks in your pictures. I think you got our point: go with colors that compliment each other and wear a lot of layers. You should think how the images from your engagement session will be displayed on your walls, or will be combined in an album, all of them being your first family pictures that you would love to share with your kids.

2. Location

As we mentioned previously for all our e-sessions we offer the change of two outfits and two locations. We love when couples get excited about this as soon as we mention it. It always plays really great when bride and groom-to-be bring us to their favorite locations, maybe where they met first, or just places where they love to hang out. One of the couples we photographed recently brought their favorite sport team' jerseys and we played them nicely into the photo session. Think about your hobbies, places you like in the city or surroundings, maybe even buildings, parks, walls… anything that has any special meaning for you! From time to time we meet a couple that doesn't have any suggestions about locations, so we normally play urban and park combo. Don't take it wrong - urban/city and park views always give us plenty of options for a session and we always get perfect results, but we do encourage our couples to think about their personal preferences when we talk about locations. The beauty of e-session is that we have time to do all your ideas and travel some places that we can't get to during the wedding day due to really packed timeline. We travel around Alberta free of charge for our e-session clients.

3. Be yourself

The next most important tip that we can share with you is to relax and be yourself in front of our cameras. We know that in the beginning of a photo session we all need to warm up and tune to the mood, just because most of our couples are not models and they are not used to be in front of the camera. They basically don't know what to do, where to put hands, how to position legs, should they run or jump… That's fine, it will take a couple of minutes for all of us to get in tune with each other. The best way to do that is just be yourself. Look at the e-session as another date you guys are having with each other. You'll be walking, laughing, hugging, doing a lot of PDA (!!!) and having all that recorded by professional photographers. Sounds easy, huh? :) Actually, all that will really help you to relax - just remember, you guys are in love and at the moment when you forget about everything around you and get concentrated on each other - that's the moment we can get most natural and sparkly pictures from your e-session. So, if you typically love to goof around, be silly and crack jokes - do it! Don't mind the photographers, we are there to capture your love and happy moments that you will share with your family and friends.

4. Communication during the session

Communication during e-session is crucial for all of us. It's important for you guys to understand what we are asking you to do, and it's important for us photographers to understand how to pose you, to get those stunning pictures you so admire in our portfolio, and make it real easy for you. That will play its dividends during the wedding day. All our e-session couples who hired us for their wedding day were really easy to photograph, this is all because of time we spent during e-session.

5. Have fun!

Having fun when you are doing e-session is really important! Don't stress out about details, like stray hair or a wrinkle on your dress. Your photographers are there for you to fix all of them. You are in love and love is the best thing you can bring to your e-session! Expressing it through your eyes and being at ease with each other in front of the camera - all that will help create unforgettable images. Have fun and we will take care of all the rest to get you pictures you'll cherish forever.

What do you think about these 5 tips to get better e-session pictures? Do you have your e-session scheduled with your photographer? If not, email us - info@the38photo.com and we would love to meet you and hear your love story!

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