engagement session tips, printable checklists, vendor recommendations & more!
ABOUT THIS GUIDE
Welcome to the Kaleigh Peavler Family! I can't even tell you how thrilled I am to photography your BIG day! Here you will find some helpful tools & resources when planning your wedding that's filled with the most fun & stress-free experience. All these tips will guarantee that you get the best possible photos so that you can truly be present on your wedding day, with knowing that you’ll be able to go back and relive it all over again.
Thank you again for choosing to work with me and please don't hesitate to reach out if I can offer any additional guidance throughout the wedding planning process!
A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE
I'm so excited to be working with you both and I can’t wait for your engagement session! During our shoot, I look for movement between you two. I want to capture the poses AND the interactions in between.
I'm a huge fan of engagement sessions for a few reasons. First, they allow you to get comfortable with me and being in front of the camera. Timelines can be pretty tight on wedding days and 30 minutes may be all I have for portraits-
which is why I've found that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time.
Second, you can showcase your personalities in a more casual setting that is significant to the two of you (and even include pets!).
There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning a session and what better way than to put together a guide that walks you through everything you need to know.
I'll cover what to wear, what to expect, location ideas and more!
IS THERE A "GOOD" TIME TO TAKE PHOTOS?
TIME & LIGHT
You can take photos at any time of the year, during any season, at almost any location, and you’re going to get beautiful photos. With that being said, because you love natural light photography as much as I do, there are two times of day when photos look the most magical.
Immediately after sunrise or right before sunset are the times of day when the sun is lowest in the sky. We more often schedule engagement sessions two hours before sunset. The start time is dependent on the location and time of year.
SAVE- THE - DATE
If your wedding is local, you’ll want to send out your save-the-dates between 6 and 8 months before your wedding. For destination weddings, send them out between 8 and 10 months before your wedding.
If you are wanting to use your engagement photos for save-the-dates, I recommend scheduling your session at least two months before you plan to send them out. Between rescheduling, bad weather, editing, ordering your cards, and mailing them out, two months is generally a safe amount of time to make sure your images are ready when you need them.
CHOOSING WHERE TO HAVE YOUR SESSION
I love when couples choose engagement session locations that really compliment their personalities and things they like to do together. For example, if you both are really outdoorsy and enjoy hanging out with your dog, we could do a mountain top session with your dog! If you both are foodies and love trying new restaurants and bars, we could do your session downtown at a rooftop bar overlooking the city!
Some of the best locations are the ones that are meaningful to you both, but I 'm always happy to make recommendations if you aren’t sure where to go. Just let me know what kind of vibe you are going for and together we’ll be able to find the perfect location.
I love when couples decide to include their pet in their session. Keep in mind that first, make sure to choose a pet-friendly location. I recommend taking photos with your pet at the beginning of the session, and then handing them to a friend so that we can finish out the rest. I also recommend exercising them beforehand so that they are more calm during the pictures. Also bring treats or a favorite toy for me to use, so this can help me keep their attention long enough for some super cute photos of you all
what to do if it rains
If the weather is wonky, I'm sick, or act of God, etc. I'm open to rescheduling for another day. On your wedding day, we won’t have control over the weather. But for an engagement session, I can at least ensure that you have great weather by shooting on a day when it's most ideal.
In the week leading up to your session, we’ll check in with each other to confirm the date and time of the session as well as the weather. Weather can change drastically even just 48 hours beforehand. I know it takes a lot of time to get ready, so if we are going to reschedule, we generally make that call at least 12 hours in advance.
TIPS FOR LOOKING YOUR BEST
-I recommend a maximum of 2 outfits for your engagement session to ensure that we have plenty of time for all the looks!
-I always find clients are so much more comfortable if they're wearing clothes they feel confident and comfortable in, don't test out those new super high jeans, go for something you've worn before and you know you feel good in.
-Go for loose, flowy , natural fabrics like linen, cottons etc. that will move with you.
-Neutral, earthy colors such as beige, grey, white, black, denim, rust, mustard, blush, blue all look beautiful in the locations I generally shoot at.
-Avoid large prints, patterns and any large graphics or logos
-Avoid being too matchy, matchy - Ideally your outfits will compliment each other but not blend into each other.
NEED MORE INSPIRATION?
It’s always fun to pop a bottle of champagne or bring something that is meaningful to you both! But unless there is no reason behind it, it may come off as random or out-of-place.
MAKE IT A DATE NIGHT
If you’re anything like us, you probably don’t get dressed up all that often. Which means that the day of your engagement session is the perfect occasion for a date night (or brunch if your session is in the morning!)
The engagement session is another part of celebrating your love and heading off to dinner is a great way to end the session!
It is incredibly helpful to prepare your fiancé, Show them what they can expect out of our session together and let them know how important these are to you! Here are some engaging ways: Visit my blog, give them a pep talk beforehand, or browse your favorite couple photos on Pinterest!
"What do I do with my Hands?"
My approach to posing couples in a photo shoot is using prompts to capture raw emotion and those genuine smiles! I especially love all those in between moments so even when I give you a direction, please stay loose and relaxed when I put my camera up. I want you to feel free to move around, be in the moment, laugh, kiss and be yourselves together.
I hope this guide gave you all the information you needed to prepare for your engagement session. If I missed anything, or you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me.