J&K'S GUIDE TO ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS
Our goal during an engagement session is to create natural, fun images that represent you as a couple. We understand that you don't often have photos taken of you by professional photographers. Which is exactly why we created this guide for you. We want you to have the best experience, create some beautiful images and, most importantly, have fun during your engagement session.
This guide covers everything from scheduling your session, what to wear, choosing a location and even includes some of our tips & tricks. We have years of experience and we want to share what we've learned with you!
This is definitely not a rule book. In the end, it is your engagement session and we want to create images that represent you as a couple. We will say that if you consider and apply the information and ideas we've put together here, you will certainly make the most out of your engagement session.
Scheduling your Session
We are able to schedule your engagement session Monday through Thursday. Weekends, especially Saturdays, are generally booked which make them unavailable for engagement sessions. We also encourage scheduling your engagement session during the week because you are less likely to have an audience during your session if we're shooting in a public area like downtown or in a park.
TIP: We find that our couples are the most comfortable when it is just us and them. So with that in mind, we will do our best to choose a location that is not very public. We also encourage you to just bring yourselves and no one else. This is a special time for you two. Think of it as a date, but with Jake & Katie hanging out with you...
The best times to shoot are just after sunrise and just before sunset. Early mornings are a great option if you want to escape the heat and if you're in FL, you know how terribly hot it gets. You need to be comfortable during your session and, we're not sure about you, but sweating isn't comfortable to us...
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
TURN AROUND TIME: The turn around time for us to deliver your engagement session is 2-3 weeks.
SAVE THE DATES: These should usually be sent out around 8 months prior to your wedding.
GUEST BOOKS: If you aren't planning on using your engagement session images for your Save The Date or Invitation, but would like to use them at your wedding (for example, as a guest book), add at least a month from delivery to be able to design, revise and order your book.
WEATHER: If possible, let's avoid scheduling your engagement session in the heat of the Florida summer. If not, consider a sunrise session. Sessions are generally rescheduled if there is a 50% or more chance of rain on the day of session. Living in FL, we know that rain can come and go in minutes. We'll stay in touch leading up to your session and make this decision together.
CHOOSING A LOCATION FOR YOUR SESSION
If you have a specific location in mind for your engagement sessions, please share it with us. If not, we'll suggest a location. We are constantly scouting and searching for new locations to use. The location of your session should be some reflection of you. If you don't like the beach, then we obviously wont go there. If you never go downtown, then we'll avoid that. This all comes back to us getting to know each other more so we can settle on a location that fits you as a couple.
We will reuse a location if it's been a while since we used it last or if it is a location you would really like to use. We always like the challenge of seeing a familiar location from a new perspective.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
PUBLIC AREAS: Like we pointed out in our tip under SCHEDULING YOUR SESSION, we find that our couples are the most comfortable when it is just us and them. So with that in mind, we will do our best to choose a location that is not very public.
NATURE: If we've settled on a location out in nature (i.e. woods, river, beach, etc.), be sure to come prepared for that specific location. If we're heading out in the woods, be sure to bring bug spray and even shoes you don't mind getting dirty.
TRAVELING: We love to travel and are always willing to hop in the car for a road trip. If you want to shoot somewhere that isn't local to Tampa, just let us know and we can discuss travel info. Keep in mind that travel fees will apply.
WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR SESSION
We get a lot of questions from our couples about what they should wear on their wedding day. We'll do our best to answer all of those questions and more here.
What you wear is a reflection of yourself and that couldn't be more true than during your engagement session. The difference is that you want to be the best version of yourself during your engagement session. So ladies, what better time to buy that dress from Free People? Guys, go ahead and treat yourself to a few wardrobe upgrades. This is a one time shoot and the only day you should look better than during your engagement session is on your wedding day. Invest time, effort and money into your engagement session look.
We've created this inspiration board full of some looks we love to help you out: www.pinterest.com/jakekatiephoto/engagement-style-inspiration
TIP: We love colors and bold choices. Don't be afraid to take some chances with your wardrobe. Be adventurous and have fun!
Accessories are a fun and easy way to bring some color and personality into your session. Ladies, consider including a necklace or bracelets with your ensemble. Guys, a stylish watch or tie are great ways to elevate your look. Be sure your accessories are complimenting and that they don't contrast your clothes.
TIP: Guys, avoid the following: baseball caps, shorts, baggy shirts/pants, tennis shoes, white socks and clothes with logos on them.
TIP: Girls, avoid clothes that might show bra straps or tags. It is very limiting and stifling when we have to keep ensuring that these are not showing.
There are a lot of elements that go into creating a beautiful photograph. One of those is confidence. Be sure you've tried on your outfits multiple times and seem them both together so you know you're going to look great. What you choose to wear has to be comfortable! You don't want to be fidgeting the entire session so be sure to wear something you can move around in and lastly, something that makes you feel awesome!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR SESSION
Preparation for your engagement session starts with the first three things we've already addressed: scheduling, location and wardrobe. At this point, the bulk of the preparing and planning has been done. We have a few suggestions that should take place the week leading up to your session.
If you don't already, drink a bunch of water. This is a general life tip but it really does wonders and will make you look and feel so much better for your engagement session. Ladies, work with the hair stylist and makeup artist you've chosen for your wedding and pamper yourself the day of the session. A mani-pedi doesn't hurt either. Guys, a fresh hair cut is a must! Get your hair cut two or three days prior to your session. Also, both of you should try to stay out of the sun and, if you're going to be outside, DEFINITELY use a high SPF sunscreen. This goes for your wedding day too! No one wants to have sunburn when they are getting their pictures taken.
TIP: Be sure to eat before your session. Beyond that, consider grabbing a drink beforehand. A beer or your favorite cocktail might be exactly what you need to calm any nerves. If you're up for it, we'd love to join you for that drink too!
Take some time to iron your clothes, put them on hangers and be sure that all of your accessories are easily accessible. Leave extra travel time to get to the location. As photographers who depend on natural light, ever minute that sun goes down is less shooting time for us.
The last thing you should do is relax and trust us. We're here for you and want to give you beautiful images!
What to EXPECT During your session
Remember what our goal is here: to create natural, fun images that represent you as a couple.
We will take some time at the beginning to walk and chat so we can get to know each other a bit more. Once we start shooting, it will take a bit for you to start to feel comfortable in front of the camera and by the end you'll be professional models! (Kidding, of course, but we're sure you'll surprise yourself!)
TIP: See previous tip about grabbing a drink...
Speaking of models, we definitely don’t expect you to go all “America’s Next Top Model” on us. We just want you to be yourselves. We’ll give you direction and help you along the way, of course, but remember what our goal is here - “to create natural, fun images that represent you as a couple” - so please don’t feel like you need to stay frozen in a pose until we release you. We will put you in positions and poses that feel natural and help create authentic moments.
TIP: Fall into a pose and feel free to keep things moving. The more movement we have the more opportunities we have to capture awesome images!
With that being said, if we ever pose you in a way that feels completely uncomfortable or you think feels unflattering, please speak up! We’re all about the experience and don’t want you looking back on your images and remembering how uncomfortable a pose felt.
Throughout the session, we may take a few minutes to pause, drink some water, relax and chat. We are not going to just shoot constantly for two hours straight. Other than our main goal (which we wont repeat again because you should know it by now), we want to get to know you and we want you to get to know us. We want to know what makes you laugh, what you like to do for fun and what you love about each other. Feel free to ask us questions too. The more comfortable we are with each other, the better your pictures will be and, most importantly, we won't be strangers showing up with cameras on your wedding day.
Just like your wedding, the more you plan and invest in your engagement session the smoother it will go and better it will be. Don't leave the details of your session to the last minute. This will only create stress and will take away from what it is supposed to be - FUN!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have. We're here for you and want to create a session and experience that is perfect for you!