Couples often stumble upon surprising budget-breakers when planning their wedding. (Who would think that invitations could be so expensive to mail?) But there are also plenty of happy little perks, too—like discovering that most wedding photography packages include an engagement session. (Hooray!) And while you might shrug off an engagement photography session as simply a nice, more-for-your-money perk, it’s actually a super-helpful way to make sure your wedding photos look great, and to ensure that your wedding day moves along smoothly.
Most couples aren’t used to being in front of the camera, so a dedicated photo session with a professional is a terrific way to practice loosening up in front of the camera, and to get to know your photographer outside of the studio. It’s also a way for your photographer to get to know you—to figure out how to get you to warm up, how to make you smile, how to encourage you to be natural. (Pro tip #1: Don’t feel the need to smile or look at the camera the whole time. Candid, unposed shots are often the best ones!)
To help ease you into the whole “professional-photo-shoot” thing, wear something that you’re comfortable in. Just because it’s an engagement session doesn’t mean you have to dress formally. If you’re not comfortable in a suit or a fancy cocktail dress, wear jeans and a tee! The more comfortable you feel, the more natural you’ll look in photos. (In short: If you don’t normally wear four-inch heels, leave ’em at home.)
Consider using your engagement session as an opportunity to do a test run with your hair and makeup vendors—or to try out potential picks. If you’ve never had your makeup done professionally, this is a great time to see how it looks both in-person and in photos. (Pro tip #2: If you haven’t worn false lashes before, now is a great time to try them out!) Once you see how your makeup looks in the photos, you’ll have a better sense of what you might like to change or amp up for the big day.
So make the most of your engagement session. In the end, you’ll have more than just great photos. You’ll have some practice at being in front of the camera, so that once your wedding day rolls around, you’ll be able to breeze through your portraits, which means you can spend more time with your guests and less time in front of the camera. And that’s something everyone can smile about.
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