Monday, April 17, 2017

choosing a season and location for your engagement session

Last week I started a series of posts about preparing for your engagement session! The first part was about WHY we should be taking engagement photos in the first place, specifically how they help to prepare for the wedding day. Next up: Tips for choosing a season and a location for your shoot!  

1. CHOOSING A SEASON

I'll often be asked WHEN in the planning process should the engagement photos take place. Should it be relatively soon after the proposal? Or closer to the wedding date? Some people think if they're having a Summer wedding, they should do Fall/Winter photos for some variety. Truth is, there's no right answer. 

I do, however, think there should be at least 5 months between the engagement session and the wedding day if possible, just to ensure you have some time to use your photos in any way you choose.

I think the best place to start is with choosing your season. If you're not a Winter person, then Winter is out. And trust me, you know if you're a Winter person because you make -25 degree days look as cozy as this:


Spring is lovely, but sometimes the grass doesn't turn green as quickly as we'd like. And if you're the type to stress about the grass not being green, you can skip Spring and head straight for Summer. 


Summer engagements are probably my favourite since they feature a lengthy sunset and a 7:00pm start time. If you're the type to worry about your hair on a super humid day, Summer might not be for you.


As for Fall, it's the busiest time of year in my business. Comfy sweaters, to-go coffee cups, and heck -- you can probably get a Christmas card photo out of it! My advice for Fall sessions: the leaves change MUCH later than you think! For true Fall colours, you're looking at anywhere between October 12-25. It's a short window so book those spots quick, girl. 


I have favourite engagement sessions from every single season, on cloudy days and on sunny ones, indoors and outdoors. It's all about finding the perfect fit for you as a couple, and of course finding the best light. 

2. COLOURS AND PURPOSE

When I think of getting my own photos taken, I start with picturing how that photo would be used in my life. If they're photos for the walls then I know I'm working with a somewhat neutral palette, with an emphasis on whites, blues, and greys because that's what would compliment my interiors. I might not choose a late October shoot in a field of orange trees if I plan on framing a photo for my all-white living room. 

If you plan on using an engagement photo for a save the date, make sure the colours, the location, the wardrobe, and the season are well suited for your invitations.



3. CHOOSING A LOCATION

The perfect location for an engagement session is one where you'd actually venture to on a Sunday afternoon stroll. It's a place where you've shared a kiss or two, and a place that makes you feel at home just being there. 

Don't worry too much about choosing somewhere "scenic," because I can work magic in a parking garage or any plain old park. It's about light, and that's something we can't plan.

The best thing I can do to help you choose a location is to send you on a quest through the blog, searching for a previous engagement session that inspires you. You'll find wintery engagement sessions in the woods where the bride-to-be is in a long black gown and holding a bouquet. You'll see others on the beach at sunset, or in the park with Suzy Q donuts. Something will speak to you, either because it looks like what you might find yourself wearing, or it'll remind you of a place that means something to you.   

4. SOME IDEAS FOR YOU

All of these tips are well and good, but you might still be looking for some extra hints for finding an amazing location for your engagement session. Well, friend, here you go: a few of my favourite locations from the last year or two...

Any apple orchard is a win in my book, but when it features cute little wooden baskets, I'm extra sold. 


Michelle & Andy's sailboat engagement is one of my favourites ever, which is why it's still featured on the home page of my website. The colours from the harbour...I mean. 


Maybe this Starbucks engagement session in Westboro will be speaking to you:


Or maybe you have a connection with the love locks by Ottawa U




Or something by Dow's Lake! An oldie but a goodie. Please note the dreamy sunset colours in the water, and how their clothes are so effortlessly matching. Or how there are tiny little bicycles on her dress. These are the things that turn a nice shoot into a dream.  


And speaking of wardrobe, that's coming up soon as the next part in the engagement series! A full breakdown of what to wear, what NOT to wear, and what you should bring with you. 

Oh, and if you missed first part of the series, check it out here

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