Oh, how I just adore engagement sessions! Each of my wedding collections includes a complimentary engagement session which I believe is so so important. This is sometimes the very first time meeting my sweet couples in person (if we have only chatted over FaceTime and couldn’t meet for a coffee date 🙂 ), plus this is almost 2 hours of time that serves as “practice” for the real, wedding day portraits!
Most of the time, for engaged couples, you haven’t ever taken professional photos together. Every couple feels a little awkward for the first minutes of their session-that is SO normal! I mean, it’s not every day you’re all dolled up and taking photos in a public place- except maybe for high school dances! 🙂 After the first 20 minutes of shooting, laughing, and cuddling with your fiance (and probably me showing you a couple adorable images on the back of my camera), the awkward nerves go away and the fun really kicks in! One of my most favorite things was when a future groom told me his cheeks hurt from laughing so much the past 1.5 hours, while we were walking back to our cars!
Even though I send each and every one of my couples an engagement session planning guide before their sessions, I wanted to share some of my fun tips + tricks here today!
Planning the perfect outfits for your engagement session is WAY harder than it looks! I always tell my brides to start with their outfits and coordinate their guy’s outfit afterwards. Sarah and Phil’s outfit below was a perfect example of how to coordinate and not match colors 🙂 If they would have matched and both wore white tops and dark jeans, the photo wouldn’t be as colorful and interesting! Personally with my couples, I recommend choosing 2-4 different outfits that vary with formalness (is that a word..?!). Their first outfits are normally “fancier”, like a long flow-y dress and a white button down + khakis, and the following outfits are more casual, like jeans and a nice “date night” top. I love when brides send me a quick photo of what outfits they’re planning to get my opinion! Usually, they have the perfect outfits in mind!!
Hair + Makeup Tips:
Girls, I always always recommend getting your hair and makeup professionally done before your engagement session. Professional hair and makeup artists know exactly how to make you look your best, and give you that extra confidence boost during your engagement session. I always say, this is the perfect time to schedule your wedding makeup trial for! 🙂
My very last tip is: if you’re thinking about bringing your fur baby, do it!! I just LOVE when couples include their dogs, and the cutest photos always come out of it. If you do decide to include him or her, I 100% suggest having a parent, sibling, or friend come along to your session to either take your dog back home or take them for a walk after we get the photos we need! Having your dog there for the whole session would be crazy-just thinking about trying to get my pup, Ginny to behave outside for a full 1.5 hours gives me a headache!
-Brooke + Alex
"Where do I even begin… First off, Elle is hands down one of the sweetest humans you will ever meet. As if her work doesn’t speak for itself, the minute I met her and started chatting I knew we made the right choice!
We’ve been married 3 weeks now and we had the most beautiful day, but the amount of compliments we’ve received on our photos blows everything else out of the water and we are STILL getting comments!! I can’t even put into words how blown away both myself and everyone else was with her work.
You will get a handful of previews right away and a blog post which to be honest I would have been happy with just those! BUT I was absolutely floored when I saw our full gallery! I look at them at LEAST once a day because I am just so obsessed with them. Elle is insanely talented and her creativity shines through in her photos.
You will feel like you are straight out of a bridal magazine, I promise!"
"You will feel like you're straight out of a bridal magazine"
-Noelle + Elijah
"Lord help me not ramble too too much about how AMAZING Elle & Ashton are! I cannot say enough good things about these two or express fully how much I not only recommend them but insist you choose them for your wedding. When I sat down and started looking up wedding photographers on Instagram (lol) I came across Elle's page and instantly fell in love with her style of photography. As I looked through the pictures I almost felt the love radiating from the pictures if that makes sense lol. I knew I had to reach out to her and get all the info on how to have her as our photographer. After we had booked her we took a LONG time to try and find a wedding videographer and we just could not find one that matched what we were looking for so when Elle announced that her husband was going to be joining her and adding videography as something they offer I immediately ran right to my email thread and told her I wanted to add it onto our package. BEST DECISION. I cannot tell you how many times I have cried watching our sneak peak film or looking through our photos on her blog. Seriously I cannot recommend this duo enough. Thank you Elle & Ashton AGAIN.. lol for capturing our day so perfectly. Everything turned out better than I could have ever imagined. If you're looking to book Elle........ DO IT & add Ashton as your videographer! You won't regret it!"
-Krista + Travis
"I think most brides-to-be have heard a time or two the importance of investing in a good wedding photographer. And this couldn’t be more true! Once your big day comes and goes, all you have left are the memories. The decorations sit in storage, but your wedding pictures are hung on your walls for years to come. What better way to relive that day than with your wedding pictures?! Elle goes above and beyond to capture such special, unique moments. It’s so special to walk through our dining room and see the photos she’s taken hung up. I’m immediately taken back to the amazing memories we created. Her style is so elegant, her personality shines, and her photos speak for themselves. I would absolutely recommend Elle Taylor Photography for any special event to capture and preserve timeless memories of you and your loved ones! Thanks again for all you do, Elle!"
" Her style is so elegant, her personality shines, and her photos speak for themselves"
-Sara + Johnny
"Elle was nothing short of perfect! She is so sweet, patient, and has the biggest heart. She is truly the best at what she does and Johnny and I could not have picked a better photographer to capture our perfect day! Through every detail, Elle made sure everything we wanted and needed was taken care of. Elle even put her jacket around me in the freezing cold! We are the most grateful for the love put into the whole day! Elle made me feel like the most beautiful bride and kept me calm with her love and patience. Picking a photographer for your wedding is the hardest part knowing that it is what you have to remember the best day of your life, but Elle made it easy and we are so in love with our wedding pictures! We are forever grateful!"
"We are most grateful for the love put into the whole day."
-Sarah + Phil
"It was truly magical working with Elle as our photographer on our wedding day. She made us feel so calm and comfortable on a crazy and exciting day! She took every picture we wanted and even snuck in a few extras that we will cherish forever. We've already recommended her to all of our engaged friends, and will continue to recommend her to new couples! Choosing a photographer who meshes with your personalities and photography style is a must, and Elle without a doubt fulfilled both. Thank you, Elle for memories we will never, ever forget!"
"Choosing a photographer who meshes with your personalities and photography style is a must, and Elle without a doubt fulfilled both"
-Caiti + Josh
"Elle is FLEXIBLE, FAST, EXPERIENCED and an all around GREAT photographer! We felt SO at ease with her and she was an absolute DELIGHT to shoot with. We couldn’t stop smiling the entire time. The pictures turned out AMAZING and she got them back to us in less than 24 hours!!! Thank you SO much Elle! If you are looking through Elle’s reviews and are STILL NOT CONVINCED that she would be PERFECT for ANY occasion you are out of your mind!"
"If you're looking through Elle's reviews and are still not convinced that she would be perfect for any occasion, you are out of your mind!"