Wedding Wednesday: Our Engagement Session Experience and Some Tips

So far this whole wedding planning thing hasn’t been the greatest. We’ve spent the bulk of it stressing out over unemployment, remodeling, and a dying dad. So I’ve been grabbing my bits of wedding planning joy where I can. And last night, one of those moments happened. WE GOT OUR ENGAGEMENT SESSION PHOTOS BACK, Y’ALL! I may or may not be incredibly excited by this.

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Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

Waaaaay back in January of 2011, I was lucky to score THE BEST wedding photographer in the Texas Hill Country, Miranda Laine Photography. We hit it off immediately and she “got” what I wanted in my wedding photography (and truly understood that I was not just a bride… I was also a blogger so my needs were a little different than most). She also had experience working with animals (we’re including our dog, Jill, in our wedding) and special needs children (our niece is a flower girl and has autism).  And one of the bestest things ever about Miranda was her engagement session portfolio. No two couple sessions were the same. Each showed the emotional connection that the people had for each other. Sold.

But, even though I was thrilled with Miranda and knew she’d do a good job, I was still nervous when it came time to do the actual engagement session. See, we’re middle-aged people and, while we’re not ugly, we’re definitely just okay-looking. I also hate my profile (mostly my nose) with a deep, deep loathing. Neither of us much likes to get our picture taken. How in the hell would this all go down?

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Images Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

Apparently, really fucking well! WOW! I am so glad that we did this. I am totally ordering a My Publisher photo album and Canvas People wrapped canvas today to display at our wedding reception. I’m also happy to share a few things I learned about enjoying your engagement session:

  • Stick with really simple outfits, hair, and make-up. Try and stay with only one or two accessories and repeat shoes (if possible). This will cut down on the amount of “stuff” you have to worry about. We also chose clothes with simple lines and similar colors so our photos would look cohesive.
  • Don’t worry about your looks – just trust in your photographer. I never mentioned to Miranda about my concerns/dislike of the way I look. I just swallowed my fear and did whatever she asked me… and the photos turned out great. Trust – it’s their job to make you look amazing.
  • If you’re including your pet – bring a pet wrangler. My best friend and maid-of-honor came up for the evening and she was in charge of Jill (who was SO FREAKING EXCITED to be part of it all). It was nice to be able to include the puppy sometimes and then pass her off for other photos. Also, don’t expect perfection if you’re doing this with your pet  – they don’t understand directions from the photographer. Be happy if you get even one good photo with them.
  • Bring a helper. Amanda wasn’t just the dog wrangler, she was also our dresser, prop holder, hair fixer, and on and on. Having an extra pair of hands who’s only job was to help was… well, helpful to the millionth degree.
  • Get some pictures that don’t show your tattoo for your mom. It’s a little thing but she’ll appreciate it.
  • Be sure to pin engagement session photo ideas on Pinterest and share the link with your photographer before your session. Miranda was able to use my pins to get a good idea of the look and poses we were hoping for. It was really cool to see her stop and whip out her phone to check my pins and see what she could do next.
  • If you have a blog, use some photos for your branding. I wanted a very specific shot for my new header and other branding. I was able to set it up with Miranda at our engagement session and arrange to get a non-watermarked version of it with my other photos. Communicate to your photography what you plan to do with your photos after the session so they can be sure and work with you on that.
  • To break the ice, do an activity-based shoot first. We did the fishing portion of our engagement session first, followed by the baseball part, and THEN we did the romantic section. Doing it in this order helped us get comfortable with Miranda and also with “performing” for the camera.
  • Get ready to get turned on. You can’t do that much lovin’ and kissin’ and huggin’ and not want to tear each other’s clothes off. Just try and wait until you get home…

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Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

So, Tulle Nation. How many of you are doing engagement sessions? Do you love your photographer as much as I adore Miranda Laine Photography? Are you nervous or concerned about anything and want a bit o’ advice? Fire away!

***Edited to add: Just created and ordered an album to display at our wedding reception:

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