What days are you available for engagement sessions?
Engagement session availability is Monday through Thursday throughout the year. If it is off-season (January - March), then a Friday or Saturday may be available.
What time of day is best for photos?
For the time of day to schedule your session, I try to schedule it 1-1.5 hours before sunset. If your schedules don't allow that time frame, of course we can schedule it for whenever works for you two. One of the perks of doing the session right before sundown is that it usually falls right before dinner so you can go on a nice date afterwards! :)
How soon should we schedule our session?
During high wedding season (April through November), I take 1 session per week to ensure that the proper attention is given to each client. As soon as you narrow down the time of year you'd like, we can start to set some possible dates. Fall season books up the fastest, so if you are interested in a September or October date contact me asap.
How many outfits should we bring?
Couples bring anywhere from 1-3 outfits, the average being 2. Most couples choose one dressy outfit, and one casual outfit. Others will choose 2 casual outfits for the full session, or 2 dressy outfits for the full session, based on their personalities and what they're comfortable with. You will usually change outfits about half way through the session, and during that time I'll be photographing your engagement ring :)
Any suggestions on what to wear?
I would avoid any clothing that has text or super crazy patterns and colors on it. Patterns can be good, but we want to avoid anything that will take center stage over the two of you. Most of my clients usually choose a dressier outfit and a more casual outfit. To coordinate, I recommend choosing outfits and colors that compliment each other so you're not competing, but also aren't too matchy-matchy. You can view our other couples to see samples of outfits to wear here.
Should I get my ring cleaned?
Yes! I will be photographing your engagement ring and I'll be getting up close and personal with it :)
Should I get professional hair and makeup?
This is totally up to what you're comfortable with!! A lot of brides will use the engagement session as an opportunity to do the practice trial of hair or makeup with the stylist/makeup artist they're using for the wedding day. Others will take the day to get pampered and go and get their hair and makeup done just for fun :) Others are amazing at doing their own and choose to go that route too! So many options, the best is to choose what you feel most comfortable with!
What if we want to bring props or pets?
Let's start with props first! Couples love to make their sessions unique, and I've had couples bring flowers, signs, cards, balloons, and even a canoe! :) You don't need to feel pressured to bring a prop, however if you'd like to bring something that is special to the two of you as a couple - a blanket for a picnic, your favorite bottle of wine, etc., please do!
Now for pets - lots of my couples are dog-lovers and want pictures of their little family all together :) I would love to photograph you two with your pet, and I always suggest the following: we will start the session with your pet and then we will move on to pictures of just the two of you. If a 3rd person comes along to either help take care of your pet or comes to take the pet home, that will help you two focus on having fun and reduce any stress. Certain locations don't allow pets so there may be some limitations with that, but either way we'll make it work and have fun!
What should we do if we want multiple locations? How many can we do in 1 hour?
In Chicago we can typically do 2 locations within an hour if they are close to each other. If you are interested in multiple city locations that require travel between each one, I would recommend upgrading to a 2 hour session. This can be added for $300, and this addition will be paid for the day of or before the session, it will not be added onto the final invoice.
What if it rains? What if it's too cold? What if it's overcast?
The wonderful thing about an engagement session is the flexibility we have! If the forecast is calling for rain, we will reschedule for another day. If it's overcast, have no fear; cloudy days can be some of the best lighting for a session! If your session is from October through April and it gets to be below 30 degrees, we will reschedule for a warmer day. I want you guys to be comfortable and able to have fun, and sometimes the cold can make that hard :)
How soon after the session will we see our images?
I almost always post a sneak peek image within 24-48 hours after the session. Within a week you'll see a blog post, and within 2 weeks you'll have your full gallery delivered!
Tell me about location permits? Do we pay for them? What about parking fees?
Certain locations require permits for us to photograph there. Permit fees vary from location to location, but the clients are responsible for getting and paying for any permit and parking fees. I'll let you know if a location requires one as we narrow down which spot you'll want to use! All parking fees must be covered by the client the day of the session. If your location is in Chicago, the parking fees are already covered in the $50 parking/travel fee that is added to your final wedding invoice.
Why is an engagement session important to have?
I love doing engagement sessions for so many reasons! One, it allows us to work together before the wedding day, in a calm setting where we can just have fun together and relax. It gets those initial jitters that everyone has about getting their photo taken out of the way. The images can be a great addition to the wedding day portraits, especially when it comes to locations. A lot of my city weddings will opt for a suburb location, and vice versa to get a variety of images. We also have a lot of control over engagement photos that we might not have on the wedding day - the time of day they're taken, the weather, the location, etc. Once you receive your photos, you can use them for Save the Date cards or guest books for the wedding day. The best part is, an engagement session adds an extra layer of trust between us, helping you to relax on the wedding day because you already know what to expect!
Q. How can we make the most of our session?
A. Be prepared to have fun, hang out, and just love on each other :) This is such a special time for the two of you, and while the thought of taking photos can seem daunting, I promise, it's actually quite fun and can be a really wonderful hour that you get to spend together as a couple. Happiness cannot be faked, so a positive attitude will help bring out genuine emotions in your photos :)
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