Updated: Jun 21
I am not going to lie, I absolutely LOVE shooting engagement sessions! Not only are they a great way to ease yourself in to having your picture taken for your wedding day, but it is also a special moment where you can be a all loved up and really excited about being engaged! Who doesn't love hanging out with their fiance for an hour, snuggling up and laughing!? It can also be an awesome opportunity to make sure you feel comfortable with your photographer and that you love the way they work. I approach all my engagement sessions like I am having a fun afternoon with friends. None of that awkward posing here, but rather lots of fun candid moments and funny prompts whilst your interacting and just being together! Sound like your cup of tea? Well read on to hear about some of my favorite spots to shoot, some tips for the shoot and more!
Choosing a location: The first question to ask yourselves is what type of vibe are you going for with your photos? Forest, beach, gardens, field, urban etc? Once you have that nailed down then choosing a spot for your photos definitely gets a lot easier! Some couples like to choose a location or vibe that they won't be able to get on their wedding day as well! Here are some of my favourite locations to shoot at: Flinders Cliffs, Mornington Peninsula VIC
One of my favourite things about this location is its versatility and EPIC views! You not only get to have the gorgeous cliffs in the background, but you can also venture down to the beach and get the best of both worlds! Add in those dreamy grassy fields and beautiful tones come sunset and I am one happy photographer! Check out some more examples from this location here. R J Hamer Arboretum, Olinda VIC
When shooting in the Dandenong Ranges it can be a bit tricky finding spots that catch the gorgeous sunset and sunrise, but R J Hamer does both! Along with have some pretty gorgeous views of the ranges and lots of sneaky, hidden away spots for photos, R J Hamer is one of my all time favs! Of course, being an arboretum means there are lots and lots of different vibes in the one spot too! Check out some more photos from this stunning spot here!
Styling: I often get asked 'what should we wear?' in the lead up to engagement shoots, and I think one of the most important things to remembers is that you should wear something that feels like you! Don't be pressured to wear what you think is 'insta-worthy' if it isn't your style! From a photographers point of view, it is best to avoid black on your upper body as it doesn't reflect light very well and doesn't look as good in images. Avoiding heavily patterned materials is also suggested as this can sometimes be distracting, or class with the other person's outfit. Neutral or similar tones across both your outfits tends to work the best, but as mentioned before there is definitely no right or wrong! Just make sure you feel like you! If you are after some style inspiration check out a board I have created on Pinterest for just that here!
Bringing your pet: YES. A MILLION TIMES YES. I WILL BE THE BEST ANIMAL WRANGLER AND WILL TAKE A BILLION PHOTOS OF YOU ARE YOU FUR CHILD.
Timing and availability: As mentioned above I adore the light at both sunset and sunrise, so often I try my best to schedule my engagement shoots within these times. I usually meet my couples about 1 hour before sunset, or alternatively right on the scheduled sunrise (I am talking to you, you early risers haha) This obviously changes depending on the time of year and daylight savings. It is also important to know which way that sun is either rising or setting and what would work best with the location chosen! Not to worry too much though, I think about all these things so you don't have to! It is however super important to think about the season in which you are taking your photos in. The location itself if going to look super different depending if it is Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter! This will also impact that way the colours look in your photo too! From about September - April is peak wedding season and this often means limited availability on weekends, so make sure to keep this in mind when planning your engagement session! I always do my absolute best to accomodate request.
Adventures: I know I say it a lot, but it is really true. I would do pretty much anything to get an epic photo. If you are keen to hike up to an amazing spot for an amazing shot, I am so there. I am all about making sure you not only get the shots you are dreaming about, but making sure you feel relaxed and are having fun while doing it! I am up for all the adventures!