The infamous engagement session that has become very popular for today's couples (as it should). This is the perfect time for you and your photographer to become comfortable both in front of the lens as well as behind. You should always be engaged with your photographer for the duration of your wedding planning process. These are going to be the photographs that express to the world, the love you both share for one another. Whether you are quiet and reserved, or very expressive. However, sometimes the engagement session is highly overthought.
Typically engagement sessions are planned for one location like a park, or inside a venue like a brewery where you love to hang out with your favorite guy/girl. But the unorthodox theory of all this would be, to just have your photographer follow you around for a couple hours during a date night (or day). Don't lock yourself down to one location. Especially when your 'gut' isn't fully confident of the photographs you will have to hang on your wall. Like the wedding itself, the engagement sessions are precious commodity to have leading up to your wedding. The photographs will tell the story about you. Tell your story the way it was meant to be told; your way!
Last year I was honored to photograph a couple in New York City, and we did just that, an engagement "date". The session was highly unusually as we spent about 4 hours roaming around different locations throughout Brooklyn and Long Island City. We randomly walked through Brooklyn Brewery and were given access to shoot within the location thanks to the management staff. Big shout out to them again for that awesome hospitality! Apparently New York, against common theory, is very hospitable after all. This included standing in the middle of the 59th street bridge to take the imagined photograph into reality. It didn't take long and everyone around us was perfectly fine with us pausing for 2 minutes in a city that never stops! Our session lasted from the late afternoon into the early evening just after sunset which provided a variety of photographs to work with and use during their upcoming engagement party.
Now, before I go any further, I will hold you to one thought. Not many photographers will ever dream up a job like this, nor will they agree to such requests. Four hours for an engagement session is slightly excessive, and due to time, may not always be feasible. So when you are thinking about your engagement session, but can't decide on one location or theme. How about just taking a 'date', bring the photographer along. I guarantee this will be a great opportunity to tell the story of who you are as a couple. Now you are probably thinking "great idea, but where do we go". So we've taken one dilemma and added another. What do we do? Well, I can't answer this for you, I'm sorry. But once I get to know you, maybe that will change. Though I do have a few ideas for you...
Engagement Date ideas:
1. Coffee shops
If you live in the city, start at your house and take a walk down the promodade around Fells Point. Stop at one of the awesome coffee shops around Baltimore and have a cup of coffee. Maybe even decide your next location from there.
2. Bike rides
Mhmm...I'll let that soak in for a moment. You're probably thinking how would this be possible. Let me explain. I would never ride a bike with a load of gear on my back. That is just not happening. BUT, this is very possible with assistants and a drone! Maybe this is my instant right hook for an engagement session idea that I would love to draw up. Either way, it's an idea for you!
3. Dinner date
Why not? This is another unusual idea that may even pose a little challenging (depending on the restaurant). Get your 'glam' on and go out on the town with your photographer for the evening.
4. Sporting event
This is something that I personally would love for my own engagement session. This would certainly be the example of a 4 hour long engagement session. You may even be inclined to break the social rule of leaving a ball game early and continue your session at a second location.
These are all just random ideas to help you think about your engagement session. Just remember the most important thing. It's your story, tell it your way. The possibilities are endless, don't ever think they are not. Find the photographer who's style and personality you love, who is willing to be adventurous. These are the first, most important photographs of the rest of your life together. In fifty years, hopefully you will be able to look back and remember every moment that lead to where you are!