Although engagement sessions are the most exciting time to get to know each other through photography, it can also be the most nerve-wracking! Since this is likely the first time you’ll be shooting with your photographer, there are a lot of things you’ll probably be worried about. First, what on earth will we do for a full 90 minutes together? No props, bouquets or bridal party to take the pressure off – you’ll certainly have some of those “I don’t know what to do with my hands” moments – but don’t worry! We’re here to answer all of your burning questions!
Why are engagement sessions so important?
Just like every photographer is different, every couple is different! We are not cookie-cutter shooters – we do our best by getting to know you and your unique relationship. So even if you’ve had photos taken in the past, it’s a new experience getting to work with us! The opportunity to work together before your wedding is absolutely invaluable to us. It helps us understand your best angles, smiles and how you look the most natural. We can try different types of shots – from romantic to silly to playful – and see which make you the most comfortable.
And that’s not even touching on our part yet! Since we each photograph and pose differently from the other, it will help you get an understanding of how we communicate through our camera. For instance, Kristen tends to speak in sounds and half-sentences while she’s shooting! Once we spend an hour together for your session, the wedding day will be a breeze! You’ll feel more comfortable and know exactly what to expect! Plus, you’ll trust all our crazy ideas a little bit more!
Location, Location, Location!
The perfect location is one where you’d actually venture to on a Sunday afternoon date. Don’t worry too much about choosing somewhere “scenic,” because we can work magic in a parking garage or any plain old park. It’s all about light, and that’s something we can’t plan! We like to pick one location that has a lot of variety within a short walking distance so we aren’t wasting time by traveling between spots. We also like to opt for spots that aren’t generally crowded – shooting around passerby’s can be difficult at times, and some couples feel a little awkward being romantic in front of strangers!
We’ll list some of our favorite spots to shoot below (and link to some other sessions we’ve shot there) – but we’ve photographed everywhere from libraries to bowling alleys – the key is to keep it special for the 2 of you! So don’t hesitate to reach out to us to brainstorm some truly unique ideas!
If you’re looking for open space, grassy areas, forest and fields – we recommend Oviedo, Baldwin Park and some of the natural preserves, like Wekiva Springs and Lake Louisa!
The fields at Baldwin Park are especially beautiful in the fall months
Sarah and Andy joined Kristen at various parks in Oviedo – Riverside and Barr St.
Baldwin Park shot at 9am in the morning on medium format film
If you’d like more of an urban vibe, we like shooting at Hannibal Square, or downtown by the library. The ‘Milk District’ has some awesome murals, too. For walls, alleyways and hidden treasures, you can’t miss with Downtown Orlando!
The back alleys of Park Avenue are a great option for a more urban vibe
In Tampa, we love shooting at Hyde Park area
Murals, like this one in Melbourne, can offer great options for a burst of color
For historic architecture and bright colors, Rollins campus and Park Avenue have some of the best spots! Casa Feliz is right around the corner, and Alfond Inn is down the street (additional “permit” fees may apply for Casa Feliz and Alfond). Celebration offers another look for bright colored buildings.
Park Avenue on Winter Park has beautiful colored walls
The park on the main strip of Park Avenue has beautiful light at sunset
The side streets around the Alfond Inn in Winter Park make for a great fashionable feel
Alleys behind Park Ave with lots of great foliage
The courtyard at Knowles Chapel at Rollins campus is a personal favorite of Kristen’s to shoot!
Campus buildings at Rollins campus
Rollins campus has some amazing spots for both casual and dressy options!
If flowers and parks are more your thing, try looking at Leu Gardens or Mead Gardens! We also love the variety at Bok Tower in Lake Wales. Additional entrance and travel fees may apply for these locations.
On the left, Bok Tower in Lake Wales. On the right, a private ranch in Okeechobee
For something unique, we recommend “At Home” sessions!
Ananda and Shamir’s at-home engagement session
This at-home session in Jacksonvile of Jenn and David featured their dog, Bella.
And if you’re feeling like the sand in your toes, our favorite beach location is over near Cocoa Beach, called Jetty Park (Additional entrance and travel fees apply). This is a quiet, not-busy beach spot with incredible sunsets and a rock jetty where you can watch the cruise ships leave!
Jetty Park is a favorite spot for a quiet beach – but it can get very windy!
We’re constantly updating our location gallery for more ideas – so if you need some more places to check out, definitely take a peek here: http://proofs.kristenweaver.com/gallery/engagements/
What to wear & what to bring
Choose something that is comfortable and suits your style. Usually we like to shoot two different outfits, one casual one dressy, but wear what you love and feel great in. Also, if you need some inspirations we have a Pinterest board with tons of ideas, HERE is the link. ‘Rent the Runway’ has some AMAZING dresses and outfits that you can rent and ship back when you are done, gotta love that! We love when brides add small details like, bright or unique jewelry, a fun print on a dress or top etc. One key tip to remember: try to have one person wearing a playful print, and the other wearing a solid complimentary color – this adds so much visual interest without much aesthetic clash.
Now, a quick word about props! We are not really “prop-photographers”. Meaning that we prefer to shoot you guys naturally as you are! If you’d like to bring a bottle of champagne or one sign that you plan to use for save the dates, or maybe a cute blanket to cuddle in – that’s fine. But please don’t bring an entire bag of things we need to shoot. It’s really difficult for us to get in to a “flow” together when we’re constantly picking out what to shoot with next!
Your furchild is welcome!
If you didn’t already know, we’re kind of animal crazy over at KWP. So if you have a pet and want to include them in your session – our answer will always be YES. It’s a good idea to bring along a friend or family member with your pet for the first part of the session so that they can take them back home (or just for a walk) while we finish up! Or they can always meet us at the end of the session instead. Either way, we absolutely adore including pets in your session!
Hair & Makeup
We highly recommend having your hair and makeup professionally done for your session. Many of our brides will actually use that day as an opportunity to have their trials that day, and then they can just bring it down a bit before you leave for your session. Don’t stress if the makeup is a bit darker than what you would wear normally! Makeup for photography tends to be a little heavier so it will show up the best on camera. Check our preferred vendors section for recommended stylists! And don’t forget to bring some translucent powder and lip touch-ups along for your session.
Posing vs. Direction
Although we will pose our couples to a certain degree, we like to focus more on calling it “direction”. We want you to act as “you” as possible to achieve the most natural interactions together!
You’ll see that we do a lot of “motion” style poses – like walking together or being playful. That helps us get some of those genuine smiles! Each one of us approaches our shoots slightly different – and we also understand that every client is different, and has a different relationship! So we’ll play with some posing that may seem a bit out of your comfort zone – but it’s all to get a better idea of where you are the most comfortable!
Most importantly – have fun! If you feel like doing something, do it! Those spontaneous poses and facial expressions are always the most treasured and most reflect your unique personality.
People get nervous in front of the camera, don’t worry it is natural. If you feel nervous, it could be a great idea to grab a glass of wine or get a drink beforehand to take the nerves down a notch. But keep it at one or two, we want you to make it to your session!
Date & Time
Engagement sessions will usually last about 1- 1.5 hours, so get ready to spend some time together! We like to start shooting about 2 hours before the sun sets – the light is amazing at this time of day (we like to call it “Golden Hour”). Typically, we will shoot on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursdays. If you need another day of the week, please contact us for availability.
Weekends are usually full for weddings, so you may have to wait several months for a weekend opening! In general, locations tend to be extremely congested on weekends, so for many reasons we steer clear of weekend shoots.
- Contact our studio manager, to select a date for your session – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Start thinking about location for your shoot and confirm with us
- Prepare 2-3 outfits for each of you for your session
- Keep your beauty routine simple – no spray-tanning!
- Enjoy your session!
- Teasers will be posted a few days following your shoot on our Facebook Page or Instagram
- Your entire gallery will be launched about 3-4 weeks after with a PIN for you to download
- You can order save the date cards through Minted with our special link!
Please call or email us if you have any questions. We are so excited and looking forward to getting to know more about you as a couple!