I'm a wedding photographer based in Ottawa Ontario, but travels worldwide. My photography approach is intentional, honest and editorial. An organic approach to capture fleeting moments. This blog lives to inspire your wedding photos and provide you planning tips.
You just said yes to the love of your life, now you consider adding an engagement session to your long list of “what you should do if you are getting married” list.
I want to make sure that you’ll walk out of this either knowing that an engagement session isn’t for you or being completely sold on the idea and now having the knowledge to an engagement session thats unique to you.
Ask yourself this…
1. Are you tired of just having selfies, shitty quality photos and awkward poses? Do you want to have print-worthy photos to show off on social media and display in your home? Do you want photos that are real, raw and authentic, in a place that you love doing whatever it is you like to do.
2. Do you feel uber awkward in front of a camera? despite knowing in your mind that you have picked the best wedding photographer, you love her/her work and trust his/her expertise. BUT! you still have this nagging little voice saying. “my photos are NOT gonna turn out great because I am awkward as heck “
Here’s the deal. If you said YES that’s a good sign that an engagement session would really be worth investing into.
You are investing lots of $$$ dollar bills and you want to be sure that you made the right choice.
– it’s another cost
– you feel awkward in front of a camera so why put yourself through it
all VERY valid reasons! honestly, if you don’t have the budget for this and you would rather invest in an epic DJ because you want to throw an epic big party. Don’t feel inclined to get engagement photos done just because of the wedding industry, your friends or blogs told you to.
Also, you can always get couples photo after your wedding, maybe plan to get one done on your first anniversary? or a vow renewal 5 years later. If it’s not something you find important or something that won’t bring value. DITCH IT.
– You get to meet your wedding photographer way before the wedding day
– You get to experience firsthand how they would photograph you on your wedding day. This experience will give you peace of mind knowing that you are truly in good hands.
– You get amazing images of you and your partner in this exciting season of your life.
“I feel awkward in front of a camera… help!” or ” I am just so sure we are gonna look like total idiots”
Take Sarah and Jamie’s Engagement Session at Wakefield Bridge. Sarah brought up her concerns regarding looking like idiots during their engagement session but after receiving her gallery this is what she said:
“I was so sure we were gonna look like idiots, but you clearly so good at what you do. I am so in love with the photos, we are incredibly happy with how they turned out…. you did such an amazing job… omg they are stunning”
I am not here to twist your wrist into getting engagement photos but it’s something that I hope you consider. Weight the pros and cons and then make a knowledgeable decision.
Pick a place that screams to the world who you are as a couple. The key is to be in your element, doing something and being somewhere you both enjoy doing long before your photographer came into the picture.
If you’re an adventurous couple and spends the weekend hiking, get your photos done at your favourite trail. Are you into camping and road trips? heck, I am down to be there for you capturing you in your most natural setting. On the other hand, if you two are more homebodies that love to cuddle, cook, and enjoy date nights spent watching Netflix an in-home session might best suit you instead.
Location ideas are; a gorgeous Airbnb, sand dunes, mountain, at a theme park, favourite restaurant/ cafe/ pub, downtown, your home, where he proposed or where you guys first met. Another great option is having your engagement photo shoot in a whole new place… the world is your oyster!
We all have that one outfit that makes us feel like the beauty queen we really are. It might be those jeans that hug you on the right areas and makes your ass just oh so good looking. The one shirt in your closet that feels so so good on your skin, like you’re in cloud 9. Or shoes that make you feel cool and on-trend.
I want you to wear that! Because when you wear clothes you feel confident and comfortable in you’ll feel 110% better than wearing an outfit that doesn’t scream you.
Feeling comfortable starts with wearing something you feel good in.
engagement photoshoot outfit tips are; pick neutral colours, avoid logos and a lot of patterns. Don’t match, coordinate. Your location might also be a good indication of the direction of the outfit that you want to wear, for example, I wouldn’t recommend heels when you are on the beach, but that pretty self-explanatory, I would hope. check out my Pinterest Outfit Board for a little inspiration
Once you hire me you’ll get exclusive access to my what to wear guide
It’s a great excuse to book an appointment and get your hair, makeup and nails tested before your wedding day. This is a rare occasion and why not take advantage of the opportunity to get a little dolled up.
I’m not just talking about the ladies! Guys can get a haircut, beard grooming and if they are daring enough get their nails done together. Needless to say, rocking the minimal/no-makeup makeup look is always my go-to and preferred avenue. But girl you do you!!!
Lighting can drastically change the feel and mood. Believe me when I say it makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Consider picking a time during golden hour. This when the lighting outside is the most flattering on your face aka no harsh shadows cause we don’t like that.
If you want that warm glow I recommend checking the weather and booking your session two or an hour before sunset or sunrise. Golden Hour starts before sunset and after the sunrise when the sun is just over the horizon.
Gimme all the nice glow, but rest assured. Most photographers know how to work with every lighting. Cloudy days also give more even lighting. so don’t be worried if the weather isn’t how you expect. You hired your photographer for a reason. hopefully, that’s because they are good at their job.
Props can be anything from adding accessories such as hats and jewelry. The props need to make sense of the surroundings and weather. You are also welcome to bring drinks, beer, sparkling wine, bubble tea (yeah!) coffee, tea etc…
Did you know you can bring your fur babies!? YES! that’s right might that be your doggo, cats or even your rabbit. Want to know how you can incorporate them into your engagement photo? Check this blog out
Hello, I’m Mary if you didn’t know i document love stories and I would be so ecstatic to take your engagement photos, but kidding’s a side definitely hire a professional photographer.
More importantly, hire YOUR wedding photographer to take your engagement photos.
You can use the photos in so many ways from invitations, an album, wedding website, etc. but it boils down to this, You get to know how your wedding photographer works and vice versa your photographer gets to know how you two interact. Your wedding will role in and the nerves go bouncers and how awesome would it be to eliminate the thought of “I hope we don’t look awkward in our photos.”
Having that reassurance of “wow, that wasn’t so hard. It was actually so much and we actually rocked it” is how I want you to feel coming out of your engagement session and into your wedding day. You gained some self-confidence and trust your wedding photographer even more than you thought you did when you hired her/him.
When my boyfriend decided to join the military and had to go away for months with little to no communication. I invested in hiring a professional photographer before he left as a gift. That was two years ago and up until now I still love and adore the photos taken of us. We look so young and innocent and it brings me so much pleasure seeing the photos.
Mary Calotes is an elopement and wedding photographer based in Ottawa, Ontario. Specializes in capturing genuine moments that gives you all the feels.