We have talked a lot about engagement photos over here on the King’s Things blog over the years and have done so for good reason. Mostly we do it because an engagement is a great way to build a relationship with your photographer and ensure your wedding photos are going to be an amazing as possible. BUT! These photos are also a great way for couples to be creative and really let their personality shine through in their images. Unlike the wedding photos, which tend to be slightly restricted when it comes to scheduling and locations, your engagement session can be anything you want it to be. You have the option to wait for the perfect season or weather, you can change your wardrobe as many times as you want and you can jump from location to location without worrying about vendors, your guests or a specific timeline. This flexibility lets you have fun and be as creative and expressive as you want to be.
One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to be creative with your engagement photos is to play around with the timing of your session. Different times of the day and/or year can yield very different and distinct results, and if you choose your timing intentionally to fit your style, vision and personality, then your engagement photos will be even more special than you may have originally thought they could be.
To help you out with making a timing decision, we have made some notes on the different seasons and times of day so you know the possibilities (and challenges!) of each.
Different seasons have different aesthetics. If you have some wiggle room with your schedule, give some thought to which seasonal "look" will best suit your photos. You can decide to do them in the same season as your wedding so they have the same look/vibe as your wedding pictures or you could choose to do them in a different one to have a little contrast in your photos.
Winter: Not the greatest time for "outdoors in the woods" types of shots, but sunset colors tend to be super vibrant this time of year and who doesn't love a great "snuggling in my winter gear" shot? You can also try to time a nice snowy winter shot if your area kicks butt at the Winter Wonderland game. This could also be a good time if you are considering a nice indoor session in your home or at a location that means something to you and your honey.
Spring: This season has great temperatures and could make for some great outdoor shots if you catch the flowers in bloom. It also tends to be super rainy and wet, so talk to your photographer about their policy on backup dates and rescheduling just in case. You may want to avoid this season if allergies are a big problem for you or your fiances - puffy, red and scratchy eyes can difficult to fix with photoshop or post-processing.
Summer: Could make for great warm-weather outfit shots and, as long as it isn't raining, outdoor shots will always look nice this time of year. But high temperatures and humidity may make you look a bit sweaty and hot. Nothing a good makeup kit can't solve, though!
Fall: A great time to catch the fall colors and the temperatures can be nice this time of year. But, like spring, the weather can be a bit finicky and you never know when the fall colors will change. Again, check to see if your photographer is willing to be flexible about these issues before getting your heart set on this season.
Time of day
Folks don’t often realize that the time of day can have a big (and often fun) effect on your photos. As the sun moves around in the sky, the light will change how things look and therefore make your photos look slightly different from one hour to the next. Each has it opportunities and challenges, but none should be overlooked as an option!
Golden Hour: Defined as the first few hours after sunrise and the last few hours before sunset, this time of day has a beautiful warm glow and nice even lighting that makes photos look gorgeous. This is the most popular time to take photos.
Mid-day: At this time of day, the sun's rays tend to be a little harsh and can be difficult to use for flattering, Pinterest-worthy photos. This doesn't mean photos at this time are impossible - the harsh effects of mid-day sun can be overcome with the creative use of artificial lighting.
Night: This is probably the least popular time to take photos, but it is not a time that should be ignored. Photos taken at night will definitely have a distinct look and can create opportunities for fantastic looking shots.
Here are some examples of how they all look side by side so you can see the differences:
With all of these tips, chat with your photographer about what kinds of looks/styles you want to capture with your engagement photos and see what kind of plan you can make to time the accordingly.
We hope this has helped spark some ideas for your engagement photos!