Engagement Session Season is well underway, and I wanted to put together some tips for my 2017 & 2018 couples to help prepare them for their upcoming sessions. For a lot of couples, their Engagement Session is the first time they are professionally photographed together, and so many folks come in with a lot of nerves.

Here are my top 5 tips to make your Engagement Session a TON of fun, and not an event to stress over (and, subsequently, how to ensure that you will LOVE your photos!):

1. MAKE A DATE OF IT

Your lives are super hectic, and I get that. But you've committed to being here with me in this meadow for an hour, so why not commit to a little extra prep time? Make a date of it. Spend the afternoon listening to records together or dreaming up plans for future travels or have a coffee date together and go for a stroll somewhere lovely. Do something that makes you feel close. By the time we meet up, you'll be fresh and full of love for having spent the time together, and your photos will show that closeness right from the beginning of the session.

2. BE ALONE

I have a tendency to keep repeating "I'm not here! Pretend I'm not here!" during photo sessions, because I want you to be as real as you can be. In the end, these photos are not for me. They are for you two to have and to cherish and to visually remind you of what love that real feels like. This only works if you remember that I am not there, and that you two need to be totally present with each other. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be Honest. Be alone together.

3. BE YOURSELVES

Just do you. If you're the kind of people who are always joking and laughing or throwing sarcasm around, awesome! If you are quiet and cuddly, that's wonderful. If there is a specific way you like to sneak up behind him and lay your chin on his shoulder, I want to see that. This is the part where we forget the images of what we think an engagement session on pinterest is supposed to look like, and craft a session full of what it looks like to be the two of you. The result will be memories, rather than poses. 

4. WEAR WHAT YOU WEAR

One thing that so many couples get wrapped up in is trying to match outfits and build the perfect look, but just as trying to recreate someone else's session won't create memories, trying to recreate an outfit from pinterest will leaving you feeling off your game and not like yourself. Wear what you wear. Wear what feels comfortable and natural and confident. Don't not dress up, if that's what you like to do, but don't feel like you have to.

5. HAVE FUN WITH THE LOCATION

There's no rule that says you need to have a photo session at Quidi Vidi. Or Signal Hill. These are great locations that can be fun, but it can be so much more meaningful to choose a spot that means something to you, or to choose an adventure. Have a sweet at-home session in your kitchen, because you love cooking together or because you are homebodies who are proud of the space you've built together. Or on the East Coast Trail because you both love hiking there, or in your favourite coffee shop. Have a fire on the beach because the ocean soothes you, or let's drive to Brigus because it reminds you of that time you went to the Blueberry festival together when you were dating. This is such an awesome opportunity to have an adventure. Don't just make it something to cross off the wedding to-do list!