One question I'm frequently asked is, "When should we schedule our engagement session?" Well, really that's up to you. Some things to take into consideration are what season would you like as the setting for your portraits and how you would you like to use your portraits.
As for season, there really isn't a season that wouldn't work. I have photographed engagement portraits on almost 100* days in the heat of summer. I've also photographed engagement sessions in freezing temps with the snow falling. All seasons are beautiful in their own way. They each have their benefits and challenges.
Let's face it, we live in the Midwest and winters tend to be cold here, so if you're planning on heading outside for a winter session be prepared. The fun thing about the cold is that you can layer your outfits, adding warm, rich textures. Cotton or wool dress coats offer a sleek and sophisticated look to your outfit and mittens can be a fun pop of color (though consider taking them off for a few so everyone can see your shiny new ring!). Blankets make fun props to snuggle in and a great way to add in your wedding colors to the portraits. Winter lends itself to cool tones and bold, rich colors.
The sun sets pretty early during the winter, so your session would likely need to start in the mid-afternoon in order to catch the golden hour before it's gone.
Spring is beautiful and full of the signs of new life, budding trees and a wide array of blossoms. Being in the Midwest, it can be difficult to predict exactly when the blooms will arrive, as the temperatures can vary greatly from day to day, but they are so lovely once they arrive. Spring is the perfect time of year for soft pastels and muted tones. It is a great time to breakout some cute sandals and a flow-y dress with a cute sweater.
As the days get longer, the sunsets start later, meaning your session would start in the early-mid evening.
Summer is vibrant and green. Though, the weather can be quite hot, even late in the evening. Summer is a great time for bright, fun colors. It can lend itself to beautiful soft tones as well. Though, be mindful with your outfit choices, so you don't get too hot during your session.
The sun sets pretty late in the day, so sessions begin pretty late in the day in order to take full advantage of the gorgeous golden hour light.
Fall is full of rich, golden tones as the leaves change. Generally, Midwestern falls are a time of mild weather and gorgeous sunsets. While the leaf change isn't completely predictable, mid-October is generally a great time to catch the colors of the season. Fall is the perfect time for layer sweaters, wearing boots, adding a pop of color with a scarf, and having some extra fun with your wardrobe. Fall is a great time for warm tones and jewel tones.
The days slowly get shorter, making sun set earlier and earlier as you get later into the fall.
Once you settle on a season, or even while contemplating when your session should be, consider what you want to use your portraits for. If you plan to use your session for Save the Date cards, be sure to complete it at least six months before the wedding day. If you are considering an album or guest book customized with your beautiful portraits, you will want to schedule the session at least three months before the big day. If you just want to make prints to share with family or to put an announcement in the paper, you can schedule less than three months before the wedding. These time frames can vary greatly from photographer to photographer. Be sure to contact your photographer to ensure you allow enough time so you can create the products and keepsake you want.
I hope you've found some food for thought to help you plan when to schedule your engagement session. Be sure to check back again soon for more of our Wedding Wednesday series!
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