Hi, we're Hunter and Sarah, a husband-and-wife, luxury wedding photography team. We’re also educators, helping other photographers build profitable and sustainable photography businesses.
Over the years, Hunter and I have heard some engagement sessions horror stories. Whether it was from friends of ours who worked with another professional, or from couples who did an engagement session with a friend or amateur photographer before booking with us, we’ve heard it all. From showing up an hour late to forgetting to bring a memory card to the session, Know this: if your photographer shows up to your engagement session and tells you to “do something cute”, fire them right away! Your photographer SHOULD pose you and walk you through each step of the process – that’s their job.
While every photographer has a different approach to posing – some go for a candid feel while others have a more structured posing system – it’s ultimately up to them to be in control of your session. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few tricks up your sleeve to look your absolute best!
Here’s our favorite tips – our “Engagement Session Secrets” – to improve any pose and make you look your most beautiful during your engagement session!
Many people are familiar with “the skinny arm”, where you place your hand on your waist and keep your elbow bent at 90-degrees to make your arm appear as skinny as possible. It’s been around forever, but isn’t the only way to flatter your features. The key is this: never smoosh your arm flat against the side of your body. However, even a slight gap makes a big difference, and there are plenty of options that look just as natural and flirty as the skinny arm!
There’s a reason you don’t see very many models walk the runway slouched over or looking down – there’s something innately flattering about melting your shoulder blades into each other while keeping your chin level with the ground. There’s a reason people take selfies from above and not below!
Other than helping our couples feel confident and comfortable in front of our cameras, our biggest goal during an engagement session is to tell the love story of our couple through images. But how can you tell a story without speaking a single word? Well, as photographers we’ve learned tricks that visually display how our couples feel about each other. One of those tricks is simply keeping our couples close to each other! Being physically closer to your fiancé will visually (and subtly) express intimacy.
This is one of our favorite poses – a fresh take on the classic “walking shot”. We’ll have our couples hold hands or link arms and walk towards our cameras as they smile and laugh. However, we ask our ladies to imagine they’re walking on a balance beam – one foot in front of the other. This, combined with the ultra-slow pace of walking, is how it earned its name, “The Baywalk” (We name all our poses to make things more light and fun, and to make the entire process easier when we re-introduce some of the same posing structures on the wedding day).
We always preface our engagement sessions with the following disclaimer: throughout our time together, we may ask you to interact or pose in ways that you might not on a typical Wednesday afternoon. However, know that anytime a pose feels strange or different, we would never ask our couples to do anything that we didn’t know looked absolutely amazing! We’re professionals, and have captured dozens of engagement sessions during our career. Just relax, enjoy yourselves, and leave all the posing to us!
Thanks for reading our Engagement Session Secrets! Of course, we could only give away a small percentage of our favorite tips and tricks. We’ve gotta save something for our couples, after all! If you’re interested in learning more about an engagement session or wedding photography experience with us, click here to contact us!