• Charné Kingwill

Engagement Sessions: 10 Tips for the Camera-Shy Couple

Updated: Nov 20

So you’re a little nervous about your upcoming engagement session. Not sure what to do with your hands and what‑not. Honey, I’ve got you covered! Statistics show that couples who do an engagement session during the lead-up to their wedding day are 100% more comfortable during couple photos on their wedding day (facts). Here are my tips on prepping for your engagement session so you are looking fly as hell and feeling chill AF.



1. Dress for success

Confidence is key, which is why it is so important to look and feel your absolute best for this occasion. That dress that has you twirling and smiling like a little girl in Zara’s fitting rooms, that one piece that always gets you a million compliments or that adorable puff-sleeved jumpsuit you’ve had sitting in your cart for the past month, waiting for an excuse to buy - that is what you need to wear.


Comfort is a close second to confidence, because regardless of the location you’ve picked and the kind of activities you have lined up, any photoshoot involves moving around a lot. If you’re doing an engagement session with moi, you best believe you will be doing a lot of running, tumbling, cuddling and dancing, which which is not easy to do in six-inch heels. Make sure that your clothing allows you to move around freely and easily.



2. Leave hair and makeup to the pros

There’s nothing like an excuse to get your hair and make-up professionally done, amirite ladies (and gents)? This can also double as your wedding trial and gives you the opportunity to see what your makeup will look like on camera. It might mean spending a little more money in the end, but the results will be so worth it.


3. Bring on the bubbly

Nothing calms the nerves and makes for great photos like a glass of champers (or whatever your poison is). There is no shame in relying on a little liquid courage to ease you up before the shoot, so bottom’s up!


4. Spray it, don’t say it

Make sure you are wearing that perfume or cologne that your partner loves and you won’t be able to keep your hands off each other. Simple, yet effective. Thank me later.



5. Music

Music is essential for setting the mood for a relaxed session. Put your favourite songs on full blast on your way to the session and I guarantee you’ll go from psyched out to TURNT UP. I usually bring my trusty JBL Clip speaker to every session (if the environment allows it) with a custom playlist so that my couples can loosen up and get their groove on.



6. Bring a friend

If we're shooting in your home or outdoors, pets are always welcome! They make for super cute photos and are usually such a handful that you completely forget that you've got a camera pointed at you. It's a win-win.



7. Stay in your comfort zone

In other words: Go somewhere and do something you are familiar with. Making an activity you enjoy (like baking or hiking) part of your shoot not only helps you feel at ease, but also means that the final photos will be a true reflection of what makes you as a couple unique. Pick a location that has sentimental value to you, e.g. the coffee shop where you had your first date or the spot where he proposed. If you are adventurous couple, consider having your photos taken on your favourite hiking route. If you’re certified homebodies, snuggle up with your dogs for an intimate home-session.



8. Meet your photographer beforehand

Even if it is just over Zoom for a virtual coffee, it helps so much meeting your photog in person before the session. This gives you the opportunity to become familiar with them, ask questions and voice any insecurities or concerns to them.


9. Focus on each other

Don’t forget the reason why you are there in the first place: your partner! Your engagement session is an opportunity for you as a couple to laugh, have fun and exhibit all the PDA in the world without judgement. If you’re feeling awkward during the session, focus on these three things: eyes, hands and lips. Now, kith!



10. Trust your photographer

Trust me, your photographer knows what they are doing. Show up with an open mind and a positive attitude, take their guidance on board and you’re already halfway there.