Engagement Sessions, FAQ

Alrighty, there’s a lot of talk today among brides and brides to be about the Engagement Session.  I’ve heard everything from “total waste of time and money”, to “the best investment we made”, and everything in between.  Derica and I got together and decided to assemble a little F.A.Q. about Engagements, and what to expect from us.

  • “We are already engaged, we don’t need an Engagement Session.”  — Well, let’s get something right from the get-go.  It’s just called an Engagement Session, just a name.  It’s purpose is to celebrate your engagement, not document it, though, there have been times where we did actually photograph the giving of the ring and the proposal, very cool stuff.  An Engagement Session gives a sort of trial run with your photographer.  We get to know you, what you like, your personalities, and you get to see just how wacky we can be and what you are in for on the wedding day.  Honestly, it’s a great way for us all to get comfortable with each other.  Let’s face it, most people shy away from the camera, we need to know ahead of time how to approach you to get the best from you when we do photograph you!
  • “Where should we have our session?” – Generally, it’s best to shoot someplace your photographer is used to.  We have places all over Tampa Bay that we know like the backs of our hands.  Instead of location, think “Mood”.  Do you want generally light and happy?  Maybe the park is a good place for you.  Do you want the “Florida experience”?  Maybe something at the beach would work for you…. prepare to get wet, lots of fun!  Are you into the urban scene?  Maybe something a bit edgy?  Ybor City offers all the grit and questionable ground liquids you can handle.  What is our favorite?  Well, I would say Ybor City, but… it’s not for everyone, so really think about what you want your photographs to look and feel like.
  • “How should we dress?  What should we wear?” –There is no right answer here.  There are some wrong ones though.  In general, shorts and t-shirts are a bad idea.  Exceptions do exist, but, the look tends to be a little too casual.    At the beach-  Ladies:  Sundresses, just not something too transparent when wet, for the Guys:  sandals, long pants, long sleeve shirts, linen works wonderfully.  Imagine you just went out to dinner at a little place next to the water, and decided to go for a romantic walk afterward.  Yeah, it works, trust me.  For Ybor City—Suits and “Little Black Dress” type outfits work amazingly well.  We had one couple sit down in the middle of an alley with a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag.  They looked like they just came from a Grand Ball of some sort, was amazing.  For the Park–  This is a bit more lenient, Spring and Summer colors work well, I still think sundresses are perfect for the ladies, and pants and rolled up sleeve, long sleeved shirts for the guys.  Casual, but, still maybe more than jeans.
  • “How long will the session take?” –We plot about 45 minutes, but, in some cases we are done sooner.  We allow time for talking in between “scenes” and some people just work quicker than others.  Sometimes we might be in a more trafficked area so we have to be patient and wait for pedestrians, cars, wildlife, etc to pass by.  Sometimes Brian just starts blabbering and it takes longer….. but Derica tries to control that.
  • “What time of day will our session be?” – In NEARLY EVERY CASE, just about every time, 99% of instances, and did I mention nearly all situations?  An hour prior to sunset or, the first hour after sunrise is best.  Now, Brian only sees sunrise when he hasn’t slept yet…. not pretty, and not a good time for him to photograph you, so….. sunset it is.  Why is that?  Well, here in Florida, we get VERY harsh sun, as if I need to tell you.  This harshness results in squinting, raccoon eyes, nasty shadows, and in general, crappy photos most of the time.   However, during the last hour of the day, the sun seems to soften a bit, the angle to the ground is steeper so we get lovely directional softer light that allows us to manipulate that light to be beautiful, flattering and interesting for couple’s portraits.
  • “How many pictures should we expect?” – Your results may vary, but… we try for forty or more from an Engagement Session to give you a good idea of what we do.  We try to do many different looks and styles so we can find what you like and works best with your personalities and tastes.


Still have questions?  Feel free to contact us!  It’s what we are here for.