Where & When To Shoot
Every location can have it’s challenges. It just matters how you prepare for them.
Choosing A Season
The main factors that impact the best time of year for your engagement session is sunlight, temperature, and your work schedule. We want to shoot in natural light and you’ll want to be relaxed and comfortable, so depending on your lifestyle one season may work better than another.
Between June and mid-September, the days are long and warm. This time of year gives us lots of flexibility for where and when we can shoot and what you can wear. You can invite us out to your cottage for a Sunday afternoon, or even have plenty of time after work on a weeknight evening, especially in June and July. With warm weather we can comfortably shoot outdoors in a variety of outfits.
And as an added bonus, the summertime sun lingers on the horizon much longer than any other time of year, so this gives us more shooting time in ideal light and stunning sunsets that won’t disappear in two minutes.
June 1 @ 9:30 PM
July 1 @ 9:40 PM
Aug 1 @ 9:11 PM
Sept 1 @ 8:13 PM
Autumn is a beautiful season for photos with a cool breeze and beautiful colours everywhere in nature, but be prepared for a little unpredictability. The days aren’t as long, so if we’re shooting on a weekday you might have to leave work a little early. And near the end of the season one gusty day can strip the trees of all colour, so don’t put it off too late! Autumn is perfect for a more cozy vibe with the warm colours and cute accessories like scarves and hats.
Sept 15 @ 7:42 PM
Oct 1 @ 7:07 PM
Oct 15 @ 6:38 PM
Though our winter months are long, you only have a short window early in the season to enjoy an outdoor engagement session comfortably. The snow might fall late-November, but by Christmas time a cold snap could change the weather for the worse. In our experience, anything colder than -5°C is too uncomfortable to shoot in. Layers will start hiding smiles and cheeks will be bright red. If you want that winter wonderland photo session, be prepared to be flexible and change plans with the weather. If you want to shoot indoors during winter, check out our Winter Photo Session Guide.
Nov 3 @ 5:03 PM
Nov 15 @ 4:45 PM
Dec 1 @ 4:30 PM
Best time of day
On a sunny day, two hours before sunset is usually when we get the best light to work with. The atmosphere on the horizon diffuses the light and softens the shadows making for more pleasant colours and less squinty eyes. Plus, did I mention the beautiful sunsets?
On cloudy days we can lose light sooner, so we like to start about three hours before sunset as the last hour can become too dark.
In general, aim to schedule your shoot no more than 3.5 hours before sunset and no less than two. If we start too early we might have to combat with harsh light and if we start too late we might lose light altogether. Plus, it never hurts to leave time for pizza and beer. 🍕🍺
Choosing A Location
When considering where you want your engagement session to happen, think of locations that are significant to your relationship. The environment in the images can be a great way to tell a deeper story. Write down as many ideas as you can think of and share them with us. Not every location is ideal, but it’s a good starting point.
Though we prefer outdoor locations for the light and space, we can also incorporate indoor spaces into your engagement session. Did you just buy your first home together? Want to make a mess in the kitchen while baking a cake? Let us know your ideas!
When deciding if a location is ideal, we take into consideration lighting, aesthetics, and accessibility. Where possible, we will scout out a location beforehand so we can be familiar with the space, but we absolutely do not mind travelling a distance if it means going to your cottage or visiting a unique place. We actually love it.
Or, if you’re kind of over making decisions, you can leave it to us and we’ll recommend some options based on your schedule.
What To Wear
you will only look as good as you feel
Dress for the environment
The most important advice we can give is dress for confidence! We want you to feel good about what you’re wearing and be feeling your oats, but you also don’t want to be constantly aware of how the clothing looks or be struggling to move around. Balance dressing for confidence and comfort where you know you look your best but you won’t be afraid to take a walk and move around.
Colors and Patterns
Choose colours that will complement not only each other but also your environment. If the location dominated by deep greens and blues choose an outfit that will complement these elements.
Avoid bright, unnatural colours like bright orange or neon green as they stand out from the environment and steal attention away from your face. Also colours like bright red, orange, or yellow can be too similar to skin tones and can make it difficult to edit.
Avoid wearing patterns that will clash with the environment or each other. For example, if you are shooting in a wooded area, the trees and branches will create lots of busy lines, so busy designs like stripes or plaids will cause you to blend into background like camouflage. Bring a variety of outfits with different designs and colours so we can change up the look where necessary.
Accessories & Shoes
Wear shoes that can handle the activity. If our engagement session includes a bit of a hike make sure you are comfortable enough to actually make it to the destination. You can always bring along a more fashionable pair to change into.
For photos, avoid athletic runners that have busy designs. If you want to wear athletic shoes that you’re comfortable in, make sure the design is neutral and doesn’t distract from the rest of your outfit.
Hats are encouraged. They can be great for adding variety to an outfit. Consider toques or wide-brimmed hats, but be prepared to remove them. Your hat shouldn't be used to cover up a bad hair day. We discourage ball caps and trucker hats as they will block the light from your face.
Jewellery can be a fantastic way to add variety to your outfit. Choose colours that complement your clothes and designs that will blend well, but maybe leave your watches at home. When your hands and wrists get into the frame we don't want to a big circle on your wrist to distract from your smile.
What To Do
Get caught in the moment
Movement & Flow
Don’t expect us to count down from three and say “cheese”. We want to catch you in a moment, but for that to happen a moment needs to be created.
To warm up, we will walk you through some engagement exercises. Some of them will make you feel silly, but THAT’S OKAY! It is perfectly normal to feel a bit unnatural, but don’t let that keep you from giving yourself over to the moment.
Flow between points. If we set you up in a position your job isn’t to hold it as if we are painting you like one of our french girls. Move in and out of the position we are putting you in. Engage with your partner. It’s hard to to say exactly what you should and shouldn’t do, but that’s kind of the point. Our job is not to direct your every move. We will give you are a starting point, but we are counting on you to take it from there.
During the engagement session, it’s possible that you and your partner will be physically closer than you have been in a long time (depending on your cuddle habits), but we encourage you to lean into it. Look into each other’s eyes a little bit longer. Embrace each other a little bit tighter. Allow time to move a little bit slower. When you do, natural engagement will surface, whether it’s laughter or intimacy, and that’s what we want to capture.
Pets & Props
Pet’s are great for photo sessions as they have an uncanny way of bringing out the child in us. They don’t need to be with us the entire time, but they are great to include in a portion of the session. This will also be the perfect time to buy your furry friend a nice collar or leash. Leashes that are designed to reflect light on oncoming traffic will be distracting in a photo. Consider something with a neutral tone or made of leather.
Add in props to create a sense of interest. We aren’t looking for a cheesy grad photo of you sitting with a soccer ball out of context, but you can use items to tell a more interesting story. For example, Tedi and I had a photo session in the snow. To make things more interesting, she held a big wreath and I held an axe over my shoulder. Why are we walking down a snowy road with an axe and a wreath? Who knows. But it was fun.
Engaging in an activity together is a great way to bring out your relationship naturally. Not every activity will be suitable for an engagement session but we’d love to hear your ideas. Whether it’s making dinner together, playing your favourite game, or something that involves a little bit of physical activity, doing something together is a great way to bring out candid moments.
Do you remember playing house? Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we need to stop pretending. Create a scene! Create your own Downton Abbey garden party or put on an adorable apron and serve some fresh cookies. Use your activity to tell a story and share your personality.
It’s about more than a pretty photo.
It's good for us
This might not be our first rodeo, but it’s our first time shooting with you so we want to learn how you move. It’s a chance for us to learn what you find fun and exciting and observe how your bodies move together.
And for you, it’s just good to be familiar with the experience. Like how it’s easier to slip into a pair of jeans you’ve worn in, we want there to be a feeling of familiarity when we photograph you on your wedding day.
It's good for your relationship
This mostly comes to a surprise to couples when we finish our session, but we can see it in their body language when they look at each other and say, “Well that was fun!” Though it’s kinda like, duh, you’ve just spent two hours close to your best friend well two people with cameras keep pushing you closer, it is a pleasant side-effect.It’s easy to lose quality us-time with busy schedules, but when was the last time you held your partner close and slowed things down? No Netflix, no Instagram scrolling, no distractions. When we’re caught up in the speed of life it’s easy to forget the power of physical touch in our relationship, but it may be just the thing we need the most.
It's good for your wedding
The photos you get from the engagement session can be used in a bunch of ways to enhance or stylize your wedding day. You can use the photos for invitations or as visuals for your wedding website. We’ve also seen the photos turned into album used for a wedding guest book, and even be used in the reception to design table numbers. When you get your digital collection back from your engagement session, take some time to think about how you can include the photos on your wedding day.