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5 Tips for the perfect engagement session

Find out how to get the most out of your engagement photographs

Joel & Alanna had the perfect, summer evening engagement session at Lake Minnewanka, near Banff, Alberta. The weather was impeccable, just the way a classic, summer evening in the Canadian Rocky Mountains should be! Joel and Alanna knew they wanted breathtaking mountain views, but didn’t have a specific location in mind already, which is always fun because we can tailor location suggestions around a couple’s preferences and priorities.

When starting to think about an engagement session, there are several details to keep in mind to make your experience and photos more amazing. Seriously, proper visioning will make your portraits go from good to incredible! This Lake Minnewanka engagement session in Banff National Park is proof that magic will happen when you take the time to envision your engagement session well.

Overall, whether or not you and your partner have a location in mind already, or if you’re completely open to suggestions, here are a few tips we always love to give to guide you in visioning out your mountain engagement portrait session: 

  1. Location Selection: The location you choose will influence the feel and overall result of your portraits. Also remember, these portraits will likely be the last professional photos you have taken together before your wedding portraits. Are there locations that are already significant to both of you? Take some time to consider what you really want for your engagement session. Since we live and breathe engagements, weddings and all things wedding-related, we are your resource for choosing a location. We have endless options and suggestions – from hike-to locations, to easy-access spots, the classic, iconic lookouts to unique, breathtaking views. We’ll guide you in your selection based on your preferences! 
  1. Your Palette: The outfit choice(s) you make for your engagement session should work with your environment. Choose a colour palette that not only compliments you as a couple, but isn’t competing with the landscape (ie. an aqua-coloured dress against an aqua coloured lake!)  If you aren’t going for a bold statement, we always recommend neutrals, earth tones, soft floral, subtle patterns or textures. They all photograph so well! Alternately – we love a bold statement too – just avoid tones that are identical to the backdrop you’ll be standing against. (Ps. Sometimes we suggest locations based on the outfit selections chosen first!) 
  1. Your Style: Think of choosing the style of your outfit as if you’re going on stage – exaggerate! Once you’ve decided whether you want to elevate your outfit choices or keep it more on the casual side, push towards the extremes! This way, you will never end up with gorgeous photos, in front of a breathtaking view in Banff National Park, looking like you’re heading to the office. 
  1. Be On Time: Mountain light behaves differently than in Calgary for the simple reason that as the sun begins to set, it dips behind the mountains long before the sun has actually set, as opposed to Calgary, where you’ll get long, long shadows with a final dip. Since we’re always photographing in the last hours of the day (aka. When the dreamy, soft and glowing light comes out to play), make sure you plan to arrive on time for your session. We’ll always tell couples what time the session will start based on the time frame of the sun, which is ever-changing throughout the year. 
  1. It’s In The Details: Lastly, pay attention to the details. These simple steps will elevate the look of your session and make your portraits go from good to amazingly gorgeous. Take time during the days leading up to your engagement session to slow your schedule down and prepare. From that fresh hair cut, to your nails, to preparing your outfits and thinking through backup items (ie. a warm parka for warm-up breaks – yes, Banff National Park is not always warm, even in the summer! And yes, even though the thermostat looks warm, the mountain wind can chill you quickly!), all of these things to slow your schedule down will enable you to feel at ease, relaxed, and excited about your portraits together. And what happens when you feel relaxed? BAM! You will LOOK relaxed, you will enjoy your session together much more, and the photos will reflect it! 

Heidrich Photography will always support and guide our couples as they envision their engagement session – from location suggestions to providing feedback on outfit selections in what might photograph best, all the way to in-session direction & guidance. If you’re engaged, we’d love to give you the best engagement session experience ever – these significant chapters in your relationship deserve to be documented well! In the meantime, enjoy this gorgeous mountain engagement session at Lake Minnewanka to see what those dreamy, well-planned engagement portraits will turn out like: the most special keepsake of you and your partner before your wedding day. 

Your Calgary wedding photographers,

David & Breanne


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