In Canada we can really use the seasons and varying terrain to our advantage when it comes to planning a photo-shoot. Engagement sessions, or e sessions as they are sometimes called, are typically held outdoors and of an impromptu nature, which creates such raw, emotional, and heartfelt imagery. The gallery above shows how many beautiful spaces we have in Toronto and the GTA, and how unique each engagement shoot can be. Toronto itself offers everything from the cobbled streets and exposed iron work in the Distillery District that creates a very old world Industrial look, to the rugged shoreline of Lake Ontario, complete with the iconic CN tower nestled in the skyline. I have shot in manor houses set amidst luxurious grounds, abandoned railroads, vineyards, waterfalls, on frozen lakes, in horse stables and atop rolled hay bales. Consider picking a season that contrasts to your wedding for a more dramatic keepsake. Why not take advantage of the vivid autumnal hues of fall, or the magical snow fringed beauty of winter. The options are endless, so the tricky part is narrowing down your choices.
Engagement sessions document the merging of two lives and are typically used to announce your intentions of getting married to the world. Some couples find it a great way to practice learning how to pose and look more comfortable in front of the camera, especially when displaying affection. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for your big day but without an audience.
Most couples have an idea of where they would like their engagement session to take place as it is usually connected to somewhere meaningful. Quite often it will be where they had their first date, a spot linked to a hobby or passion of theirs, a favourite park, a childhood hangout, their new house together or maybe somewhere they have chosen based on ideas they have seen on Pinterest or wedding forums. I can certainly recommend locations for engagement sessions and together we can decide what would be a great fit to summarize the start of your wedding journey.
In this day and age, engagements often come with children and pets and this is a fantastic way to acknowledge the merging and blending of your new life as a whole family. If you would like to include them in your portraits I would recommend starting the session with everyone and to bring an extra pair of hands to watch them so you are free to focus on each other. The last thing you want to be worried about is chasing a dog or a toddler on the loose!
Most people start off by feeling a little awkward but it is my job to help you relax and get you to focus on each other rather than me. Once you loosen up, your love will shine through so you will be focused on the emotions rather than the ‘poses’. An engagement session is a great way to work off those nerves and get used to following directions so you won’t feel so conscious on your wedding day.