This blog post has been a long time comin’! I’ve finally decided to put everything you need to know about scheduling an engagement session all in one place!! It’s my hope this will both educate + put my brides at ease once you know what to expect when it comes to your engagement session. Below are my tips, tricks, and protocols for getting the engagement portraits you’ve always dreamed of!

Season

Here in Milwaukee, the very earliest you can expect green grass/ lush trees/ blossoming flowers is mid to late May. Any earlier than that, and you will risk bare trees, mud, and chilly temps. Then we are usually safe until the end of October, when the leaves have all pretty much fallen and the temps start to dip past an enjoyable degree. That’s not to say an engagement session between November-April is out of the question, but if you want to be fully relaxed and not worrying about the cold, I’d suggest to wait (even if that means sending out your save the dates without a photo)!

This photo was taken in the end of October- it was chilly but a blanket always helps! See more from this session here.

 

Winter Engagement Sessions

Having said all that, I still get a few couples that are dying for that winter engagement session! I’m totally okay with that, but I do have a few tips/ “rules”:

  • For that snowy winter backdrop, it’s really best to photograph as soon after a big snow as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the snow is to become brown and trampled, which is not great for photos!
  • I don’t photograph when it is below freezing out (32 degrees). When it gets colder than that, everyone is focusing more on being cold/ uncomfortable, and that’s not how I want your engagement session experience to be! I want to take time to teach you poses, laugh with you as we walk to the next location, and NOT be trying to rush to get you back to your warm car!

This past winter we didn’t need to worry about scheduling around fresh snow– it snowed NONSTOP for about two straight months 😂See more from this session here.

 

Timing

The best and most flattering times to shoot are two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset (called “golden hour”). Obviously these exact times of day change with the season, but keeping this in mind will help you plan for your engagement session. I rarely do shoots of any kind outside of these times so as to deliver the best possible images to you!

A gorgeous sunrise shoot at Villa Terrace. See more from this session here.

 

Weather

You might think that the only desirable weather for an engagement session is bright sun. And though that makes complete sense, it’s actually not true! Sun can be super pretty, but if you don’t have a shaded location to photograph, it can create harsh shadows on people’s faces. Clouds are actually a good thing when it comes to taking pictures. They diffuse the sunlight, which is just fancy for saying– when it’s cloudy, you can photograph basically anywhere without worrying about harsh shadows! Either way, right after sunrise and right before sunset, the sunlight is so low in the sky that it creates “golden hour,” a photographer’s best friend.

It had literally been raining all day long, and then stopped to a faint mist right before we were scheduled to shoot! But can you see how beautiful that diffused light is from the cloudy sky?! They barely have a shadow!! See more from their session here.

 

When to Reschedule

I try my best to only reschedule in extreme circumstances. We are all busy and can’t keep changing hair and make-up appointments to coincide with your engagement session day weather! Typically, I only reschedule sessions for things like: torrential downpour, lightening, extreme winds, and temperature below 32 degrees.

No extreme weather here!! Just sun and smiles 🙂 See more from their session here.

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