Shooting Star : Engagement Shoot Tips

here was a point not too long ago when I came to the realization that I'd lost control of what I wanted. Heck, who am I kidding? I wasn't even control to begin with. It got to a point where I almost dreaded shooting an engagement session because I didn't know what to expect. Once, during my first year of business, a client showed up an hour and a half late to an engagement session. Hold on...lemme pause for dramatic effect...AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!

But I soon realized it wasn't my clients' was mine. How could I expect clients to know just how important arriving on time was if I didn't explain to them in advance? How were they supposed to know the intricacies of shooting with natural light? How could they know what I needed if I didn't tell them in advance?

Through the years, I've grown to lovelovelove engagement sessions and part of why I enjoy them is because I work with the clients in advance to ensure we're on the same page. This installment of Shooting Star, I'll be discussing Engagement Shoot Tips given to clients before their session for an optimal experience. They're as follows, but I go into depth in the video...
1. Send Links to Past Engagement Sessions to Ensure Clients Know What to Expect
2. Explanation of Natural Light and the Importance of Arriving on Time
3. What to Wear on an Engagement Shoot
4. How to Choose and Personalize the Engagement Session Location
5. Explain the Goals for the Engagement Shoot

Happy Wednesday!
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Christie Murphy - Thank you so much for the tips. wonderful advice! THANK YOU! I have an engagement shoot coming up next weekend, and I am planning to use your tips. I love the way you capture all your photos. You are a stortyteller.  12.06.15 - 3:03am
PH by PH - Great tips! But I found the one on checking whats going on in the location and permits particularly helpful! Thanxxx PH  12.16.13 - 9:02am
Stegela Photography - I love your insight and am learning so much. Thank you so much! Is there anyway I could get an email template of what you send to your clients?   10.19.12 - 2:59pm
Michael Ralph - you have a great way of telling a story  06.09.12 - 5:39pm
Ashley Christine - Thank you so much for sharing these tips, Jasmine!! Such an amazing help!   05.17.12 - 11:43am
April Cenora - Hi Jasmine! I love your Shooting Star Video tips. I have a question I would hope you could answer. How many photos should you post in a blog? I don't want to go over board.  05.15.12 - 9:32pm
Alissa - You're just so cute I could eat your face.'re brilliant. You put things in such "duh, why didn't I think of that" terms I love it :)  05.14.12 - 2:54pm
Tammy Heavner - Love the post. I do most of these, however, I have never thought of putting the responsibility on my clients to find the location for the shoot. Right now, I try to work together with my client to come up with something that will work. I try to really suggest they come up with the place, but I like the idea of just making it a known part of the session. I'm going to work on this. I think as a natural light photographer, this is one the hardest things I face All the time.. Coming up with new locations is tough. But also I find that clients don't have the "eye" to what is a good location. I've got a bride right now that had no idea where we could do their engagement sessions, then meanwhile I find out she lets another local photographer shoot on her parents farm all the time. The farm is amazing and they spend lots of time there yet she never thought of it for the location for her own session! That is frustrating! Hey thanks so much for sharing the tips! I love it and it help me know that I'm on the right path. :)  05.12.12 - 6:55am
Mery - Thank you! Very much for the tips!  05.09.12 - 5:42am
Long Island photographer - Wow, I am glad I stumbled on your website. I mostly do newborn photography but a friend recently asked if I could do their engagement photos. Great tips in the video and site in general, favorited your site!  05.08.12 - 6:36am
Amelia Rhea - I really need to make it a point to read your blog regularly. I am amazed at how much you are willing and open to help people out. You are amazing!  05.07.12 - 11:17pm
Paula Franco FOTOGRAFÍA - Thanks a lot Jasmine!!! I have the same errors you pass, the nails, the light.... so thank you to remind us how important is to plan each session and guide our clients to have the best results!! Regards!!!  05.06.12 - 3:06am
Crystal Brown Photography - Thanks for your lovely post!  05.03.12 - 6:32pm
DC Wedding Photographer - Great tips Jasmine! Always a blast watching your videos.   05.01.12 - 10:53am
Julian Marinov - Because of you, I am where I am right now. Trying to start a wedding photography business is hard, but because of you, it`s possible!  05.01.12 - 8:26am
Agi Magyar - Best video yet!  05.01.12 - 1:59am
Indian Wedding Photographer - Jamine, You have got everything, great looks, good narrative skills and great photography skills. Thanks for sharing the lovely tips. :D  04.28.12 - 4:49am
Weddings21 - Great tips. I just wanted to comment on the layout of your website - it is so awesome and inviting. I wish I had something similar for mine. Capital J - lol.   04.28.12 - 4:47am
Klaire - Great tips, thanks!  04.27.12 - 6:52am
Kristin Nicole - Fabulous tips  04.26.12 - 3:28pm
Lindsey Laughlin - This video was so helpful! Sadly, I wouldn't have thought to check on permits and city happenings. You save my professional life every week! Love you!  04.26.12 - 8:22am
Pamela - Love the tips. This is reflective of your choice to be a writer, photographer and be happy.   04.26.12 - 7:55am
ola - i usually do not comment on blogs or websites, but i am very impressed by your post that i have to say thank you. simple but very insightful.   04.26.12 - 1:42am
Nissin Flash - Nice tips. Thank you.  04.26.12 - 12:49am
Shari Hanson - Jasmine, this was wonderful advice! THANK YOU! I have an engagement shoot coming up next weekend, and I am planning on writing up a letter for my clients tomorrow! xoxo  04.25.12 - 10:36pm
Melbourne Wedding Photographers - Great tips, thanks Jasmine. Engagement sessions can be a little unstructured so this is useful info.  04.25.12 - 8:49pm
Jennifer Rice - Fabulous reminders! Thanks Jasmine :)  04.25.12 - 3:08pm
Jennifer Hudspeth - Thanks for this. I try to send out a little email, but I never thought of sharing links of past sessions! This would be so beneficial! Thanks!  04.25.12 - 3:02pm
Vania - Always love your tips...and super cute hand gestures..;)  04.25.12 - 1:58pm
Amelia Renee - oh this is perfect. Thank you Jasmine! I'm wanting to shoot more couples & engagements, and to start moving my business more in that direction, so this is quite helpful! You're a rockstar!  04.25.12 - 1:57pm
Juls - Good lord. As someone who dabbles in photography as a hobby, it would seem that you shouldn't have to tell them to be on time. Isn't that common courtesy? I like the list though.  04.25.12 - 1:43pm
amelia - subtitles please!!! :)  04.25.12 - 1:25pm
Your Fashionista - No stripes, poka dots, and plaid?? Didn't you read the latest Vogue?? "This season’s MVP of trends, going against mother’s rule of never mixing your patterns.... Diverting from head-to-toe patterns found on the runway, break up your prints like pairing a floral skirt with a striped top and a leopard print shoe." Now Jassie pants...what are you going to wear on Friday? I'll be watching ;)   04.25.12 - 12:59pm
Wedding Photographer Colchester - Great video Jasmine, I once had a bride- to- be turn up for a pre wedding photo shoot (engagement shoot) on her own. She said the groom to be couldn't make it. So we carried on without him. It was actually a great shoot, she was a little nervous at the begining but soon relaxed and was brilliant. She told me he was a natural so would be fine without the experience. Turns out at the actual wedding she was fantastic, relaxed and very natural, he on the other hand was not so!   04.25.12 - 12:48pm
Gabby / En Route Photography - FAB tips... I have 2 engagement sessions coming up this weekend... I think I´ll send them a mail right away! ;D  04.25.12 - 12:30pm
megan - You hope a few of these tips help?! ALL of these tips help! Thanks for being f'n awesome J*  04.25.12 - 12:18pm
Sandra - Jasmine! Thank you so much for this! I'm shooting my third engagement session next weekend and this is so always!   04.25.12 - 11:09am
molly - i love these!  04.25.12 - 11:04am
Thom - 1st poster! Good info.   04.25.12 - 10:15am
Emily Heizer Photography - I always do all of these things!And let me tell you this... I had a client show up THREE HOURS late once. They had been stuck in traffic, then lost, and I was in an area with no cell service and was afraid to leave in case they showed up! We banged out their entire session in 10 minutes before it got dark. It was... impressive. For many reasons!!  04.25.12 - 10:00am
natasha - Love this. Needed this. Going to apply me some of this! ;-)  04.25.12 - 9:54am
Dana Laymon - this helps so much! we forget that we really can control our shoots and help them have the best outcome- that's our job! great advice as always!  04.25.12 - 9:50am
Sandra Fazzino Photography - That was tight, yo! : ) Thank you for your generous and detailed tips! They're SO helpful.   04.25.12 - 9:36am
Brooke Schultz - How do you deal with travel fees if clients choose a location for an engagement session that they love but is far away? Do you charge travel fees for engagement sessions?  04.25.12 - 9:01am