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Wedding photos are critical, but have you thought about engagement photos? First, if you’re on the fence about doing them, remember that engagement photos are a great way to get to know your photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera. You’ve probably read that everywhere, but the reason the photography community tells you that is a good one. We know how much it helps!

Once you’ve decided that an engagement session is right for you, the next question is… WHEN?

I always tell my couples that there are a few things to consider in deciding when to schedule your engagement photos, and all of the factors will give you a good idea of when would be the best fit on the calendar. Here are some ideas:

Season

Is there a certain season that you’re attracted to? Perhaps you’re getting married in the summer because that’s when your venue was available, but you really love the autumn color? That might mean that autumn is the perfect time for your engagement photos!

Another thing to remember when it comes to choosing a season: They are ALL GOOD OPTIONS! I love the light in the winter, and we can have some gorgeous blossoms in the spring time. Summer gives you later sunsets to plan around work schedules, and the fall season produces wonderful color. Every season in the Pittsburgh area is beautiful, and they should all be options on your calendar. The only thing you really want to consider with being outside is rain and freezing cold temperatures. Other than that, you are good to go!

Save The Dates

Are you thinking of sending Save-The-Dates? If so, you’ll want to plan your engagement session at least 6 months before your wedding date. Why? That’s when Save The Dates are typically mailed. Talk to your photographer about how long the turn-around-time is between the actual photo session and receiving your images. Then plan (WEDDING DATE)-(6 MONTHS)-(TURN AROUND TIME)= WHEN TO SCHEDULE

Matching Seasons vs. Non Matching

Are you getting married in the fall? Would you want your Save the Dates to match your wedding season? If so, you’ll want to photograph them a year in advance around the same time to match seasons. Some of my couples like to do this, and others want to do something totally different for a change in scenery with the different ‘looks’. Consider this in scheduling as well!

Photographer Availability

As a wedding and engagement photographer, my calendar starts to fill up in advance with weddings, sessions, and getaways. If you have an idea of what season you’d like to shoot, be sure to get in touch with your photographer right away to see what’s open on their calendar. I know that my fall months book quickly, so I always encourage couples to get those dates selected as far in advance as they can!

Session Time

The last thing that might have an impact on when you choose to photograph your engagement session is the session start time. In the winter, the sun sets much earlier, and so you’ll have to start the session much earlier as well. In the winter months, sometimes my engagement sessions start at 3:30pm. In the summer, they can start as late as 7:00pm. This might be a big factor in scheduling around work days.

When are you choosing to do your engagement photos? Did this help to narrow it down?

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