when should you schedule engagement photos?

The timing for your engagement photos depends on several factors. The most important factor is how much time you have between booking your wedding photographer and the wedding day itself. Some couples have just a couple months, while others will have a year or more. Read on for some information to help you decide what time is right for you.

Are you working with a deadline or want to use the images for something wedding related?

If you’re hoping to use the photos for the ever popular save-the-date cards, the sooner the better. The typical timeframe for sending out save-the-dates is around six months. It’s important to note that my usual turnaround time for engagement photos is around two weeks but it can be up to four during wedding season. If you would like to use the photos for a guestbook, canvas or other printed item you should also factor in the producing company’s delivery time as well.

Jessica reacts after falling in the snow with Mike during their engagement session in Dillon

Do you have a season in mind?

The next thing to consider is weather. Here in Colorado, some times of the year are better than others for engagement photos. June-October is always a popular time because the weather is often lovely. November-May is less so because of chilly temps, lack of vegitation and mud season.

September/October is by far my busiest time for both weddings and engagement photos. The tempature seems to be just right and lots of couples like to encorporate the fall colors into their photos. The timing for fall colors varies year-to-year based on rainfall and temperature. If this is something that you have your heart set on, it’s important to share this with me as soon as possible.

However, there are plenty of couples who love the snow as well. My schedule is much more flexible during the winter months. If you’re flexible as well we can try and schedule a winter session around fresh snowfall.

For spring sessions, I encourage you to wait until flowers start to bloom and the leaves on the trees come back.

Once you two decide on a timeframe, let’s put something on the calendar. We can always adjust based on schedules and weather. I encourage you to have a few back up dates in case we get rained out. If it looks like it might rain, we can make the call that day.

Caroline and Brendan pose near yellow aspen trees at Piney River Ranch

What’s your schedule like?

You will be busy during wedding planning, trust me. It’s not uncommon for couples to be finishing graduate school, dealing with challenging work life or even purchasing a home – occasionally all at once. I try to be adaptable to couples’ busy lives, but there are some things you should know.

During wedding season, most of my weekends are devoted to traveling to and photographing actual weddings. That’s pretty much every Saturday between May and October. Some of those are destination weddings, so I’m traveling Thursday-Sunday. I can occasionally schedule Sunday engagement sessions, but workday evenings are best.

Jordan and Danielle kiss on the Wynkoop bridge during their downtown Denver engagement session in the LoDo neighborhood in August

What about day of the week and time of the day?

Engagement sessions take place in the evening because that’s when the light is the best. If we’re going to any popular locations, either in the city or in the mountains, they will be a lot less crowded during weekdays. As I discussed above, my weekend availability is extremely limited during the wedding season months.

Location and time of year can affect our start time but I usually check the sunset time for that particular day, and work backwards from there. Most sessions last between 2-3 hours and finish about 30 minutes after sunset. That means I like to meet couples somehwere near our starting point for a drink about 3.5 hours prior to sunset. That gives us an hour to catch up, answer of your wedding related questions that have come up since I’ve last seen you and allow you to relax before we begin.

Sharon and Nick are illuminated while posing during their engagement session in Golden Gate Canyon State Park