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Can we all agree that no one likes awkward engagement sessions?! Back in the day, I remember those awkward sessions all too well. It’s hard! When you meet a couple for the first time before starting their engagement session you’re nervous, they’re nervous and the stakes are high! It’s YOUR job to make them feel comfortable and well taken care of. It’s also your job to set up the session for success! I’ve found that by explaining these five different things at the very beginning of the shoot, I cover all of my bases and prepare my couple well for what they are about to experience!


In case you’re not a video-watcher, here is a quick run down of the 5 things to say before starting an E-shoot! :

1. Reassure them that they don’t have to know what to do!
2. You’re going to teach them everything, starting with the 4 CORE POSES! (Never heard of that? You can learn our 4 CORE POSES in our Mini-Guide!)
3. Ask them if there is anything you should be made aware of or watch out for! (For a more descriptive explanation of this one, watch the video!)
4. The first 20 minutes are going to be awkward and that’s normal!
5. Tell them you MAY get to “Advanced” posing later on!!!

If you enjoyed this video, subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel so that you never miss more of our FREE EDUCATION!

xoxo, Katelyn
13 Comments Ask Anything, Education
  1. Annetta reply

    This is great Katelyn! Thanks for this.

  2. JoAnne reply

    Love these tips! Thank you so much for sharing them. :) Just wondering what do you say to a couple that tells you they do not like to be posed or want posey shots? I usually tell my clients that posing is a starting point and it will lead into those more natural candid photos they are hoping for.

  3. Megan Kelsey Marcus reply

    Great tips!!! My couples began to enjoy engagement sessions with me twice as much after hearing your advice that I need to encourage them and make them feel like rockstars… just saying “you two look so good!” works WONDERS!! Even when some of them might suspect that you “have” to say that…! I’ve learned to identify their best pose and then I can genuinely say man you guys are really good at this one!! “Let’s do YOUR pose again!” throughout the session :) You have so many wise words to share!! No idea where my business would be without having come across your blog :) I just can’t wait for our engagement session! It’s going to be so fun (and a little laughable I think!!) because I will have studied your posing for so many years and Justin most definitely knows what the nuzzle is! Lol!! It’s going to be amazing and SO much fun!! We can’t wait!!

  4. Lisa Price reply

    Katelyn- I am a huge fan of your video post! Keep up the great work!

  5. Kimber reply

    I had never thought about doing #3 before and I realize now how important it is! Thank you so much for doing this video!!

  6. Katie reply

    I love your video blogposts girlfriend!!!!!!! xoxo this was so great!

  7. Rosa reply

    I am VERY visual and learn better when I have someone explain things, so THANK YOU for this video, SUPER helpful!!

  8. Christy Long reply

    AH! Katelyn, this is so helpful, really enjoyed this, thank you! (I also really love the flowers, I think they were blossoms or something similiar..? draping into the frame!) xx

  9. Lena reply

    Hi Katelyn, thanks for all ! I love your work and your videos.
    The mini guide for the 4 CORE POSES isn’t available, can you send me it ? It would be so helpfull !
    Thanks a lot

  10. Gillian reply

    Hi katelyn, this is great. Lots of tips… However, no.4 got me thinking – if your poses are so ‘abnormal’ from their everyday life and something they would never do in real life, doesn’t that seem a bit forced ? So, not trying to be critical at all… Just wondering is this pushing clients to show an unnatural side of their relationship rather than ‘them being themselves’?

    • Katelyn James reply

      Hi Gillian! #4 is about acknowledging that “some” of the poses may seem unnatural to them and not like something they would just do together when it’s the two of them alone! By acknowledging this, it usually creates laughter, comfort and ease which ends up making those poses look very natural and not forced at all. I’ve definitely told clients “now just love on one another” and that gives them the freedom to do whatever they want and whatever feels most natural to them. But more often than not, I’ve found that telling clients to “just be themselves” or do what they’d like tends to make them more uncomfortable and feel stressed about it being their responsibility to decide what to do. I hope this helps to clarify a bit for you!

  11. Kevin Travis reply

    I’ve enjoyed reading through all of the information you have available. I’m typically a landscape and concept guy, but I keep getting asked to do weddings – not sure why. So, I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone and learn something new. It’s hard to grow when you stay in a rut – right? Anyway, I really appreciate all the information available on your site, it has been truly helpful. Thank you!

  12. Joanna M reply

    Thanks for sharing this!!

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