Hard as it may be to conceive, there are many out there in the world who have not been religiously bingeing Project Runway in preparation for the day they get to pretend to be a supermodel. They know nothing of fierceness and telling them to "smize" will only achieve looks of profound puzzlement. When it comes to your upcoming Massachusetts Engagement Photography session you can just feel reluctance rolling off them in waves as you talk about outfit options and just the perfect locations.
This eye-rolling can cause a bunch of stress ahead of your session. So how can you get your partner to relax a little and get excited about the experience?
1. Make it worth their while. Bribery is such a dirty word, think of this as "enhanced motivation." Motivate your partner in whatever way you think will make them want to participate in your session. If there’s something they've wanted you to do that you haven’t done, now is the time to play that card. For example (speaking of cards), if you don’t like board games and your fiancé has been asking you to play one with him, bribe him with that (or whatever works for your partner).
2. In the time leading up to the session, explain to her what’s going to happen that day. She’s probably never done anything like this before and doesn’t know what to expect. She’s not on Pinterest all the time looking up cute engagement photos or anything like that (because that would interfere with Overwatch time), so she may not know anything about this kind of session, or even understand what it’s for. Tell her that the photographer is going to have you two probably hold hands, cuddle, hug and kiss - all that super cutesy stuff that would have made third-grade you go pale. You want to explain the session to her prior so it’s not as intimidating for her and she won’t feel awkward as it’s happening. Let her know that it will be OK because you’ll be there the whole time and it will all be good (and if it's that bad you can get ice cream after. We can all go get ice cream and I will write it off as a business expense, where is your favorite Boston ice cream shoppe?).
3. Be extra lovey with him before the session. Picture day can be super stressful, especially when dealing with a recalcitrant partner, so it’s easy to get into a fight beforehand. Make a point to be help things go more smoothly the day of, make their day as foolproof as possible. This will make the photos better because you’re not upset with each other due to something that happened that morning due to stress. You’ll be able to relax and be more affectionate during the session.
4. Explain the importance of the photos to her. Let her know, “I know this stressful and you don’t want to do it, but I want tomorrow to be all about us. In 50 years I want to look back on these photos. These are important.” This way she doesn’t think it’s just something that is on her checklist that she has to do before the wedding, but that they are important to you. She loves you; she’ll do it for you.
5. Incorporate their ideas in the session. Ask them if they have any ideas for the session. If your partner has something they want to do, then your partner will be more excited about them because they will feel involved and like it’s about them too, not just all about you. Think about what makes the two of you unique as a couple and incorporate those ideas into the session, whether it be a location, props, clothing, etc.
Ryan Richardson is a wedding and engagement photographer serving Boston and beyond; including Cape Cod Weddings, New England Weddings, Massachusetts Weddings and Rhode Island Weddings.