Engagement shoots are popping up on my calendar, signalling the coming of wedding season! I like to tell my clients that their engagement session is like a warm up for their wedding day…it’s the perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other and find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to photographing them as a couple. They get to know my shooting style and we all get to have some fun. And the best part is, they get to take a timeout from wedding planning and just be engaged, while they get this crazy wonderful time in their lives documented (honestly, Shane and I have more of our engagement photos framed than our wedding photos).
As their photographer, it’s up to me to help prepare the couple so they can have the best experience possible. This means chatting through a few things ahead of time, the first of which is the location. I encourage my couples to choose their own location – not because I don’t want to, but I find the couple is more comfortable and invested when they choose a spot that has meaning to them. I want their environment to be a reflection of the two of them. When they look back at their engagement photos, they’ll feel that.
What to wear is always a fun topic. I remember just stressing about this in the days leading up to our engagement shoot! Poor Shane, being dragged between Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and H&M. But with the invention of Pinterest, choosing your outfits has been made a little easier (either that, or we now have too many ideas!). Like other photographers out there, I’ve even created a Style Guide to give couples a little inspiration. I always suggest bringing a change of clothes to mix up the look of your photos – perhaps one casual, and one dressy. It’s worth it to invest in outfits you feel good in, confident in. If you feel good, you’ll look good.
On a similar note, brides, this is the perfect time for your wedding day makeup trial! A little extra polish looks lovely on the camera, and you get to see how your makeup photographs before your big day.
I love to incorporate movement into my photos as it gives them a natural feel. Props are super helpful in this way, while also further personalizing your photos. It could be something as simple as a scarf, or a blanket, helium balloon or your wedding invitation.
Lastly, I (hopefully) put them to ease by letting them know what to expect: that over our hour or so together, I’ll put them where the light is most flattering and be guiding them through the poses as opposed to leaving them hanging. I let them know my goal for our time together is to have fun, to warm up for their wedding photos, and document them in love! In the end it’s their in between moments and exchanged looks and laughter that I can’t wait to photograph.