Six Steps to Engagement Shoot Perfection

Posted by Kim on Aug 17, 2012

Photo by Brita Photography

Engagement photos are a great way to get to know your photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. You can use the photos as part of your guestbook, on save-the-dates or thank you cards, or on your wedding website. Check out our tips to taking great engagement photos:

Pick the right photographer: You’ll want to have the same photographer who is photographing your wedding shoot your engagement portraits. Ask to see examples of engagement photos your photographer has shot in the past to get a sense of his or her style. Look for a variety of locations and poses in your photographer’s portfolio – you want your engagement photos to suit your style, not someone else’s. And of course, make sure you get along with your photographer and feel comfortable around him or her.

Pick the right location: Select a location that you and your partner are familiar with – instead of exploring new surroundings, you’ll be able to focus on each other and taking great photos. While beaches, parks, and gardens are popular engagement shoot locations, more everyday spots like coffee shops, city streets, even the stoop of your house can be meaningful and lovely backdrops.

Pick the right outfit: Many couples immediately rush to purchase brand-new outfits for their engagement shoot. Our advice: Stick with something you already own. You’ll be more comfortable in an outfit you’re familiar with, and one that suits your style. Don’t go overboard with loud patterns and make sure that you and your partner wear colors that complement each other without being too matchy-matchy. Bring a few outfit options with you and let your photographer help you make the final decision.

Pick the right day and time: Schedule your engagement session for a few months before your wedding, so you’ll have plenty of time to receive and edit your proofs and incorporate the photos into your wedding decor. As for the time of day, a good photographer can usually make any time look beautiful, but we’ve heard that early morning and dusk provide the most romantic light.

Pick the right props (if you want): While you don’t have to bring props to your engagement session, if there’s something you think would help make your shoot more personal, by all means! It could be your dog, a picnic lunch, your favorite books, a board game you both enjoy – anything that fits your personality. But don’t overthink it – you don’t need props to take gorgeous engagement photos.

Act natural: Easier said than done, we know. But try your best to forget the camera is there, and pretend that you’re enjoying a normal fun day out. If you’re not a fan of PDA you don’t have to go overboard, but don’t be afraid to hold hands, hug, or even share a kiss or two. Let your photographer take the lead, relax, and smile!