You’ve asked your sweetheart to ride off into the sunset with you and now you’re inundated with decisions about all these little details that you never even knew were a thing. There’s no rule about engagement photos, thank goodness, because we don’t like rules, either, but it can be a fun way to document this stage of your relationship, plus you’ll have photos you can use in a variety of ways. Whether you opt for a professional photo shoot, or enlist a friend or family member, the most important thing is to ensure your photos capture all the special moments you want to savor and share.
Let’s say you opt for a professional. Maybe it’s one you’re thinking of hiring for the wedding day. An engagement photo session might be included in the wedding photography package, but before settling on a photographer, follow them on Instagram, look at their portfolio, read their reviews. Is their style what you’re looking for? Does your aesthetic vision sync? Do they have a photojournalistic approach, or are they more artistic? During the engagement shoot, you can determine if they’re someone you enjoy working with, and if their photos are what you expect. Sometimes a mini session is all you need. Or perhaps you just want them to shoot pictures at your engagement party. Yes, that’s a thing, too. Whatever you decide, the photos should be intimate, emotional and representative of you as a couple celebrating your engagement.
Wondering where the shoot should take place? What says you as a couple? What are your passions? Are you outdoorsy or metropolitan, earthy or urban? Sticking to only one or two locations is a good idea, unless you want your session to be all over the map, in which case, we’d like to come along.
Want some cool tips to help relieve that stress-inducing anxiety you might be feeling right about now?
→ Schedule a spa day prior to the shoot — massage, manicure, pedicure, hair styling, whatever. We’d like to come along for this, too.
→ Get a good night’s sleep.
→ Eat beforehand and bring a snack.
→ Wear clothing you love and are comfortable in, something that speaks to your personality, but dress appropriately for your location — cold / warm — perhaps in layers, or bring a complete change of clothes for variety.
→ Consider the sun. The golden hour is an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.
→ Don’t cancel because it’s raining. Showers create intimacy under an umbrella. Or dash through the downpour holding hands. Bring towels.
→ Are you constant blinker, have a double chin, or a lopsided smile? Let your photographer know your preferred side of face. Everyone has one.
→ Sip some bubbly — we’ll raise a glass too.
→ Relax — be natural (see above).
→ Get cuddly and affectionate — keep touching each other — an almost-kiss, sans lip-pucker, evokes breathless anticipation, as opposed to the smashed faces photo, which says something else entirely.
→ Be playful — whisper in your sweetheart’s ear all the reasons why you’re in love. It makes for an amazing photo.
→ Smile. A dear friend of ours says it’s your best accessory, after the stunning diamond engagement ring, of course.
→ Make sure that sensational ring is captured in a few photos.
→ If you bring your pets or kids, make sure someone is along to mind them when they’re not part of the picture.
→ Let your photographer know how you want to pose, or not pose.
→ Look at the main photos as you go along so you both know the photographer captured what you had in mind.
→ Let your photographer know what your end product is — photos for family and friends, save-the-date cards, wedding website photos, wedding guest book album, etc.
→Be sure to get printing rights. We can’t stress this enough. Otherwise, forget that great idea you had about printing a 30x30 for Great Auntie Agnes, who wants you immortalized over her fireplace because she thinks you’re just the absolute cutest couple in the whole universe.
Most importantly, have fun. It’ll show in those amazing photos. Cheers.