For most couples, engagement photos are the first step when it comes to wedding planning. Although we’re sure you already know, these photos are important. Not only do they set the tone for your wedding, but it’s how many couples choose to officially announce their plans to get married, which means they’ll be seen by everyone. In order to have a great engagement photo session experience, there are a few big things to keep in mind.
Here are the top five tips every soon-to-be married couple should consider when planning their engagement photos.
What to Wear. Any search online and you’ll see that couples differ greatly on what they believe to be “appropriate” wedding attire. And, while there’s a way to make most outfits work, the biggest concern is making sure that you and your significant other are comfortable - and happy. Considering how important these photos are (only second to wedding photos), you’ll want to make sure that you love what you are wearing. Whether you choose to go formal (with maybe a long flowy dress and a nice dress shirt) or casual (perhaps your favorite pair of jeans and a t-shirt), above all you should make sure that the clothes reflect who you are - on your best day. Yes, we love casual, down-to-earth couples, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put some thought into the clothes you wear. (And please, don’t wear matching shirts and jeans - coordinate instead.)
2. When to Shoot. Photographers love working with light when it’s at its most magical, which usually happens early in the morning (sunrise) and just before sunset. Of course, the time of your shoot will depend on the season. While you can (and should) absolutely choose the general time frame for your photos (like desired weeks or month), let us help you decide when is best to shoot depending on location, season, weather, etc. The best advice we can give you is to clear your schedule for the day and make a DAY out of it. Go out for breakfast and spoil yourselves before your session or plan a nice dinner after - you’re all dressed up anyway.
3. Save the Date Cards. Most couples decide to use their engagement photos for their save-the-date cards, which means that the timing of your engagement photos needs to align with when you need to send out your cards. If you don’t have a date set yet, then this won’t be a problem. But, if you’ve already booked a venue and selected a date, you’ll want to be sure that we can get you your final pictures well before you want to send out your cards. Nothing is worse than feeling pressed for time or sending out save-the-date cards too late.
4. Location Options. Just like what you wear should reflect your personality, so should the location you choose. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your photographer to come to your backyard or take photos of you at your favorite restaurant. However from our experience, getting outside and into the wild helps to bring couples together in a fun and exciting way. Even if you’re not super outdoorsy, finding a beautiful overlook or tree-filled grove can help to make your photographs feel special. And, if you are super outdoorsy, show it! Most photographers are more than willing to accompany you on hikes (or whichever adventure is your cup of tea) in order to help you capture that perfect shot.
5. The Perfect Photo. Speaking of the perfect photo, movement is absolutely key. Time and time again the best shots are those that capture couples interacting and moving with each other because they are the most natural. Avoid photos that look staged or static at all costs. Have fun together and don’t feel weird about starting a random dance party while you’re out. Kiss, laugh, hug, run, jump, simply have a good time and good photos will follow - guaranteed.
And, before you book your engagement session, be sure you do a thorough dive into your photographers gallery and portfolio of work. If you don’t love the photographs you see, there’s a really good chance that you won’t love the pictures you get back. In our experience, the more you can connect and relate to your photographers, the more likely it is your pictures will be ones you’ll treasure for years to come.