Tips for a Great Engagement Shoot
Let's face it, weddings can be stressful. Between the planning, budgeting, tasting, arrangement planning and whatever else comes up last minute, weddings are a whirlwind of activity. I frequently get asked for advice on how to make an Engagement shoot meaningful, but also fun and light-hearted. The last thing you should be worrying about is if your photos will look good enough to send out as save-the-dates.
If you're reading this post and preparing for an engagement shoot soon, congratulations! I'm hear to help you get ready for your special day.
Here are some things to consider for your (almost there) special day:
1.) LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!
Choose a location that is special to you and unique to your relationship. Maybe a place where you first met, or even a favorite date-night spot. Did you meet in a restaurant or a coffee shop? Were you introduced by a friend at a bar? Try locations nearby or out in the same city that capture your young, care-free spirit. Get my point? ;)
The images below of Jami and Vinny were captured at a beautiful Monastery in Ellicott City, Maryland where they first met. It's not always about finding a location you think is the most beautiful. Sometimes the unlikeliest of places capture the perfect images. If you find a location that has meaning to you and your relationship, it will always shine through in your photos.
2.) DRESS FOR SUCCESS
In order to have a variety of images, I recommend couples bring two different outfits each. One set of clothes should be dressy, while the other can be more casual. For men, I recommend no dressier than khakis, but no more casual than a nice pair of dark jeans. A nice button down shirt and a sweater offer tremendous versatility. Men are easy!For the ladies I would opt for something like a dress and then Jeans and a sweater.
Another thing to consider is how you're going to change during the photo shoot. If you're taking photos out in the city or in a location where there isn't a private place to change, think about outfits you can easily mix and match. A light, thin shirt might look great for a casual photo, but allow you to throw a more dressy sweater over top without making you feel or look bulky.
3.) LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD
If you are choosing to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your wedding, consider scheduling your trial run for the same day as your engagement shoot. While this is not imperative, I have found that this is an easy way to knock two items off the wedding planning list in one day. Plus, you look amazing and you get more bang for your buck.
4.) MEMENTOS, THE FRESH MAKER
Bring props! Bring items that reflect what you like to do as a couple and/or things that have special meaning to you. I've seen people bring special mementos like their bicycles, scrabble pieces, a picnic blanket, champagne, to a photo shoot and they look great. Personal touches like these help freshen an otherwise common photoshoot.
Another idea is to bring along a few of your favorite books. Books look amazing in photos and they are so versatile. You can also find a book that has a title that goes along with the theme of your wedding. Added touches like this help create authentic moments, which really shine through on camera.
Jami and Vinny are avid coffee drinkers (who in their right mind isn't...) and brought their favorite mugs and a thermos full of hot coffee. A word of caution: too many props can get tacky and quickly overtake the photos. I recommend between 2-4 items to make your photos unique and personable.
5.) RELAX AND BE YOURSELF
Most importantly, enjoy your time together! Wedding planning takes a lot of time and energy and it's easy to feel the pressure of it all. The engagement shoot is a place to have fun and enjoy some special time together, reflecting on this wonderful season and the exciting times to come. My advice is to always just be yourself and not worry about how you look. That's my job :)