SMILE! You’re engaged, and that’s cause for celebration and merriment and the kind of happily-ever-after excitement that makes you want to jump for joy, sing from the highest mountaintop and grin from ear to ear…which is great, because a very common part of getting engaged today is going for an engagement photo shoot, and with the twinkle in both of your eyes and the smiles you’re both sporting non-stop, you’re going to be lovestruck stars! Okay, so here’s the engagement shoot run-down…
If you have children, include them in your photos. Remember that this shoot should focus on the two of you, so get some couple shots in there, but if your kids are your life, get them involved, too!
Another WHO consideration is any special furry/slimy/scaly/feathered friends you may have! Do you have a special pet who is a special part of your relationship and who will really ham it up for the photos? Make arrangements so that you can get a few pictures together! If you need someone to keep your pet entertained for the rest of the shoot, you may want to bring a pet helper along as well (or if you’re close to home, you can bring your pet back before you journey on)!
– Use them for your Save the Dates, a calendar sticker to help you and your guests literally Save the Date, and even your invitations!
– Make them available to your bridal party. They may want to tie a few favorites into your bridal shower, bachelorette party and gifts in some way.
– Print one and feature it on a Wedding Countdown in your place. Then get excited- the big day is coming!
WHAT (should we wear)?
Another big question in planning your photo shoot is WHAT you should wear. There are lots of posts online and ideas all over Pinterest, but the most important thing is to wear something that makes you comfortable- something that is you- and to keep in mind that you’re never fully dressed without a smile! If you’re not a big fan of having your picture taken, it sounds silly, but you should sit down and practice your smile with your fiance/fiancee, in front of a mirror, or for your phone/camera. If you’re having a photographer at the wedding itself, you need to be prepared for LOTS of pictures in the not-so-distant future, so you might as well overcome it now! A few key points and suggestions are:
– If you have a place to change during your session, 2-3 outfits are recommended, so that you can get some casual shots and some more dressy ones. This way, you can use your photos for a variety of purposes with ease. This post is great for planning your outfits, and has some great tips for preparation.
– Avoid really busy prints, especially at more colorful times of the year.
– Try to wear different colors from each other, and to bring in a pop of color on your shirt or shoes.
– Wear what you would normally wear, in the way that you would normally wear it. You want to feel comfortable, so that you look comfortable. If you want to go splurge on a new outfit, go for it, but try to wear it at least once before the day of the session to make sure you like how it feels and looks!
– Ladies- arms are often more flattered in sleeves, but feel free to wear whatever you love and feel good in.
– Wear something you can move in (photographers have great envisioning skills and sometimes request that we do crazy- but awesome- things for pictures)!
– Wear your favorite sports jerseys if you have a team (or opposing teams) that are a big part of your lives.
– In the Armed Forces? Put on your uniform!
– Wear a hat, a scarf, a pair of gloves, a nice coat, earmuffs, boots, sunglasses, etc. based on the season for a few (but maybe not ALL) shots.
– Try everything on and make sure it’s clean, wrinkle-free, feels good and is in good shape.
– Ask a loved one for his or her opinion if you want/need some assistance.
WHAT (should we bring)?
Bring some props to show who you are and what you love!
– Do you play the guitar? Bring a guitar, a blanket & a picnic basket, then create that scene.
– Do what makes you happy! Bring an instrument if you play one! Bring a bike or rent a tandem bicycle (aka a Bicycle Built for 2!) if you love to ride.
– Car aficionados? Bring along your car, or ask someone you know if you can use their car for your session. Bring a motorcycle and helmets if that’s your jam.
– Do you two play golf? Bring some clubs, a golf bag, some tees and balls, a marker to write your wedding date on the balls, then tee them up for a shot.
– Consider how you met! Were you in college together? Bring pom poms or something to represent that. Did you work together at the post office? Make little signs that say ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and ‘I’m Yours’ and hold them up for a few shots! Be creative and have fun!
– Consider where- and who- you are now! Represent your professions, your hobbies, your favorite foods/drinks, and yourselves- together and individually in some way, and have fun!
– The Ring- Want to show off your bling? Find a special way to photograph your engagement ring!
If you’re feeling like you’re up for a little adventure on your shoot, you can bring an activity into the mix! Play paintball (or for a little less OUCH, throw colored powder on each other), go for a jog, go to a sporting event, jump off a bridge (just don’t get hurt!), do whatever makes you happy!
Note: If your special place is not close by but you do want to go there for your photos, consider bringing your photographer on a trip, asking if he/she would meet you there (you may have to pay their travel expenses), or find a photographer who is local to that area who will meet you there. Another Note: Try and stick to one general area for your shoot. This will make things easier on you, your photographer, and your feet!
Consider the time of day, season and accompanying scenery that you’re envisioning for your photos. Are you morning people? Get up with the sun and take some early-in-the-day shots. Afternoon/Night people? Luckily for you, shoots are often scheduled starting in the afternoon, through the “Magic Hour” (right around sunset) and into the night to get the best angles and lighting. Are you getting married in the Fall? You may want to take engagement pictures in the Fall. It may seem out of place to use a picture from a winter photo shoot on a card box or sign-in board at a wedding in the middle of the Summer.
Think about these things ahead of time and decide when you want to have it, when it works best for your photographer, and when you’d like to have them back. Then make some decisions and try to have everything prepared for your session a few days in advance. That way, if you need or want anything last minute, you won’t scrambling the night before or the day of.
If you want to have engagement photos taken, do it. If you don’t want to, don’t have time, don’t have it in your budget, or can’t for some reason, no worries. If the two of you do your wedding and your planning your way, it’ll be perfect.
If you decide to have an engagement shoot, I hope that this post, and the next one- featuring engagement photo ideas from friends and family members of mine, as well as some of the most popular pins from Wediquette’s Engagement Photo Session Ideas board- are helpful to you! Have fun, be creative, allow your photographer to be creative, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Check out more Engagement Session inspiration in the next post, featuring images from my friends! Click HERE!
Check out the most popular posts along the sidebar (scroll up!), including Weddings Across the Board– a series devoted to the cultural & traditional awesomeness that goes into wedding celebrations around the world- with coordinating Pinterest boards, of course!
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