As a photographer I don’t expect you to rock up to our engagement shoot knowing how it all goes down. So here are my top tips to help you nail your engagement shots & feel more prepared! Of course I am here as your main source of guidance but this is a collaboration and we both bring some magic. Engagement photographs are the best way for us to get to know each other before the wedding & you’ll get some sweet shots without the time constraints of a wedding day.
So the most common question is “What should we wear?”
Clothing choices can really hinder or help you when it comes to your session. I think it’s best to keep it simple, light natural colours work best. You want your clothing to compliment each other without matching. As a guide, choose three colours (e.g. brown, white and blue) and mix and match. For example, you could wear a flowing white dress with a denim jacket, your partner wear brown shorts and a blue shirt. Things to avoid are t-shirts with big logos and also loud/busy prints, both of these can be very distracting. Avoid the “Everyone in blue denim + white top” ….let’s leave that look in the 2000’s.
We can get adventurous when needed. Locations are often on sand and in the bush and we move about a lot , so heels aren’t what I think of in these scenarios. Flat comfortable shoes or barefoot for the beach are your best options.
Something else to consider is hair and makeup for the shoot. This would be a good time to give the MUA you have booked for the wedding a trial run. I don’t recommend a hair trial as it can seem a bit over done without a wedding dress, plus, it’s nice to have your engagement shoots looking different to your wedding ones.
If you have a location in mind, perfect. If you don’t, I ask where are you most comfortable – Beach or the bush? I always prefer quiet places with less people, it can be very awkward getting your photo taken at a busy beach with everyone gawking at you. Also, somewhere that’s the opposite “look” of your wedding – if you’re having a beach wedding, lets do a bush engagement shoot or vice versa. Once we have decided I’ll go to check the site for good angles and where the light will be. This way, once you arrive on the day we get straight into it. I like to work quickly, this keeps it natural.
The most flattering time of the day for photography starts about an hour before sunset, you get a lovely warm light at this time of the day. We’ll meet about 30mins before sunset to be ready for the glow.
I’ll be real with you – engagement photos can be a little awkward because not many of us are used to a third wheel capturing our romantic movements. Personally, when a camera is on me I freeze, so I get it. One thing I’ve told couples in the past is to think of a funny/naughty word that only you two will know. When you are feeling any moment of “holy heck we are in front of the camera” say it to each other, it often makes you crack up laughing and breaks the tension. And when in doubt pull your partner in close or give them a kiss.
Finally, try not to overthink it, have trust in me. If you have been looking over Pinterest & Instagram and you’re looking to recreate a mood/style remember – not is all it seems on social media. Lots of times they’re models doing styled shoots on private property locations.
Relax and embrace the beautiful connection with your partner.
If you’re having any thoughts like “we are not photo people”, I got you – all the couples in the shots from this blog post said the same thing to me – and look how good their photos turned out.