Ever since I started my own photography business, my perspective has changed from being the bride, to being on the other side of the lens. After working with some fabulous couples for their engagement shoots, it dawned on me to write a blog post about how to get the most out of these sessions!
So here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are planning your engagement pictures:
Style– The first thing to think about is what kind of photography you prefer. Do you like traditional posed shots? Or do you like natural photojournalistic shots? Decide what style you like, and then pick the photographer that matches your desires based on what you see on their website/blog.
Scheduling– Ideally, you should schedule your engagement shoot at least three months before the wedding. This will give enough time for you and your photographer to come up with innovative ideas for using your pictures on the big day. Canvas prints displayed at the reception or custom designed guestbooks with your engagement pictures are some of many awesome ideas!
Timing– As light is important in photography, so is the time of day for an engagement shoot. You want to avoid the mid-morning-mid-afternoon hours where the sunlight is bright, creating harsh shadows and squinty eyes. The tears should be those of happiness, not from the glare of the sun! The best time of day is the early morning and late afternoon hours. My favorite moments are when the sun is gently setting, providing natural glowing light that will provide a backdrop as beautiful as you are.
Location – try to pick a location that is meaningful to you. Maybe it’s where you first met…or had your first date. Maybe it’s a place where you both enjoy spending time. If you cannot think of anything, your photographer should have several suggestions for interesting locations to try. I also suggest bringing ‘props’ with you. For example if you are at a beach, an umbrella, watermelon and sunglasses can add so much to the scene. Get creative! I’ve seen couples bring bikes, a picnic setup, their pet, balloons and yes, even a vuvuzela!
Hair/Makeup – The engagement shoot is a great opportunity to use your hair/makeup trial and experiment with different looks for the wedding day. While you may not want to get a fancy updo for the engagement shoot, it will give you an idea of what you may want for any other events leading up to the big day.
Wardrobe– Bright solid colors make images pop and light up the face. While it is ok to do a formal and a casual look, adding any more outfit changes will cut into the shooting time and decrease the amount of time you will have with the most desirable natural light.
These are just a couple of suggestions to get the most out of your modeling debut :). Most importantly, get comfortable in front of the camera and don’t be afraid to be fabulous!