Engagement photography is a photo session for a couple that is about to get married. The images from the engagement session are often used for the wedding website, the save-the-date cards, and prints displayed at the wedding. In this post, we’ll discuss engagement photography tips and ideas for your engagement session.
1) Have one!
There are many benefits to having an engagement session. First off, they offer a chance to try out poses with your partner. Think of this as a practice session for the wedding day. The process will help you uncover your preferences for poses, angles, and more. The wedding day goes quickly and having some practice with your photographer will help you capture what you want in limited time.
2) Incorporate Your Personalities
Incorporate your personalities whenever possible into elements of the engagement session, such as the location choice, your wardrobes, and the props you bring to the session. For example, if you love getting coffee together, why not have the engagement session at your favorite coffee shop (with their permission of course). If you met in college, consider having your session on campus. If your first date was a Yankees game, maybe incorporate that into the wardrobe. The more personalized you make the session, the more meaningful the images will be to you and all of those who view them.
3) Make a Moodboard for Inspiration
A lot of photographers ask their clients to create a moodboard to determine the style of photos their clients are looking for. A wedding moodboard is simply a collection of images that represent the desired style, aesthetic, and/or other photographic elements for the photo session. However, creating a moodboard with 20-30 images before you even book a photographer can be helpful in a number of ways. First, as you look for engagement photography images to include on the moodboard, you’ll start to figure out what you like and don’t like in regards to these types of photos, including locations, lighting, poses, clothing, and more. As a result, you’ll be able to start developing a clearer vision of the perfect engagement photography shoot. Are you a bright & airy person? Or, do you prefer more dramatically lit, editorial-style photos? Figuring this out in advance will also help ensure that you and your fiancé are on the same page.
4) Find the Right Photographer
To carry over from our previous engagement photography tips and ideas, another way moodboards can help actually involves finding a photographer in the first place. You may start to notice that several photos were captured by the same studio, which is a sign that their style may be a good fit for you. If hiring those photographers is not practical, due to cost or location, you’ll at least have a solid idea of the types of shots you want when you look through the portfolios of potential photographers in your area for an engagement session.
Another place you may want to turn your attention for credible wedding and engagement photographers is to directories like Wedding Maps or similar sites. These sites make it easy to locate reputable photographers in your area with neatly organized profiles and portfolios for you to look through. It’s worth noting that most wedding photographers also shoot engagement photos. In fact, several of them include engagement sessions as part of a larger wedding photography package. Keep this in mind when looking to hire a photographer for your session. The best part of using your wedding photographer to capture your engagement session, besides having it included as part of your wedding photography package, is the opportunity it gives you to work with your photographer before the wedding. You’ll get to know each other better and be able to anticipate what is needed to capture great photos.
Finally, one of the most common ways to find an engagement and/or wedding photographer is to ask around. Word-of-mouth referrals represent a significant resource for finding and hiring photographers.
5) Don’t Forget Wardrobe, Hair & Make Up
Your photographer may be very capable of making you look great with flattering poses and lighting, but you also have to do your part to look your best. Take the time to iron out or steam your wardrobe before the shoot, have your hair and make up professionally done, and don’t forget to mind your nails for those closeup shots of the shiny new ring! We often associate this level of prep with weddings, but you want to look amazing in your engagement photos, too. This is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime session, so be sure to treat it as such and make it count.
6) Have Fun!
Don’t forget why you’re taking these photos in the first place! You’re celebrating your engagement with your significant other and it should be a joyous occasion. You can easily get lost in the pursuit of perfection and stress out on every little detail. Instead, try to focus on what matters: the person posing next to you. Have fun, be yourself, and try to stay present in the moment. Your happiness will shine through in the photos, and the opposite is true as well. Trust your photographer to guide you through the session and create photos you can share for generations. For added enjoyment, make plans after the shoot to treat yourselves to a nice dinner. After all, you’ve already dressed for the occasion. The rest is easy.
I hope you found these engagement photography tips and ideas helpful. As you can see, when it comes to engagement photos, a little bit of prep can go a long way. Here are some additional photos to further inspire you as you prepare for your session. Enjoy!
More Engagement Photos for Inspiration
Photos courtesy of Lin & Jirsa Photography.