Some couples wonder if engagement photos are truly necessary.. especially when they are on a budget or one or both don’t particularly like having their pictures taken. So why take engagement photos? (Besides just to document what a good looking couple you are!)
Practical reasons for booking an engagement session are so you can submit a shot to your local paper to announce your engagement. You can use them creatively in your wedding day decor, or give framed prints as gifts to your families.
Need an ultra-practical reason to schedule an engagement photo shoot? It’s a great opportunity to test-drive your wedding photographer and see what their approach and style is. I have found that couples who book an engagement session with me are often more comfortable on the day of the wedding. A rapport is built and stylistic approaches can be.
PHOTOGRAPHY SCHEDULING OPTIONS
- Day one/two: You might want picture of yourselves to commemorate the moment you get engaged – you’ll already be wearing a naturally happy smile and won’t feel the need to “fake it” for the camera… lol.. They don’t need to be fancy .. even a cell phone photo will do.. these are for fun and to informally announce your engagement.
- When you set the wedding date: Schedule a photo shoot early in your engagement if you plan to submit a formal engagement announcement with a photo to your local paper. Be sure to check the paper’s guidelines for specific pose or print quality requirements, which may or may not be listed on the newspaper’s website. You will be able to use the images for the “Save The Date”. If this appeals to you and you’re planning to send guests an early heads-up, have photos taken eight to ten months before the wedding, in time to print and send “Save The Dates” no later than six months before the wedding..
- Two to six months before: Trying out wedding day looks? Schedule hair and makeup trial appointments the same day as your engagement photo session. It is a great opportunity to try out both your MUA and Photographer and work out any kinks.
Advantages to Engagement Session
I offer substantial discounts for couples who book a wedding package with me. I do this for one main reason – to build rapport and it also provides a good opportunity for the couple to see my style and approach with both candid and more posed photographs. In addition it also gives an opportunity for you to go over the photos and let me know which ones you like best. If you haven’t booked your nuptial shutterbug yet, look at engagement photos as a chance to be more comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day and without wondering what you should be doing, IF you should be doing something at all! I find that couples who have booked an engagement session are more relaxed on their wedding day.
Communicate with your sweetie
Before you call a single photographer, have a heart-to-heart with your sweetie about what kinds of engagement photos you’d like — posed or candid, formal or casual. Again, let your decisions be guided by how you plan to use the pics: Will they be hanging on grandma’s wall, reproduced in black-and-white newsprint, or shrunk down to the size of a quarter for personalized favor stickers? Advance planning will help you make the most of your pictures. Some photo-friendly options to consider for your engagement shoot:
- Outdoors: There’s no need to spend a day cooped up in a photographer’s studio if you don’t want to. Visit to a nearby park, botanical garden, or downtown. I may be able to suggest local sites that make great backdrops for pictures as I am familiar with a lot of great locations.
- Your Home: Your home is your comfort zone and when you’re comfortable, you will look better in the photos. There is also the possibility of photographing in your home and in addition somewhere outdoors. Let me know what you have in mind and we can take it from there.
- Around your world in a day: You can create a meaningful backdrop for your engagement photos by revisiting nearby places that are significant to the two of you: the restaurant where you had your first date, a location which the both of you love, the bus stop where you shared an umbrella -you get the idea. While I am taking your pictures, talk to each other and relive a few of the moments that brought you together: It’s a great recipe for a series of romantic and fun candid shots.
- Get close: You probably don’t need to be persuaded to get close to your fiance, but do plan on being affectionate: hug, hold hands, sling your arm around each other, whisper in each others ears, etc.. . You’re in love and this session is all about showing the world! This is a great time to reflect and express how much you mean to one another and the love that resides between you. Besides, if you’re planning to submit a photo to a newspaper with your announcement, many publications specifically request close-up couple shots.
An engagement photo does not require you to shop for matching outfits. Here are some basic guidelines for dressing the part:
- What to Wear?: Whether you’re going formal or casual, solid colors are encouraged. Try to avoid plaids, florals, patterns, etc… However, there are always exceptions and the most important exceptions are the ones where it reflects who you are! So if plaids are your thing, by all means where plaid! If you’re worried about color, pick a neutral and a few coordinating color tones you both like and bring a few options to the shoot.
Thank you for taking time out to read this and congratulations on finding love. Love is the glue that bonds the sacred connection of two souls together. The level of love you share is special, profound and rare. Something to be in awe of and thankful for. Something to be honored, respected and treated as sacred.
For more information about engagement and wedding photography including tips, check my blog.
Many of these suggestions came from — The Knot