One of the most popular questions I get regarding engagement sessions (second to posing tips) is with regards to a location. So I thought I’d share a few other ways you can choose a location for your long-awaited engagement photos.
If you’re sentimental like me then you’ll want to have photos done in a place that means something to both of you. If you choose the location where you first met, then your engagement photos will always remind you of that sweet day when you met your partner.
If you live in a picturesque area then your hometown might be the perfect location for your shoot!
Just imagine having lovely photos of the two of you at the place where he got on one knee!
From Disney to the beach, I’ll travel with you anywhere.
Do you love the outdoors? Do you prefer a big city? Think about how you like to spend your time together and choose a place based on that.
Remember that in photography, light is everything. So if you plan to have a sunset engagement session, be sure that the light will be flattering at that time of the day!
Some locations are prettier during a specific time of year. If you know you want spring photos, do a little research and find out which locations look best at that time of year.
Make sure your outfits fit the location and vibe of the place you’ve chosen. Flowy dresses for a beach. Something elegant or formal for a university location.
This one is especially important if you’re bringing your doggy along on your shoot! You don’t want to choose a place that isn’t dog friendly!
You can always get photos early at your venue. Think of it as a stress-free practice day. You’ll be even more excited about coming back on your wedding day
There isn’t a rule that says the location of your engagement session has to be meaningful thanks to something that happened there previously. If you love the location and the light is good there, I encourage you to go for it! The place will become meaningful to you once you’ve had your session there.
If you have a special holiday, hobby, or season consider planning a session based on those details that are special to the two of you.
If you got to the end of this list and still don’t have any ideas then reach out to me. I make it my personal duty to find the best locations for my clients.
Taking engagement photos may be something you’re greatly looking forward to, especially if you’re planning on using those photos for your save-the-dates, wedding website, and even as decorations at your wedding reception.
But before you step in front of the camera with your partner, it’s important to take a step back and prepare yourself for the photoshoot. Twisting and turning your bodies into poses, smiling for hours on end, and figuring out the best outfits to wear takes time, practice, and preparation.
Here are the best tips, I think, on how to practice for your engagement photos so you feel confident and relaxed during your session.
Picking what you want to wear for your engagement pictures can be half the battle. If you’re torn between a handful of outfits, bring them with you to the photoshoot. Bring a few outfits with you that are not only flattering but also won’t leave you cold or uncomfortable. If it’s a cold day and you are shivering in a sleek dress, your misery will show in the photographs. I also recommended 2 outfits to bring to the session.
At first, taking your engagement photos might seem awkward or strange because you’re posing in unfamiliar ways and holding a smile for a very long time. That’s why it’s important to keep the mood light. Have conversations with each other, make each other laugh, and tell jokes. Just being yourself makes for the best photos.
Since you might not know exactly how you want your engagement photos to turn out, before the session starts, practice beforehand with your partner. Practice poses in the mirror that makes you feel good. When practicing, smile a lot, and engage with your partner by looking at them and thinking of different poses that make you both feel comfortable.
If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to pine through other engagement photos that you see on social media and save the ones you like. Look at Instagram, Pinterest, wherever you get photo inspiration, and save a few engagement photos that feel especially you. Not just images you think are beautiful, but shots you can really see yourself in with your fiancé. Make sure you share these photos with your photographer as inspiration and say, “this is what feels like us!” Having a visual reference for yourself that doesn’t make you feel awkward goes a long way towards feeling psychologically prepared to be photographed.
Before you practice and prep for your photoshoot, have a talk with your partner to suss out each of your comfort levels. Find out what each person is and isn’t comfortable doing in front of the camera. Some people want intimate kissing shots, for some, that is too much, and they prefer more straightforward portraits. Are you both comfortable looking straight into the camera, or do you prefer lifestyle shots where you are looking off into the distance? Come to an agreement in advance about what you like and what your photo boundaries are.
One way to ease engagement photo nerves is to pick a place that is meaningful and memorable to you and your partner. Pick a place that’s important to you, it may be the neighborhood you live in or the park where you go on Saturday mornings to jog together. If you’re in a place that’s familiar and comfortable, you’ll feel more relaxed in front of the camera.
Congratulations! You’re engaged!
Now that you’re engaged you’re starting to think about your engagement photos and more particularly what you are going to wear to your shoot.
No need to worry, I have given you all the ideas and suggestions to pick the best outfits below.
When picking outfits, I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to wear a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones.
Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors – especially since bright colors could reflect odd colors on your skin. If you really want to include something bright, pick one piece of accent clothing for one partner to wear and make that your *pop*. Be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small – it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy or distract from you as people.
Clothing looks best when it fits properly and accentuates your assets. Wear clothes that make you feel your best and express your personal style—the more confident you feel, the better your photos will turn out.
Pear-Shaped: To show off your curves, focus on cinching the waist with an A-line silhouette that flares at the bottom.
Apple-Shaped: An A-line style with a gradual flow from the waist to the legs is always flattering. This shape is also great for a dress with texture and/or a deep V-neck.
Busty: Scoop and sweetheart necklines offer support and open up the décolletage so the focus is on the face rather than the bust.
Small Chest: Look for textured or ruched styles to create fullness in the chest area.
Plus Size: Engagement photos featuring an empire-waist dress are Martini’s go-to. They’re super flattering and emphasize the smallest portion under the bust, creating the effect of a slender silhouette from top to bottom.
Stick with two outfits for your engagement session (you don’t want to overwhelm yourself). A more formal outfit and an elevated casual outfit. That doesn’t necessarily mean ripped jeans and a t-shirt, but something you may wear to a casual date night. You can’t go wrong with a suit and tie. Consider pulling out that suit you had to wear last time you were a groomsman! Layer with a blazer and a fun tie – you can even wear jeans with this look. Bowties are always a good idea.
Make sure your ensembles work for the season and location of your photos – no short dresses that will fly up or loose hair that will go crazy on the beach or bare arms in the snow.
You may love that black-and-white maxi dress now, but next year you may only picture a referee or jailbird when you see yourself in head-to-toe stripes. Wearing more classic colors, like neutral tones, and a gorgeous flowy maxi-dress. When you look back at your photos you will be so thankful that the style still looks amazing and stands the test of time.
It is so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos – and if you’re planning to do a hair and makeup trial anyway, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair and makeup look on camera. Professionally done hair and makeup last longer than typical hair and makeup. They also tend to hold up better in humidity and wind. Also, there will probably be times during your session when we’re shooting your hands holding or the engagement ring on your hand – which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails before your session (this applies to the guys too!).
What I wouldn’t recommend are graphic tees and crazy bold prints. Don’t mistake crazy prints for plaid and floral prints, both big and small. Florals actually look so beautiful and timeless that I highly recommend florals.
If you got to the end of this and still don’t know what to wear, I would recommend reaching out to your photographer. Part of their job is to know what will look good together. If you hired me as your photographer then by all means text me, I am there for you to look and feel your best!