6 tips to prepare for your engagement photos
Preparing for engagement photos can be stressful for some couples. Before an engagement photo shoot I usually get asked the same questions - What should I wear? Where should we take photos? Should I get my hair done? Who do I go to? Engagement photography is one of my favorite types of photography and I want it to be stress free and as fun for you as it is for me! Here are my suggestions to help you prepare for your engagement photos:
- 6 Tips to prepare for your engagement photos -
1. Do you recommend getting hair and makeup professionally done?
This is a little bit of a luxury I know isn't for everyone, but remember this is a special occasion for your and your fiance. Set aside an extra hour or two before the shoot to get all dolled up. If you don't really know how do get all dolled up, I do recommend getting your hair and makeup done by a pro; nothing too fancy (it's not prom), just accentuate your natural beauty! I have a few favorite go-to hair and makeup stylists if you need some recommendations.
The one thing that I always recommend is false eyelashes. Whether you get eyelash extensions or just want to get a one-time use set of false eyelashes for super cheap - false eyelashes can really make a HUGE difference in your engagement photos (as well as bridal and wedding day photos)! When I take photos I try to get close up shots as well as far away shots. When far away false eyelashes do an amazing job at making your eyes stand out, even at a distance. Up-close shots are amazing as well - false eyelashes accentuate your eyes and make them appear larger. All around they are such a wonderful addition to your photos. You don't have to get anything too fancy, just run down to your local store and pick out a pair that's not too crazy, you don't want them too be too long or too full.
2. What is the best thing to wear for my engagement photos?
Usually I suggest two looks - one dressy and one casual. It's always great to get some more formal photos, but then I like to switch it up with a casual outfit for the more fun photos. The best coordinated outfits are patterns and solid colors. If one of you chooses a pattern (can be subtle or bold) the other should wear a solid color or a more simple pattern. Try not to clash with 2 different patterns. I do recommend staying away from solid black. It can make a photo look empty and flat where the clothing is. Choose colors that make you look alive and vibrant. If a color washes out your skin don't wear it to the shoot. If you have red skin tones avoid wearing red, wear a pale blue or green.
For the DRESSY look: This does NOT have to be Sunday dress type, not at all. You can make an outfit more dressy by wearing jewelry, adding a scarf, fancy heels for girls and maybe darker wash denim and a button shirt for the guys. If you want a definite formal look I recommend wearing your Sunday dress type clothing. Break out that favorite outfit you never wear because it's too dressy and formal. This is a chance for you to really stand out if you want. Guys can wear a formal suit or nice a button up shirt with dress pants.
For the CASUAL look: Avoid writing on either of your outfits, unless there is a special reason behind choosing it. Writing is distracting, and I want your photos to be about your relationship, not about the clothes you're wearing. Your outfits should compliment you as a couple, not be a distraction. Also try not to be too "matchy matchy". It's nice to have outfits that compliment each other, but not so nice when you're wearing the same outfits.
And lastly - don't stress too much about your outfits. You don't need to go buy a whole new outfit for your photos (if you want to use the shoot as an excuse to go shopping then I'm all for it!). Just take a look in your closet or borrow a shirt from a sibling or friend. I promise you'll already have something great for photos without having to buy something new!
I also recommend accessories for the girls. Nothing too overwhelming, but accessories can be the icing on top of a perfect shoot. Think about things like earrings, a necklace, maybe a scarf or hat, belts, shoes, whatever will compliment your outfit without being too crazy.
3. Tips for the guys.
SUPER IMPORTANT - Guys be conscious of your plans about a week before the engagement shoot. Don't go and get sunburned, or wear a hat and then get sunburned.. I've seen it all! It doesn't make the best photos when half of your head is tan and the other half is white. I also recommend being conscious of when you shave before the shoot. If the shoot is in the evening, try shaving earlier in the day so we can avoid the fresh razor burn look in the photos :)
4. Your engagements are about you, not me!
I love taking engagement photos, but as many as I take I don't put them in my picture frames at home because they are of you, not me! These photos should be special for you. If you have a specific location that is special to you it might be a great place to shoot! But again, these photos are about you and your engagement, not a location specifically. The location shouldn't distract or take away from your photos, it should compliment it. I have lots of ideas for locations, just ask if you are stumped on this one!
(And side note: I like to shoot in the "golden hours" usually about an hour or two before sunset or an hour or two after sunrise).
Props are a great way to make your engagement shoot special. However, props can quickly become distracting. Think through what you'd like to have. Again, props shouldn't detract from the photos. If you want to use some kind of prop keep it cohesive with the rest of the shoot (location, outfits, colors, etc). Some props that I like are: love letters, a big balloon, flowers, sun hats, umbrella, books, blankets, sparklers, etc.
5. Don't over think it!
Don't over think your engagement photo session. No matter how the you or I think the session is going to go, it always turns out better! Pack light, don't be too worried about a bunch of ideas. The photos always turn out better when you and your fiance are relaxed and natural around each other. I love telling engagement stories through my photos and that's possible only when my clients feel comfortable.
6. Lastly & Most Importantly, Keep it FUN!
Usually at the end of every engagement photo shoot my clients say to each other "that was fun!" I always have a great time with my engaged clients. The #1 thing you can do to prepare for your engagement photos is to be confident and to have fun. The more fun you have the more natural the photos look.
So have fun! You're engaged!!