Spring time in Texas! The perfect time to get that wedding planning in gear. Somewhere in your planning, you will hopefully meet with a professional photographer and start planning your wedding photography or engagement photography sessions. I say sessions because in addition to the engagement session, you may also want a bridal session or even a day after session for even more memories. The engagement session is usually the first photo session that is done because most couples use the images from the session for the Save the Date card or some other engagement announcement.
The engagement photo session provides a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and become comfortable with their style of shooting and it can also be used as a “personality test” so you can see how the wedding photographer will interact with you as a couple to make sure your day is captured the way you want. With that in mind, here are a few engagement photography ideas:
Make it personal
I know, you’re thinking, “it’s my session so it is personal”. Well, by personal, I mean make sure your personality reflects in the photo session. Often, brides go to Pinterest to get ideas and while that is OK, it sometimes can backfire. It’s OK to look through Pinterest, wedding magazines and photo galleries and get posing ideas, but, you don’t want your photo session to be “cookie cutter” and look like everyone else’s. Whether the photo is being used for Save the Date cards or to be placed at the entrance of the reception venue, you want to make sure that when people see the image, your personality is reflected and not someone else’s. For example, if you don’t dress up often, then don’t make the guy wear a shirt and tie to the session. You also don’t have to “dress alike” (unless that is what you always do). Jeans and a nice shirt are always a good choice, but depending on the length of the session, you may want to bring a change of clothes for a different look. Comfortable shoes or good walking shoes that you can change into are good as well. I spoke to Teshorn Jackson of Teshorn Jackson Photography as well and he suggested that you can take the engagement session as time to kick it up a notch, treat yourself to new clothes, hair and makeup…. think of it as a date when you were first starting to impress on each other.
Find your spot
When you choose a location (and most engagement sessions are shot on location rather than in studio), make sure that it is a spot that you like. Your favorite park, the place he proposed, your old college campus, the place you first met, these are all good starting points for a good photo session. Your wedding photographer can recommend some good places based on their experience, but your choices always work best.
Make it a date
The best photos are the ones that are not posed but rather show the natural chemistry and personalities of the couple. As it was stated before, look at the photo session as a “date”. Talk to each other, tell jokes, share, have fun doing something you enjoy and let the photographer capture those intimate moments. Of course, we will do some posed shots and suggest poses if you don’t have any in mind already.
Keep this in mind also. Sometimes, your wedding planner may have suggestions on poses, but make sure they match your personality and your vision. There are times when wedding planners want to use your session as a feature in a magazine and while that is fine, you end up doing their vision and not your own.
Look your best
While you want to look natural, you also want to look your best. Ladies, make sure your makeup is good and if you want to bring someone for touch ups (in case you don’t want to do it yourself) feel free. Have a nice hairstyle that will put up with the weather depending on when the photo shoot is. Guys, make sure that your hair cut is fresh as well. Poses and posture are important as well so the photographer may remind you of those during the shoot. Daniel Davis of Daniel Davis Photography also recommends that while most photographers are familiar with and work often in Adobe Photoshop, you should not use Photoshop as a crutch. Often, couples think the photographer can fix anything in Photoshop when that is not always the case.
Be on time.
This may sound simple, but it is huge. Depending on the time you scheduled with your photographer, you only have a certain amount of time and depending on the location, that time can go by quickly. If you agree to meet at 3:00 for example and you show up at 4:00, you have lost an hour and are getting close to sunset which can make it difficult for some photographers. Communicate with your photographer and give them at least an hours’ notice if you think you will be late and reschedule if necessary so they can do their best for you.
Have fun at the Interview
Take the engagement session as a time to “interview” the photographer. See if your personalities work well together because this is, in most cases, the person that is also capturing one of the most important days in your life so you want to make sure you work well together. Above all, have fun! I hope you were helped by these engagement photography ideas and please feel free to contact my office if you need further assistance to make your day great!