Engagement Photos: Tips & Tricks | WGL



One of the most fun and exciting parts of being engaged (for the ladies, at least) is taking your engagement photos! They can be such a creative and memorable way to encapsulate the love and emotions you both felt during your affianced days. If you’ve been checking out Pinterest for inspiration, you’ve no doubt found a ton of fun and clever ideas that you’d like to incorporate into your own photo shoot.

One of the very first steps to getting a jump start on your engagement shoot is to pick a place and a date. Work with your photographer to figure out what time of year will work best with the location of your choice. If you’re having a summer wedding, a fall or winter shoot could work great with your wedding timeline. Plus, engagement photos give you an excuse to experiment with outfits and colors in a season opposite your wedding. It’s like a sneaky little loophole that allows you to incorporate more than one season into your wedding! Just don’t forget that there’s always going to be weather! In winter there may be snow or rain, in summer there may be blistering heat or, depending on location, a coastal marine layer. Your photographer is the professional and a built-in sounding board – part of their job is to help advise you on these things! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance.

Another tip for choosing your location is knowing that’s okay if you want to travel for your shoot. Almost all photographers are willing to travel, so remember this when choosing your location. Maybe you and your fiancé enjoy trips to the coast, or you love to go hiking on the weekends, or maybe your idea of fun is hanging out by the pool in your backyard. Whatever your vision is, your photographer should be able to accommodate you. Of course, you definitely want to check on that before booking someone. Be sure you know what travel fees are (there will be some), and what the maximum distance is. If you dream of an engagement shoot in Italy because it’s where you got engaged, it may be more cost effective for you to find a photographer there instead of flying one out from the states.

Plan ahead with your photographer about having props in your shoot. Whether you use pets, a bouquet, hats, or even using nature such as leaves or snow – these are all great ways to add a little dimension and interest to your photos, and also a foolproof way to break the ice when starting off your shoot. As both you and your photographer get warmed up, it can often times be a bit awkward getting accustomed to the poses and taking direction. And if you and your partner have never taken professional photos together before, the beginning tends to be a bit choppy. Throwing in a prop is a great distraction and a fun way to soften the mood.

Putting together outfits seems like it would be the easiest part, but for some couples this can be the hardest! While it can be tempting to wear trendy and seasonal clothes, it’s best to try and keep your photos as timeless as possible (unless you are doing a theme of some sort). At this point you will have already chosen your location, so consult your photographer if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas. Generally, prints and plaids can appear “busy” and distracting in photos, so staying with solid colors or neutral tones is a good rule of thumb to follow when choosing outfits. It’s also a good idea to have several back-up outfits in case of weather change, or maybe your photographer thinks another option will be more flattering with your location. You’ll also want to select things that you’ll be comfortable in for 2-3 hours. Most engagement shoots aren’t anticipated to go that long, but if your photographer is feelin’ it, your shoot may just go a little bit longer!

Chat with your photographer ahead of time about certain poses you’d like to try, since you’ve undoubtedly grabbed some cute ideas from Pinterest and Instagram. It’s important to get a gauge of whether or not he or she will be open to using your ideas. While most photographers are more than accommodating, some refuse to be “posey” and abide by a go-with-the-flow type of mindset. They see where the location, lighting and the day take them. If you and your photographer don’t see eye-to-eye on how your engagement shoot should go, you may want to shop around a little more until you find somebody better suited to your vision. If you do have a photographer that will work your ideas into the photos, be sure to communicate and send the inspiration photos ahead of time so that the timeline can be worked out accordingly.

Whether you’re hiring people or doing it yourself, it’s best to do a trial of hair and makeup before your shoot. This seems silly since it’s “just” engagement photos, but the last thing you want is to hate your makeup the day of your shoot and have no time to change it. The weather, the location, the time of year, and the time of day may all play into how you want to look so be sure to keep these things in mind when you’re planning not only your beauty, but your outfits, too.

As always, you can touch base with your coordinator if you’re not feeling inspired. There’s always a portfolio of prior weddings and engagement shoots that ideas can be pulled from. Coordinators also have a list of vendors they work with on a regular basis, and can easily help you narrow down a photographer based on the style you like.

One Response to “Engagement Photos: Tips & Tricks | WGL”

  1. Ashley Baeza

    So true about shopping around for a photographer! Nothing is more awkward than a photo session between people who don’t see eye to eye or whose personalities don’t mesh.


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