Hooray you’re engaged! If you’re planning on doing an engagement shoot and want to make the most of it, here are some tips for making your photo shoot go smoothly and creating images that you’ll love.
1. Wear something comfortable
This will help start things off well. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll look comfortable in the images. If something about your outfit is bothering you, it will be a distraction and take away from the opportunity to capture natural expressions. This also goes for being warm enough or cool enough. For example, if you’re in the mountains in winter, make sure you’re wearing enough layers to keep you warm and comfortable so you’re not day dreaming about running back to the car and turning the heater on full blast. If you’re comfortable with what you’re wearing it will help you be present for your shoot and give you the opportunity to enjoy yourselves more.
2. Pick a location that’s true to you
Think about what you’re daily life is typically like, and pick a location that’s true to your personalities. Do you love to spend time in the city enjoying tasty eats at the newest restaurant or coffee shop, or perhaps going to museums and shows? You should probably think about scheduling your shoot around the city in a urban environment. Do you love spending time in the mountains when you have a day off, camping or hiking? Then think about having the mountains as the backdrop for your photoshoot.
3. When choosing your outfits, avoid busy patterns
Too much plaid, stripes or busy patterns can be a big distraction in your images. The focus should be on the two of you, and your smiling faces, not your clothes stealing the show. This doesn’t mean your fiance can’t wear a plaid shirt, but if one of you is doing plaid have the other person do a solid color. And if you have the choice between 2 plaid options, pick the more simple pattern.
4. Don’t be matchy-matchy
Remember those old 80’s family photos where everyone dressed in jeans and the same colored polo shirt? I would suggest not doing something like that. You’re individuals and that should show in your photos. Not wearing the exact same color and/or patterns will add some texture and depth to your images. Similar colors can work like both of you wearing cool tones or warm tones. Shades of the same color can work too so that you look like you belong together without being twinsies.
5. Dress in the same general style
If your finace is wearing a tux you don’t want to be wearing jeans and t-shirt. Find a general style that you agree on, like date night attire, casual, or black tie. Pick something that again you feel comfortable in and reflects who you are as a people.
6. Bring something that is of importance to you
This could be as simple as ticket stubs you kept from your first date. Or maybe if you’re first date night was eating out for sushi, you could bring chopsticks. My husband and I met working at the climbing gym together so for us it could have been a carabiner or piece of climbing equipment we use often. We never did engagement photos but our wedding photographer knew that we climbed and had us do the wedding party photos on this rock cropping next to our venue. Those are some of my favorite images! The couple below brought a compass and telescope because it had significance to them. These types of things can make for some fun detail shots with the new ring.
7. Know what colors work best with your complexion
Here are some general guidelines for what works well for different skin tones…For fair skin – You’ll look best in darker colors that contrast with your skin tone, like navy, burgandy, greys, greens, browns. Avoid pastels which will wash you out.
For olive or medium skin – You’re skin tone will look better in a wider range of colors, but try to avoid shades of green or yellow which lack contrast. These colors may be too close to your skin color which might not be as flattering as other options.
For darker skin – You’ll look best in lighter colors like white, peach, yellows, and greens. Try to avoid darker colors like browns for the same reason of adding some contrast. Lighter colors will help you stand out more.
8. Schedule your shoot around the sun
Typically the most flattering light will be within a couple hours just after sunrise or just before sunset. The type of light during this time of day will help you to look your best. Keep in mind that if you’re in the mountains although sunset may be at 6pm you might actually loose the sun at 4pm because of the drastic heights of the landscape. Depending on your location you may need to adjust the time a little bit to account for features in the landscape.
9. Keep your shirts wrinkle free
Sometimes when you sit down in the car and drive to your destination your shirt can get bunched up and wrinkled. If you have an undershirt you can wear, its a great idea to hang up the shirt you want to wear for the shoot while you drive and then put it on right before the shoot when you get to your location keeping your shirt wrinkle free.
10. This is all about the two of you, enjoy each other in the moment and have fun!
Portraits can be awkward. Trust that your photographer will guide you in a way that will create images that look natural even though they might not feel super natural at the time. Remember you’re with your favorite person ever and you’re celebrating the start of your new life together! Enjoy that time together and have fun!