My last article covered the basics for what an engagement photographer needs to do in order to create beautiful and memorable engagement pictures for a couple. However, for the couple, listen up: there are some hints and ideas that will help you both prepare for the engagement photo session and prep you for the pictures you’ll not only be sending out to friends and family, but keeping in your own albums forever.
1) Research aka “PRE-search”
Because of the dynamic nature of two different coming together and combining their personalities and habits into one super-being, each individual couple as a whole has their own style and “image.” Make sure you brainstorm what yours is, and also what you want it to be. Engagement pictures should reflect your personalities, quirks, and characteristics that make you guys so special together. Think about whether you want the engagement pictures at the park, the location of your first date, a studio engagement shoot, or downtown engagement shots. Write down ideas for locations and the “mood” that you both want your shoot to be. This will help the engagement photographer get better photos of you both!
2) Chill out
Seriously, take this as literally as possible. We have worked with couples in the past that over analyze and “freak out” over their engagement pictures. While engagement photos are absolutely important and vital to your happiness, take a second and r-e-l-a-x. Don’t forget to breathe. This will make the engagement photographer happy and more importantly, your fiance!
3) LOTS of h2o
Before your engagement pictures, drink lots and lots of water! This will help to hydrate your skin and make you look healthier and more alive. Sometimes the wedding planning process can be pretty stressful (okay who am I kidding?? Almost all the time!), so help your body out and hydrate it as much as possible. After all, we are 75% water anyway…
4) Meet the engagement photographer
This is one of the MOST important things you can do! If possible, set up a short meeting in person or over the phone with the engagement photographer to actually talk about your engagement pictures. Give the photographer a feel for your personality and style (which you should know perfectly after hint #1!) and let him or her know what you do want and what you don’t want. The more vocal you are, the more your engagement pictures will look like what you want! Engagement photographers like direction from couples so they aren’t shooting in the dark….well, you know what I mean.
5) Color coordinate
This is usually an area handled by more ladies than men, so remember to color coordinate your clothes! Engagement photos look so much more cohesive when the couple looks like they actually GO together. Another hint: NO khaki or light colors. If you’re planning to wear these colors, make sure you know the location of your shoot. It is difficult to adjust the exposure balance with lighter colored clothes, especially when shooting engagement pictures outside. Another good idea – bring options!
6) Makeup – wear some
This goes out to all my ladies reading this. You may prefer to go au naturale in real life but in engagement pictures, many of which are done outside in the bright sunlight, your beauty just won’t translate into the camera lens. If you don’t know how to do your makeup, have a friend do it for you, or ask the photographer if he or she offers a makeup artist. Wear foundation!! This will help to even out your skin tone and create a better base for the camera to read and flash off of. Use skin highlighters on the inner corners of your eyes, your upper brow bone, and your cheekbones. Google makeup tips online. Just make sure you’re wearing enough to feel comfortable, but maybe a bit more than normal so your engagement pictures will show you looking your best!
7) Put the F-U-N in engagement pictures! (umm…?)
We have seen couples get so nervous when it comes to doing their engagement shoot, so to combat becoming stiff and mummy-like, plan a shoot that is creative and FUN. Plan it where you both first met, where you had your first date, where you shared your first kiss (and make sure you have a picture taken of you doing it again!), walking around your favorite restaurant, anything creative and fun will translate to personality on camera.
8) “Trash the engagement”
So, you’ve heard of “trash the dress,” right? This idea can add a ton of variety to engagement pictures! Head out to where there are fountains or water somewhere. Take pictures in the rain. Do things that otherwise might seem taboo for an engagement photo shoot and add them into yours. Get dirty and messy! Have a food fight. Play in the mud (if you’re brave…). You’ll not only have fun during the engagement shoot, but you’ll LOOK like you’re having fun too.
9) Relax & be social
Just because you have a camera lens shoved in your face doesn’t mean you should forget your social manners. R-e-l-a-x and make sure you both interact with each other more than anything. Engagement photographers know what they’re doing, so don’t worry about them. You guys act like you’re in love (well, you are, right?) and let the photographer worry about the rest. The point of engagement pictures is to portray your sappy sweet mushy gushy love for each other before your big day arrives. So let your inner cuddle bug loose!
These are just a few ideas to help you prepare for your engagement pictures and also to ensure you have a successful and positive engagement shoot. Your engagement is the preview before your wedding, so make it exciting and interesting! Show everyone how in love you really are.