3 Things to Keep In Mind for Engagement Photos

Engagement photo sessions have become insanely popular. They’re fun, more casual than the actual wedding photos, and can be a way for the bride and groom to be to “test” their photographer.

With that in mind, here are 3 things to keep in mind when preparing for an engagement shoot.

What to Wear

It sounds obvious, but this can actually be a make it, or break it, factor in the shoot. It’s not all about dressing nice, or casual, it’s about what emotions and feeling you want out of the photo session.

Do you want whimsical, or cheerful, because if you do those both have a very different look and feel. Whimsical might mean more formal wear, where as cheerful might be more casual clothing.

Whatever the case, think about how you want the photos to make you feel when you look at them.

Something to keep in mind is bringing multiple outfits. There’s no reason to limit yourself to a single clothing choice. Maybe start off with a more comfortable and casual look, followed by more formal attire. If you time it right in the day, you can have an early sunset shoot with casual clothes, followed by a formal look in the evening, all in the same photo session.

Typically, I tell my clients to dress with these things in mind:

  • Feel comfortable in your clothes
  • Feel confident in your clothes
  • Depending on the location, or time of year, keep the weather in mind (example: if shooting at night, in winter, a sundress isn’t the best choice for comfort)
  • Depending on the location, chose your shoes wisely (example: do you want to wear heels on the beach)
  • Avoid clothing with writing on it as it can “date” your photos or be distracting (unless it’s part of your theme, which we get to in a minute)

What to bring

Now, as I mentioned, having a theme for your shoot can often make it more personal, and more fun for you. So, when planning your engagement shoot, think about a possible theme.

Do you and your partner to be have a favorite sports team, share a hobby, love a particular movie? All of these can be used to bring a theme to your shoot.

Having a theme isn’t a MUST, and frankly a lot of people don’t do a theme other than a romantic styled shoot. But, if you do want to have a theme, whether it be an obvious look, or maybe more subtle, including certain items can pull things together nicely.

I always encourage couples to bring items and props that will make their session more personal and special. Things that when they look back at the photos, it evokes memories.

When You Hear “Engagement Photos” What Comes to Mind?

This last part is really about conveying how you want to feel, and the emotions you want to evoke, when looking at your photos. I always ask, what types of things do you think of when someone says “Engagement Photos.”

Don’t limit yourself to “traditional” things either. Really let yourself express the feelings you have in mind when thinking about engagement photos.

Some people think: fun, happy, energetic, outdoors. Others have a more romantic, formal, ornate setting mindset. Heck, it is so up to your interpretation that a mixture of formal, casual, ornate, romantic, with a fun, energetic twist is possible. And that’s just combining two different feelings. Imagine what you can get when you really get down to what you want feel in the photos.

A couple things I tell couple to do, and keep in mind:

  • Make a list of all the emotions you want in your engagement photos
  • What type of setting do you envision in your photos
  • What personal items can make the photos more unique to your relationship
  • Don’t limit yourself to a single idea, discuss with your partner and photographer to see if you can get a mixture
  • Bring comfortable shoes in case you need to walk around to different locations
  • Depending on the weather, or time of year, bring appropriate attire (this doesn’t have to be what you wear in the photos, but having a jacket to wear in between shots can be HUGE if it’s cold)

Bonus Suggestion

Depending on how long you’ve been engaged, getting your engagement ring cleaned can be a good idea. From normal wear it can dull slightly, and for your photos, you more than likely want to show it off in at least a photo or two. Having it cleaned is inexpensive, doing it yourself is easy, and it can be a nice subtle thing if your ring is “poppin” in your photos.

Keeping these three simple things in mind can take your engagement photo session from good to great, and really make the experience, and the final result something you’ll remember and cherish forever.

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