Ahhh the engagement shoot! Hands down, definitely one of my favorite things to do as a wedding photographer! If you are on the fence about setting one up with your photographer before the big day, I am here to hopefully persuade you to go for it!
Lets start with a couple reasons why an engagement shoot is a must for all you blushing brides:
1) It gives you a great chance to get a feel for your photographer’s personality and how they like to shoot. This will go a long way come time for the BIG DAY
2) It provides you with a little taste of what it is like to be in front of the lens for an extended period of time. This will make you both much more comfortable being photographed when the wedding rolls around.
3) You get great shots in a much more relaxed atmosphere!
On board? Sweet!
Now lets get down to the nitty gritty, and chat about ways to make the shoot as fun and unique as humanly possible!
Choose a location(s) that represents who you are as a couple! If you like getting all dolled up and going out on the town, then aim for using the city as your playground. If your ideal date is more along the lines of a campfire and a picnic, then go tromp around in the country. Choosing the right location is definitely the best place to start. Shoot, I have done engagement sessions in a coffee shop before because it was one of those spots that they love to go together! Being in a place that you feel comfortable will do just that, make you feel comfortable, and that is the name of the game for getting great photos!
One of the most common questions I get asked by my clients is “what should I wear?” I always tell them “whatever you are most comfortable in” (starting to see a trend?) Now there are some asterisks’s to that statement! For instance sweatpants and a t-shirt, might be super comfortable, but aren’t going to make your parents happy when they see the photos, capeesh! Also, I always tell my clients to try and steer clear of really loud patterns or anything that might be distracting.
I LOVE LOVE using props! I use the word ‘props’ sort of loosely, because I consider anything from a football to a muscle car a ‘prop’. Interaction is key when it comes to picking something to bring on the shoot. Anything that can get you two laughing will make for some of the most authentic moments. Whether its pedaling your beach cruisers or sharing some cotton candy, genuine happiness will make for some of the best images.
Now this last one might not be for everyone, but if your up for it, it can be crazy fun and guarantee a flurry of Facebook likes! By theme, I mean choosing a specific idea or concept and basing everything I mentioned above, around that. For instance, I just did an engagement shoot that was in the spirit of the Wes Anderson classic, ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ and it was by far some of the most fun I have had on an engagement shoot! So if you have a book, movie or just go nuts for dressing up in 50’s doo woop garb, definitely consider working it into your e-shoot, it will definitely be something to show your kids!
I hope I was able to shed some insight into helping you create the PERFECT engagement shoot that you and your soon-to-be spouse will remember forever. Heck, I hope I made it sound so fun that I caused some engagements just because you can’t wait to do the engagement shoot!
Have fun you crazy lovebirds!!
I consider myself to shoot in a modern / journalistic / “fly-on-the-wall” fashion. I try to be as unobtrusive as humanly possible, letting each moment unfold naturally instead of interrupting with directions. Believe me, if it were socially acceptable to wear ninja shoes to a wedding, I would!