As a professional wedding photographer, I have to say that I get so beyond excited every time I get to be part of an engagement photo shoot. There’s nothing like getting to photograph a head-over-heels couple celebrating such an exciting milestone!
If you’re reading this and are engaged, first of all, congratulations! I know this is such a special time, and there’s so much fun and beauty ahead for you.
Second of all, you’re in the right place. This blog post is just for you, because it’s all about how to plan your dream engagement photo shoot with your fiance.
The best engagement photo shoot locations are places where you and your partner will feel comfortable taking photos. Often times couples will choose a spot that’s important or sentimental to them, such as a particular park where they had their first date and began to fall in love.
When choosing your location(s), keep in mind that you don’t want to pick somewhere that will be super busy or crowded during the shoot. These conditions can make it harder to get great photos with so much happening on the scene. Furthermore, crowded or chaotic places can make posing for photos feel that much more awkward and dampen the mood of your photo shoot. We want to avoid that!
Additionally, while it is fun to choose a location that is personalized to your relationship, make sure you pick a spot that will still keep the focus on you and your fiance. Think lots of neutral tones and negative space, meaning places with lots of empty or open space. This will allow us to really focus on the main subject of the shoot (you!) above all else in your photos. Spots in nature, on the water, a cute downtown area, or minimalist-styled rooms with high, vaulted ceilings work well for this. I personally love doing engagement photo shoots in Newburyport, Massachusetts and Plum Island during the summer. It’s this quaint little beach town, right on the ocean, so it has lots of fun options for engagement photo shoot backdrops.
Another factor to keep in mind when it comes to location is lighting. Does the location you’re considering have good natural lighting? Or is it possibly too dark there to take clear, quality photos? Also, remember that the time of day will affect lighting, too. My golden rule is to try to schedule your engagement photo shoot around golden hour (about an hour before sunset) to get the best lighting.
When planning your outfit(s) for your engagement photo shoot, don’t feel pressure to dress up to the nines or wear perfectly matching outfits with your fiance. My top advice is to wear what makes you feel fabulous, yet still makes you look and feel like yourselves. If you’re really struggling to decide what to wear, thinking about what you’d wear on a nice date is a good place to start.
Ladies, you’ll probably want to wear at least a little mascara and a fun lipstick or gloss to your engagement shoot. Again, no need to go extreme, but taking a little extra care and time for makeup for your photo shoot is definitely worth it. It can also be helpful to bring a travel size bottle of hairspray with you, so you can touch up your hair as needed and tame any flyaways. Another thing I always recommend is to wear nail polish. Your hands will probably be in lots of photographs to show off your beautiful engagement ring, and a dainty coat of nail polish will make your ring glisten in photos even more.
Fight off those being-in-front-of-the-camera jitters by doing something relaxing with your fiance before your engagement photo shoot. Go on a coffee or tea date, or watch an episode of your favorite hilarious sitcom together while you get ready. Doing something like that will help you go into your photo shoot feeling connected, making it feel more fun and intimate.
If you’re feeling nervous about poses and how to act in front of the camera, fear not! One of my top priorities as an engagement and wedding photographer is to help make you feel at ease. I’ll guide you through posing throughout our session, so you can simply focus on enjoying this dreamy time with the love of your life.
Finally, consider when you need to book your engagement photo session. Will you be using your photos for “save the date” cards or wedding invitations? If so, how far away is your wedding? How soon do you need the photos, so you can send out your invitations? Your answers to these questions will help you figure out when to schedule your engagement photo shoot. Keep in mind that some photographers may get booked out quite far in advance, especially for wedding season (June-September). The sooner you schedule your session, the more likely it is that your photographer will be able to work with your timeframe.
If you start with these steps, you’ll be well on your way to the engagement photo shoot of your dreams!
Are you engaged and planning your engagement photo shoot? Let me know how it’s going for you and if you have any questions by using the button below to contact me!