Two of the most common things I hear from my brides before their engagement session are:
- “I’m nervous about being in front of the camera– I’m so awkward!”
- “I hope my fiancé can loosen up during our session! He’s not super excited…”
Let’s be honest, these are REAL concerns that come up when preparing to get professional photos taken. Photos with your lover are a priceless gift, but they can also be a bit nerve-wracking.
Today’s post is packed with my top seven tips for making your engagement session fun and low-key, rather than stressful and high-strung. Afterall, there’s already more than enough stress to go around when planning a wedding, so let’s not add to it! These tips will be helpful for you to keep in mind as you prepare for and shoot your engagement photos.
1. INCORPORATE LOCATIONS THAT ARE MEANINGFUL TO YOU TWO
Select locations that are meaningful to you and your fiancé! Here are a few examples that could help get the wheels turning:
- Do you have a favorite local brewery that you go to every weekend?
- Do you love the coffee shop where you had your first date?
- Would you like to shoot out in the Flint Hills where he popped the question?
Wherever it may be, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re choosing a location that’s full of sweet memories.
2. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO PROMPTS > POSES
There’s a place where guidance + candid moments meet, and that’s the sweet spot for getting photos that look and feel like you.
I think we can all agree that not many things are as uncomfortable as wondering, “what do I do with my hands?” while a camera is pointed in your face.
- A good photographer will not only direct you on how to stand and where to put your hands, but he/she will encourage you and help you to relax in the process!
- To end up with a blend of posed + candid images, you’ll need direction and fun prompts that help you to relax, laugh and interact with each other! Some examples are, “Whisper in his ear the moment you knew he was the one” or “On the count of three, tell each other your favorite pizza topping!” Basically it should feel like a date, just with a professional third wheel.
3. GET LOST IN EACH OTHER
I’m serious, shamelessly flirt your hearts out!
- I know, that last suggestion feels a little ridiculous, but take my word for it! The more you two are digging each other, the more authentic, fun and romantic your photos will be! I promise your photographer will love you for it.
- One other thought: you never get to go back to being engaged! It’s a season of BLISS (outside of the stresses of wedding planning), and it’s wonderful to have photos that document the overflowing love and joy you have for each other.
4. WEAR CLOTHES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A ROCKSTAR + LET YOU FREELY MOVE
If your clothes don’t make you feel as confident as Beyoncé, ditch them!
- Gentlemen, this is not the time for you to try out your tightest pants. If you can’t sit or comfortably move in them, you probably shouldn’t bring them.
- Ladies, time for real talk. The mini-skirt and low-cut shirt are more than likely going to inhibit you during your session. It’ll limit the prompts you can do and the angles your photographer can shoot from. Oh, and you’ll likely be adjusting your attire throughout the shoot. Who needs to worry about that?!
- If you want more tips on choosing top-notch engagement outfits, you can read more from my blog, “5 Tips for Planning Your Engagement Session.”
5. COMMUNICATE CONCERNS AHEAD OF TIME
Help your photographer help you!
- Review PDA and Insecurities with your photographer prior to your session (most will send you a questionnaire going over these specifics). If you’re insecure about your stomach and want to make sure your photos are flattering, tell your photographer! You won’t have to stress about it during your session, and your photographer will know how to position you to make you look your best!
- Talk about your vision + what photos are most important to you and your fiancé. For example, create a Pinterest board + share with your photographer. Making an “Engagement Photos Inspiration” Pinterest board with your fiancé is actually pretty great. It creates an opportunity to look through photos and identify poses, styles and settings that you’re both drawn to. Doing this with my fiancé helped us talk through what we were looking forward to most when it came to our session.
6. MAKE A DATE OF IT
Look your best, flirt your hearts out, smooch a bit and end with dinner. Sounds like a date to me!
- From the locations to your outfits, your engagement photos should look and feel like you two. Incorporating activities (like spontaneous ice cream runs!) into your session are things you can do to make your shoot feel as natural and carefree as a night on the town with your fiancé. Remember, the way you feel when your photos are being taken is going to impact how you feel when you look at those photos printed and framed.
- Many of my couples will finish their session in one of their “snappy-casual” outfits and then treat themselves to dinner and drinks after their shoot wraps up. I love this idea and I think it’s a great way to make your engagement photos feel like a date from start to finish.
7. HAVE FUN!
Your photographer will take care of posing you + helping you feel relaxed.
- I wanted to end with this point because I believe it’s the most important.. If you show up to your engagement session ready for a fun time with your fiancé, it’ll 100% show in your photos.
- Do what you need to do to eliminate stress leading up to your session! Iron those clothes in advance and give yourself enough time to get ready + drive to your location without being stressed about forgetting things or running late. Trust me, you’ll remember being frustrated with each other going into your session!
I hope these tips give you peace of mind as you prepare for your engagement session. And don’t forget to have fun and flirt with that sexy fiancé of yours!