As a wedding photographer with over 10 years of experience, I wanted to create the ultimate engagement photo guide for you.
This Engagement Guide will offer:
- Tips on not feeling awkward during photos
- Engagement outfit suggestions
- Engagement Location ideas
- Best times of day for engagement photos
So, what are you waiting for? Dive in below and let’s get started!
HERE ARE MY BEST TIPS FOR HOW TO FEEL COMFORTABLE FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS:
LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.
First thing is first – let go. Just let your guard down from the very beginning. The more you worry about “oh my god is my hair okay is my partner smiling” the more it shows on your face. Trust me. Just laugh and joke and have fun. Whisper funny things, have a tickle fight and feel free to MOVE.
TRUST THE PROCESS.
I have done this hundreds of times and the pressure is all on me for these photos. You might feel weird, appear natural on camera. A good photographer can pose you, but a great photographer can make you laughing and smiling the entire time. How you FELT is equally as important to me as how you LOOKED and were posed.
STAY IN THE POSE BUT INTERACT WITH ONE EACH OTHER.
I’ll pose you in a way that looks flattering and give you tips before the session begins on the best ways to interact and stand. But I encourage all of my couples to move about and interact with one another. The BEST PHOTOS are the ones where your partner is moving a strand of hair out of your face or candidly kisses your forehead in the moment – TRUST ME.
PRETEND YOU’RE JUST HANGING OUT TOGETHER.
Show me your natural chemistry. Be as comfortable in front of each other as you are alone in a room together. If you’re a couple that is okay with PDA, don’t be afraid to be touchy-feely and intimate. You’ll get so many gorgeous photos and your chemistry will show through. If you’re a couple that would prefer to be more private and is okay with more on the cuddling side instead – let me know! I’ll capture the beautifulness of that without pressuring you to full-on make out in front of me.
LET’S BREAK THE ICE IF WE NEED TO.
Feel nervous during the beginning? Tell me about your first date or the most awkward time you guys have had together. The more you open up and share, the better! You’ll start to get comfortable and once you’re comfortable, you’ll LOVE your photos! I’ll tell you some embarrassing stories just to even the playing field.
GET A DRINK BEFOREHAND!
Not everyone needs this, but it can help! Grab a drink and an appetizer or dinner close to the photo session and loosen up! It goes without saying, but make sure when you get behind the wheel, it’s safe.
Here are some common questions I get about when to plan an engagement session:
WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST FOR AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION?
I personally love Ohio since we have four distinct seasons. Think about your wedding month and then, if possible, choose a different season for your engagement photos. Why not have your photos be different than the ones you’ll receive on your wedding day? Also, keep in mind if you’re sending out save the dates, those will go out anywhere between 6-9 months before the big day, so you’ll need time for your photographer to take and edit those photos (and probably a buffer in case of bad weather and the need to reschedule). Don’t cut it too close.
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR TIME FOR ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS?
Spring is a big time for sessions since everyone is excited for the warmer weather and the beautiful flowers, but fall takes the cake. Many people are a huge sucker for those colorful leaves and cooler temperatures.
A park picnic with beautiful flowers, downtown stroll, ice cream date, or IKEA trip would be awesome.
A romantic beach session ending with a makeout sesh in the water, boat ride, mini-golf date, hot air balloon ride, or one of the county fairs would make for some beautiful images.
Let’s find the perfect scenery and a perfect weekday with your schedule (weekends during peak fall are insanely busy) and get some gorgeous colors!
A coffee house, book shop, bar, a park with blankets and snuggles, smoke bomb sesh, a snowball fight, or a romantic session at your home would be so sweet!
Whether it’s hiking, football, shopping, or just sitting at home…we can pick something meaningful to you! Musically inclined? Bring a guitar to your session! The possibilities are endless! Just make sure you’re doing something you both enjoy together – even if that’s just sitting on the couch together eating pizza.
THE BEST LIGHTING FOR AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION:
WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD YOU SCHEDULE ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS?
Stay away from that harsh noon-ish time sun. It’s bad, ya’ll. You’ll be squinting, and the shadows and sun are just toooooo harsh. Photos taken in full sun are not ideal for anyone. You’ll be disappointed and be limited to anywhere with shade. Plus, in the warmer months, it’s just too damn hot!
WHEN IS THE BEST LIGHTING FOR ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS?
You actually get THE BEST lighting right at sunrise up to 60 or so minutes after as well as 60 or so minutes before sunset. These times are called “The Golden Hour” because of how pretty and softer the light is compared to mid-day. Just think about how awesome sunrise and sunset look and next time you’re out for one of those, see how great the light looks for photos! How to figure out current sunrise and sunset times.
WANT TO START AFTER SUNRISE AND BEFORE SUNSET.
Sometimes it’s confusing and you have to think about the fact that when the sun rises or sets, it actually breaks that horizon line. So sunset, for example, is too late to take photos, because the sun will be fully setting and dipping down and it will be too dark for those Golden Hour photos.
I know, I know, sunrise is early…but you would be amazed how many people get up and just do it for the sake of the photos. It makes a big difference!