How to Get Your Engagement Shoot Published

Mar 04, 2015 | Engagements

Today on Wedding Sparrow we wanted to share a few tips for getting your engagement session published. Engagements are very tough to get accepted for publication as we as bloggers receive so many. The reason it can be so tough is because engagements are often competing with real weddings, editorials and other creative sessions and sometimes engagement sessions don’t feature many unique details or still life photography to mix with the portraits. Before you decide to style your engagement session with a picnic blanket and the vintage item du jour, let us stop you.  It's a fine line between trying hard and looking purposeful. There are some things you can think about when shooting or styling an engagement session to make sure you're submitting something that is share-worthy just like this styled engagement session from Meghan Mehan Photography.

Details - Now don't go buying everything in sight just 'fill' your images. The scene needs to be personal to the couple or purposeful to the location. What's that vintage typewriter doing there in the middle of that field?! We of course want you to get creative but let the location and the nature take centre stage. The details can be what is surrounding you. Shooting in a forest? Take macro shots of the plant life if it is within the colour palette of the complete look (no red berries in a muted colour palette shoot please!). Get those up close shots of the florals, the engagement ring, the brides earrings, a grab of the dress, a tuck of the hair behind the ear, the 'up-do from the back' shot. The list is endless. We can’t stress this enough, and every editor will agree. If you want to get published, shoot details. It may take some practice, which is why we recommend shooting without people a few times so you train your eye to look for still life images that are around you. And a muted colour dress? We love it!

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The narrative - We love awesome couples and often the story of how they met is so cute, we're excited to see the submission images. Then we see a variety of different poses of the couple in a location or two. There's the 'comedown'. Sure it's nice and the couple look great but in terms of an audience looking for inspiration, there isn't any. Our readers LOVE to see elegant or ethereal outfits, organic blooms, accessories to die for and hair and make up tips that would make them look a million dollars. The story of the couple by itself isn't enough but coupled with those details we mentioned, you're onto a winner. The narrative is told in the couples' portraits but the details also form the rest of the narrative to give a fuller picture. Their style, vision and personalities shine through in how they've styled their engagement session.

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Cohesive - Try sticking to a colour palette of around five complementary colours. Whether it's muted tones (olive, grey, blue, gold) or deeper colours (indigo, burgundy, navy, black), having a palette helps the couple choose outfits, accessories and even the location. We've seen engagements submitted where it looks like it could be two different engagement shoots simply because the locations are so different or the outfits are. By all means change up your location and outfits (we recommend it!) but remember to keep it complementary.

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Communication - Talk to your couple about the engagement session and don't be afraid to make suggestions. Make a Pinterest board if needed. They've never done this before so will likely welcome the guidance! Think about your portfolio too. Do you have a muted colour tone portfolio and looking to keep it in a similar palette so you can show it off on your website? Let the couple know to keep it muted so you're not surprised by a bright red dress on the day. Don't forget to take wardrobe close up's too for those detail shots!

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Hire a professional - Want some amazing blooms in your session but you're not a florist? Hire or collaborate with one! Let the experts take over and use their strengths to make the shoot a success. Consider hiring a stylist if you're looking for that portfolio-worthy engagement session to set the bar of your future work. If your couple doesn't want to invest in a stylist, consider taking the cost yourself as a marketing investment. It could create that piece of work that gets you noticed and published. Just choose a stylist that has the vision that you're seeking (and tell them not to bring a vintage typewriter...).

From Meghan Mehan Photography: "Our inspiration for this engagement session came from the gorgeous olive grove at Hidden Villa in the Los Altos Hills. Studio Mondine designed a gorgeous bouquet of soft, romantic flowers, and the colors and tones spoke to the simplicity and elegance of the olive trees. Allyx, the bride-to-be, wore a stunning Ivy and Aster gown courtesy of Lovely Bride San Francisco. Our session was inspired by the soft intimacy this couple showed for each other beneath the olive branches in the late afternoon light."

Vendor details

Photography: Meghan Mehan Photography | Film Lab: PhotoVision | Florists: Studio Mondine | Dress Designer: Ivy and Aster | Dress Shop: Lovely Bride San Francisco | Location: Hidden Villa

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