5 tips to prepare for a beautiful engagement shoot
An engagement shoot is an exciting part of wedding planning and a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and practice being in front of the camera. There's lots to consider when it comings to planning your shoot, so we asked Ohio wedding photographer and Fine Art Curation member Belinda Jean Photography to share her top tips to preparing for a beautiful engagement session with your beau.
The best tip I can give any newly engaged couple is to come to your shoot with confidence. If that means scheduling make-up appointment; booking a blowout; getting your nails done, do it! Treat yourself to whatever makes you look and feel your absolute best.
Choose your outfits wisely
I often find the biggest factor in feeling confident during your engagement portrait session is choosing the right outfit. You have to feel comfortable and content in what you are wearing, I can't stress how important this is! Select outfits wisely, choosing something that makes you happy and you feel comfortable in, particularly when moving around. It's easy to forget about this aspect but your photographer will often get you walking, perhaps kissing with a slight dip, putting your arms up and around your partner's neck... you will be photographed from the front, back, sides, basically every angle. So when you are at home in front of the mirror, check and ensure you feel comfortable in your outfit selection in various poses.
Each photographer has their own unique style and there is no right or wrong answer. I often guide couples towards selecting more than one outfit so if you don't love how a dress or suit photographs, at least you have another option. Two outfits offers more variation to your imagery as well. It's also important to think about what style you are going for. For example, do you want a soft and timeless look, or prefer more bold and colorful style? I often guide my couples towards simple dressy outfits in neutral colors, ideally without busy patterns, to create a timeless look.
Choose a location that showcases your personalities and your love story. Consider the vision for your session and select a setting that fits it, for example, do you want an urban location; a country a manor or estate; the beach; a garden or perhaps a yacht? The ideas are endless.
If you are planning a chic and elegant wedding then consider a downtown location with classic architecture. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, perhaps a garden, park or flower-filled field could be more fitting. Think about locations that are significant to the two of you, such as the college campus where you first met or your favourite holiday destination. You will never get this time back, so do what you dream!
Be on time
The last thing you want to feel during your engagement session is stressed. You want to feel happy and calm, and love towards your partner as these emotions will reflect in the images. One of the best ways to ensure a low key, low stress session is to arrive promptly. I often send my couple's a few suggestions for where they can park, and it's a good idea to work out your route and allow adequate time for parking, walking and possible traffic.
Add more commute time for a downtown session as you may be unaware of any large events that could cause you to get stuck in traffic. Your photographer has likely selected the start time based on the best lighting scenario for them stylistically. Having enough light is critical for film photography so it's important to work with your photographer to help ensure that they don't run out of light.
Prepare for inclement weather
Low stress is the ultimate goal for any engagement session. The last thing you want is to wake up to bad weather, when you have have an outdoor session planned and appointments booked for hair and make-up. Find out in advance what the policies are for rescheduling any beauty appointments and your photography session, and in what time frame. Work with your photographer on either a back-up date in the case of inclement weather or if it is not possible to reschedule hair and makeup appointments, then have an alternative location in mind that offers protection or coverage from bad weather.
All copy and images: Belinda Jean Photography