It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken, even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that is taken by a friend, we still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair (or beard) is behaving. I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little nerve-wracking, so here are some things I’ve learned over the years from photographing many engagement sessions.
I have no doubt we’ll create some great, colorful and fun photos no matter what. I am extremely laid back, but also want to ensure that you both look and feel good. So here are some general tips to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible during the shoot.
I’ve discovered that when prospective couples view other couples through photos in advance, it helps them feel more comfortable in front of the camera. In my experience, some partner’s may have been more comfortable with modeling or what I lovingly refer to as “working-it” in front of the camera. If you and your partner see some of my images and poses beforehand, you know that I’m only there to make you look extra awesome.
Most of my posing is very simple and usually represents something you two may do anyway whether it’s a gentle kiss on the forehead or looking out over a cool view. Very often in shoots I play off of the couple and let your own personality show through! Take a look at my engagement shoots.
If you can’t think of anywhere to shoot I can help! I’ve got a list of great locations on stand by. However, if you have a cool idea, please don’t hesitate to share that with me, even if it seems like a weird location at first! I encourage you to find a place where you both feel comfortable. A lot of times it’s about the light more than the location. I’ve shot pretty much everything imaginable (back alleys, open fields, parking garages, family ranches, state parks, etc.), so please know that the location doesn’t have to be pretty at every corner to have great photos.
I want every engagement shoot to reflect your personalities and what matters to you. While props aren’t necessary, some couples choose to bring something that has meaning to them or reflects their personalities. Pets (like dogs and cats) count, but may require some extra planning!
This is the biggest question I get ask when talking to couples about preparing for your engagement session.
Try to pick out engagement photo outfits and accessories that coordinate instead. A fun hack is googling a color wheel and seeing what colors combine the best. I like this one. These images are going to represent who you are in 10-20 years during this time in your lives and you probably don’t match every day, so make sure you spend time on this.
Accessorize and make your outfits your own. Scarves, bold necklaces, and fun shoes are always welcome. Most patterns are actually okay. If you are wearing a pattern, make sure it’s not overwhelming and distracting. Feel free to send your over outfit ideas to me if you need help or feed back. I love helping my couples look their best!
For my engagement sessions, most couples like to have one casual, everyday outfit and another that is more formal or fancy. This will give your shoot two totally different looks, and it’s awesome! I usually recommend the partner who loves fashion a little more pick their out fits first, then the other one coordinating based off of that. If you’d rather play it low-key, you can opt for just one outfit. If you’re rocking heels for part of the shoot, bring some flats or sandals for walking around.
Last but not least, remember to have patience with your partner and yourself and try to relax. You don’t have to be a pro at this! I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast. You and your partner are both more photogenic than you think! This is supposed to be a fun, laid back experience for you both.
I’m constantly surprising couples by discovering their hidden modeling skills and the most common response from my couples, women and men alike, is “that wasn’t as bad as I thought! It was actually fun.” Yeah!
Thank you so much for reading about preparing for your engagement session. I hope you found the information helpful and inspiring!
Want to tell me more about your wedding or get pricing information? I’d love to chat! Email me and let’s learn about your story!
Leah is local to the Texas Hill Country, and is currently booking wedding photography at any destination in the San Antonio, Austin, and Fredericksburg area.