Engagement Photos: The Basics

So you’ve got the man and the ring. Now what? You have to address several big questions with regard to documenting your love story. Do you want to have an engagement session? Where should it be? Don’t worry, we have you covered with our eight engagement photo basics!

1. Have one!

Many photographers tell their clients that engagement sessions are essential and equally as important as wedding photography. Your engagement session is a casual photo shoot with your photographer. It is an opportunity for you to be photographed prior to your wedding, and get to know your photographer and see images of yourselves before the wedding day. The idea is to build rapport and feel comfortable with the person taking your wedding photographs.

2. Location, Location, Location

Choose a location that is significant to you - where you got engaged or perhaps your first date. It's important to be creative, but understand that what might have made an awesome engagement photoshoot for someone else might not work for you.

If you can’t think of anything, ask your photographer for advice. He or she will most likely know some picturesque settings nearby such as beaches, a national park, or even surprise you with a location you never would have considered on your own!

3. Treat your engagement session as your dress rehearsal

Usually, your engagement session is photographed by the same person that is photographing your wedding. This is the perfect opportunity to get comfortable with your wedding look and your photographer! Knowing and liking your photographer, is significant in the success of your wedding and will help keep you focused on the real reason you are having a wedding in the first place, each other!

"As your photographer, you can expect me to photograph in a very relational way; talking, laughing, and interacting with my clients the entire time. I genuinely love being around people, and my goal with each client is to capture and create their unique story on film." - Marin of Marin Kristine Photography

4. Get your hair and makeup professionally done

Again, this is perfect dress rehearsal for your wedding! Set up an appointment with the person doing your makeup for the wedding right before your engagement shoot. This way you will get to see how your makeup will look, not only in the mirror but how it will photograph. If there are adjustments to be made, it won't be too late!

5. What to wear?

In general, avoid white. Dress comfortably, and be prepared to walk around a lot!

6. Timing + lighting

When's the best time to shoot? The "golden hour" is the first two hours after sunrise and the last two to three hours before sunset. The location of the sun during certain hours (usually 11:00am- 3:00pm) can cause a lot of harsh shadows on the face and adds the risk of overexposed photos.

7. Posing

Decide on a shot list, practice in the mirror, and learn what is called the “almost kiss". It's great to practice, but don't worry your photographer will guide you along the way!

"Making my clients feel their importance, beauty and uniqueness is what I strive to bring to them in their sessions and the photos I capture" - Christina Litle of c.m. elle studios

8. Ditch the nerves + have fun! 

You're getting married after all!