In recent years engagement photos have become very popular. It seems like not a day goes by when I don’t see a whole album of them on my Facebook newsfeed. But, why have these sessions become so common? I think the main reason is that people want to capture this exciting time in their life, to create a tangible memory they can cherish for a lifetime. If that isn’t reason enough, here are a few additional benefits to having an engagement photo shoot. The biggest for me is that you get to know the photographer and they get to know you. An engagement session is kind of like a trial run of the wedding. You get comfortable in front of the camera and learn how to take the photographers direction and the photographer gets to see your best angles and has an opportunity to see your personality. Another reason to have an engagement shoot is to have photos to use on your save the dates or wedding invitations. The images could also be used to make a guestbook for the wedding.
Last, but certainly not least. Engagement sessions are really fun! It is a chance to step away from all the craziness of wedding planning and just enjoy some time together. You can tell from this candid photo David took at one of his more recent engagement sessions that these guys are having a good time.
Now that you are convinced engagement photos are a good idea you have a few decisions to make. Obviously, the first step is to find a photographer, preferably the same one who will shoot your wedding. As I discussed above, this is an important opportunity to form a relationship with your photographer.
I am going to stop right here and put in a shameless plug for David Alexander Photography, this is his blog after all. David’s photos are wonderful and he really goes above and beyond to make sure that you are happy with your images. All the photos in this post are his and you can find his full portfolio on his website davidalexanderphotography.net.
After you choose a photographer you need to think about the location. Pick a place that is special to you. Are you guys huge sports fans? Try to set up a session at the arena for your favorite sports team. Do you take a beach trip each year? Consider taking a road trip with your photographer. A place that you frequent together, your wedding venue, or the place you got engaged is going to be more meaningful to you than a random flower garden. This couple opted to take their session to a location that reminded them of a place they hike near WCU.
The next question is what to wear. It is important to wear something you are comfortable in. If you have never worn a tie a day in your life your engagement photo shoot is not the place to start. You want these photos to be representative of you, don’t change your image just for the photo shoot. That being said, do look nice. Get your hair, makeup, and nails done (this is a big one since your ring will be front and center in all the photos). Along those same lines, have your ring polished so it will really shine in the photos. Guys, if you don’t usually have facial hair make sure you are clean shaven. Avoid wearing too many patterns and always do a mirror check to make sure that your clothes are flattering and not see through (it’s too late to change once you get to the photo shoot). It is important that your outfits complement each other, but don’t make the mistake of being too matchy matchy. The couple pictured below does a great job of this.
Lastly, if you have an image or pose that you are particularly fond of let your photographer know in advance so he or she can try to duplicate it. Photographers will have their own ideas and you want your photos to be unique, so don’t send your photographer 50 images, but letting your photographer know what you are looking for will help you be more satisfied with your images.
Have you, or will you, have engagement photos taken? If you have already had them taken what advice do you have for couples who will have them done in the future?