Tips for your engagement pictures
There are so, so, so many things to consider when planning your wedding. There’s a million and one details that make up the rehearsal and the ceremony and the reception and… and you know what one of the “million and one things” to plan includes? Engagement pictures.
However, while we consider ourselves experts when it comes to wedding planning, we are far from experts when it comes to photography. So we consulted the always-fantastic Chelsea Abril and Michelle Kunz to get a few tips for your big photoshoot!
What should we wear?
“Go as low-key casual or as fierce + fancy as you want, but the number one priority should be your comfort. If you are wearing a beautiful gown or a stylish pair of pants but they're not comfortable, you won't be able to relax. And avoid being too matchy-matchy - wearing clothing that is too similar can sometimes make you blend into one person with two heads in photos. I recommend going for mixing and matching prints and solids as well as textures.”
“I usually recommend solids and textures. In the right lighting, textures can really pop but are a bit more subtle than patterns. However, small print patterns work really well too! Larger prints can attract a lot of attention, and you want people to be focusing on you rather than your clothing.
Whites work really well sometimes and not quite as well at other times. At sunset, whites are really romantic and are a bit warmer, whereas whites at noon are a bit more harsh.
I love when women wear clothing with movement. It really adds another dimension to action pictures when the clothes move with you!”
What about hair and make-up?
“If you're having a makeup trial for your wedding day, it's a GREAT idea to schedule a shoot on the same day of your trial- whether it’s an individual session (boudoir, bridal, etc), or an engagement session with your fiancé. This gives you a chance to take your makeup for a test-run, see how it photographs, and make any adjustments as necessary so you feel absolutely picture perfect on your wedding day.”
“Get your nails done! There will be a lot of close-ups, especially with your ring, so you’ll want your hands to look good. And guys, apply some chapstick! Chapped lips aren’t cute. And it’s easier to smile, so just use some chapstick.”
What if I’m not a “natural” when it comes to striking a pose?
“If you know that you are nervous in front of the camera, try working off some energy before the session. Also, if you partake in alcohol, having a glass of wine or a cocktail (in moderation) is a good way to loosen up. Or you can talk to your photographer about incorporating it into the session if they are open to it.”
“As silly as it sounds, just be with your person. Don’t try too hard to pose, just be together and eventually the camera will fade away. At the end of the day, this should just be a fun experience for the two of you to show off your love. Have fun and enjoy the process, and it will show in the pictures.”
Where should we go?
“If you're getting married on a beach, you may consider having photos done in a different setting for variety. It's always nice to incorporate somewhere that has special meaning to you as well.”
“Find somewhere that’s special to you, not just somewhere that’s photogenic. The location of your photoshoot should match who you are, just not follow what’s cool or hip at that moment. Photographers usually like to shoot at different, unique locations so don’t be afraid to suggest somewhere off the beaten path.
I also like to tell my clients to incorporate some sort of activity that is special to them, whether it’s hiking or rollerblading or… you’ll feel more comfortable and the pictures will have much more of a ‘you’ feel.
Also, consider the time of day you schedule your photoshoot. If you’re shooting outside, try to make an appointment an hour or two before sunset. The lighting will be warmer and the sky will be a bit more colorful and interesting. Midday light is much more harsh.”
Any other tidbits of advice?
“If you need the photos by a particular date, make sure to plan accordingly and give yourself and your photographer enough time to get the pictures taken, edited, and sent off to the printer!”
“If you’re taking pictures on vacation or during the hot summer months, use lots and lots of sunscreen leading up to your photoshoot. Trust me, you don’t want a bad sunburn or some crazy tan lines in all of your pictures!”