Here’s how to have an amazing engagement photoshoot experience!
#1. Find A Right Photographer for Your Engagement Photoshoot
Finding a RIGHT wedding photographer for your engagement photoshoot should be on top of your list. Why? Because not all photographers equally have same style in term of shooting or same approach working with couples. You need a photographer who cares about you as a couple. Who has good understanding of your unique love story and personalities. Who can capture the genuine moments that reflect you and your love for each other and let your personality shine through from your engagement photoshoot.
A right wedding photographer is a photographer who has same vision as you and has a style that you love. Someone whom you will feel comfortable talking with or get so excited about ideas together. You two will sync and you will know it in your heart.
The engagement photoshoot is also served as trial between you and your wedding photographer beside getting your save the date photos done. You get to experience ahead how it would be in front of camera.
At same time, you learn about your wedding photographer’s working style. In this fashion, you will know what to expect on your wedding day and reduce the stress, especially for the couples who worry about portrait section on their wedding day. I have wrote a blog about what’s the benefit of having an engagement session. Please check out “Say Yes or No to Engagement Session”.
#2. Make It or Break It
Spend Time to Plan Your Outfit and Get Hair and Makeup Done Professionally
I have heard from a couple of brides after their engagement photoshoot, ” Q, you did an amazing job photographing, but I just don’t like how I look, my hair and my outfit. I wish I followed your instruction and planned better.” ” I was so busy and just put outfit together from my closet “.
Listen brides, you will get your engagement photoshoot done only once. GET IT DONE RIGHT WITHOUT ANY REGRETS!
A. I urge you to plan your outfit a few weeks before your engagement photoshoot to avoid unexpected busy schedule. It will give yourself time to shop if you need to.
B. Always plan two outfits for your engagement photoshoot. No. #1 option would be a long flowing dress with lots of volume at bottom. It doesn’t matter if you will have your engagement session on the beach, in a open field or on mountain top, it allows the breeze to pick up your dress, flow in the air and create a very soft, romantic look. #2 option would be something to let your personality shine. Maybe something more casual or sporty etc. I never mind if you bring your whole closet because hey, there’s never too many except plenty of backups.
you can easily pick up a perfect maxi dress from Lulus.com
C. Your outfit choices will depend on the location choice. Because you want to stand out from the environment. Please check out stylecraze.com for complimentary colors. I found it very helpful. It even tell you about what color palette is best for your skin tone.
D. Get your hair and makeup done professionally. It would be great if you schedule your hair and makeup trial on the day of your engagement session.
E. Plan your outfit based on locations.
Are you a city chic fashionesta? Sport a cute outfit with a pair of amazing heels? YES, that’s what I’m talking about! However, watch out for outfit colors depending on where you are going for your engagement session. Usually simple colors, less patterns works the best.
Love the outdoor and natures? Any cute dress options would work. Other casual outfits will work as long as outfit colors are coordinated.
How about a beach engagement session? Simple Jeans and semi casual t shirt / shirt would work, not mention any dress would work basically.
3. Plan your outfit based on seasons
Also, don’t forget about the season when you are considering your outfit colors. The color of environment changes and also your skin tone changes. The summer is full of greenery everywhere. So maybe tone down the greens by wearing lighter in colors, such as a dress in cream color with little floral pattern that’s not too distracting. The winter is dull in nature. Then it’s time to sport some bold red colors.
4. Find Right Location
5. Mention Any Concerns Before Your Photoshoot
You might worry about a facial birth mark you despise all your life. Maybe you are like most of women, have a good side for photos? You might already cracked the code by doing selfies all these years. Or maybe you don’t like how your chin or your arm looks? Believe it or not, it’s very common concerns. So make sure you mention to your photographer. The experienced photographers know how to guide you and minimize these concerns.
6. Trust Your Photographer for Locations
Here comes the responsibility of my job as your photographer, giving you the best images you could ever wish for from your engagement photoshoot and wedding day. And the secret to achieve that is Lighting. Lighting is one of the most important element to create beautiful images. We want that crisp, clean light reflect on you.
First, cross your finger and pray for a good weather on your engagement photoshoot. That’s God’ work.
Second, I usually arrangement your engagement photoshoot within golden hour. What’s golden hour? That’s the question my 7 year old asked me. Now she gets it. Golden hour is one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise. But I find couple of hours before sunset works well too. Why? The color and hardness of the light are different throughout a day. Have you noticed harsh shadows on someone’s face when you are talking to them in the middle of day on the street? Have you seen the amazing, literally golden light in sky and spread everywhere? The golden hour is a short period of time with most soft, beautiful light that help creating gorgeous images.
Well, it’s hard to do a morning session because you have to get yourself ready with a sleepy head. Most likely, hair and makeup artists are not available. So the popular time would be before sunset. And another benefit would be you have the whole day to pamper yourself and get ready for your engagement photoshoot.
During your engagement photoshoot, I will find where has the best light. It’s not only about where you want for background, but also where has the best light. I’m sorry to disappoint you here for a second. Sometimes the best background and the best lighting are not happening the way we wanted. But we could make it work. We just need to be patient and wait for the perfect timing to achieve the dreaming images you are looking for.
7. Allow Me to Guide You Through and Have Some Fun!
I love to capture the natural and authentic moments while they are happening. I also tell couples to be yourself and just focus on each other. Candid shots are the best for sure. However, for your parents, they usually love more traditional looks. No worries. I absolutely will get a good combination of traditional and candid, but favor the candid authentic moments that reflect the true you and your true love for each other.
I will give you some guidance to start and the rest is up to you. It’s actually quite simple. Just have some fun! Giggling in his arms, give a twirl to let the wind pick up your dress and flow in the cool ocean breeze. Maybe he will give you a piggy back ride and just lift you up and hold you tight like he will never let you go.
Just show how much you love each other and how excited you are to be his Mrs 🙂 Simple, right?
What to Bring on Your Engagement Photoshoot
Well prepared is the key to an successful engagement photoshoot. So here are some tips from past experience as a wedding photographer who had many many engagement photoshoot on the beach, in a flower field, on a mountain top, in a river and on the streets of Boston.
A. Alway prepare at least two sets of outfit. One is more dressy and another is more casual. Also this would help in case of any unexpected event. You will have the backup.
B. If you are going for a long walk to reach destination or for a hike, wear your sneakers and bring your heels. Don’t forget about water.
C. Bring bug spray or wipes if you are going to nature for your engagement session.
D. Bring your makeup kit with you for touch up, especially blotting paper or powder and lipstick.
E. Bring Lint roller. You have no idea how important it is, especially if you are going to wear black.
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