Engagement Photos

Smile...and relax. The purpose of an engagement photo shoot is to capture you and your fiancé in a casual and comfortable atmosphere during the exciting time leading up to your Wedding Day. Here are some Do's and Don’ts to help you prepare:

DO
Do schedule an engagement photo session with a photographer that you are seriously considering using for your Big Day. Think of your engagement photo session as a Wedding Day photography rehearsal. The experience alone of working with your photographer on-site for your engagement session is a valuable opportunity to build a rapport and feel comfortable with this person before your nuptials. It also breaks the ice and reduces the discomfort of having a stranger arrive on the day of your wedding to spend the next eight hours with you and your bridal party while photographing you.

DON'T
Don’t forget to read the fine print before signing a contract. Many photographers include a discount for a free engagement shoot when a couple signs a Wedding Day contract. A free engagement session may have its perks, but what if something goes terribly wrong at your engagement session? Are you still locked into paying the costs associated with your Wedding Day contract? Ask your photographer about the possibility of putting a hold on your wedding date first and signing your contract after your engagement session. Make sure to verify the cost of your engagement session if you decide to forgo a Wedding Day contract.

DO
Do consider the best time to schedule your engagement session. If you want to include an image in your save-the-date announcements, plan to schedule a photo session shortly after you secure your wedding date with your ceremony and reception site. If you only want pictures for personal use or to be displayed at your wedding, typically three to four months before your wedding will give you plenty of leeway.
Of note, save-the-date announcements usually are sent out six months before the wedding date and eight months in advance if you are planning a destination wedding or a wedding over a holiday weekend.
 
DON'T
Don’t be boring and have your pictures taken inside a basic studio. Get creative and choose a location that means something to you as a couple, where you can hold hands, show affection, be silly and have fun. Maybe that special place is on the beach or the place where you got engaged or perhaps the site of your first date. Ask your photographer to brainstorm with you and your partner as to locations that will be meaningful to you as a couple and great for taking photos.

DO
Do bring props. If you have a pet, play an instrument, have a hobby, adore a favorite article of clothing, a sign that says “Save the Date” or "We’re Engaged,” or just a meaningful item that you want to include—bring it with you. Balloons also can add a pop of color, while personal items can add an extra connection to your images.

DON'T
Don’t get too matchy-matchy with your partner unless you want to look like an awkward Christmas card photo. Coordinate your attire by wearing neutrals that complement each of you, adding an accent of solid colors in brighter, bolder hues or with small prints to just one piece of your attire or your partner's.

DO
Try to connect the colors of your shoot with your surroundings. For example, if your photo shoot is outdoors in the fall, wear a hue that matches the golden colors of the leaves falling around you. If you opt for a dress- casual look, then both of you should don something dress-casual and bring at least one outfit change that is a little more casual or dressy than the first.

DON'T
Don’t wear pale colors, whites and clothing that is too baggy. Consider collared button-down shirts for men as they are slimming and frame the angles of their face
for a chiseled and refined overall effect. Boots and high heels for women always look great and are slimming as well.

DO
Do have your hair, makeup and nails done by the stylist or salon you are considering using for your wedding. Keep your overall look casual (no up-dos are necessary) to coincide with the feel of the shoot. This will provide an opportunity to see if you like working with your chosen stylist in advance, leaving you plenty of time to find a new one before the wedding if you don’t.

DON'T
Don't forget to schedule a post engagement follow up with your photographer. After an engagement shoot, provide your photographer with honest feedback about what you loved and what you were not too crazy about. Your photographer can then focus the scope of his or her work to provide you with more images of what you want to include on your Big Day.
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