What, Where, When
The Engagement Shoot can be one of the most beneficial elements of your wedding photos. It gives you a bunch of lasting images for you to share or use in your wedding and family albums, but also lets you meet your photographer (me) and get used to being photographed too. Some people might use these photos for their wedding stationary, or simple for a memento of the story.
But unless you're a model or you've had a number of photo shoots before, being in front of the camera, what to wear or how to pose might not come naturally. So here's a handy guide to your Engagement Shoot and what to expect!
What to Wear
This is probably the most frequent question I get, "What should I wear?". Well, the simple answer is to wear what you and your partner are comfortable wearing. By that I don't mean joggers and your comfy t shirt (unless you really want to!) but BE YOU. Don't wear something you're not sure about or totally new.
Elevate your style, accessorise or add some bold elements if you want. Don't forget your engagement ring!
Don't wear something you're going to spend the whole shoot worrying if it's quite right or needs adjusting. Be stylish, but comfortable.
There's no bad colours, but if one of you is wearing muted colours and the other goes for bold, it can look a little weird. So my next point:
Try to match style. I don't mean you have to wear 'his and hers' (though that can look fun!), but if one of you is wearing a suit and tie, and the other is in ripped jeans, it might look odd.
Bring a second choice if you're not entirely 100% or even have one in case the weather changes suddenly. It's a bit more challenging to change during an outdoor shoot, but even adding layers can change the look.
Don't have anything in your pockets. It really stands our on a photo. Bring a bag, leave in the car or you can pass things to me if you want.
Hair & Makeup
It's better to have hair and makeup that matches your outfits. That doesn't mean you can't go all-out and get your hair and makeup done especially, but I would advise you speak to your stylist to let them know what you're wearing and where you're shooting (particularly if it's outdoors!).
You might even be able to get your Wedding stylist to give you a discount for a mini sesh ;)
Many couples also just do their own hair and makeup. It doesn't have to be overcomplicated! A bit of lip colour can go a long way in photos. If you can get makeup fixing spray, that's great on hot days and some hairspray for the windy locations helps too!
For the men, you can also match your hair (and makeup) to your outfit. I find men are easier because they more often have shorter hair, but again, a bit of hairspray can help with windy days and keep you neat and tidy throughout the shoot (or bring a hat if you want!).
To anyone not used to it (which is most people, don't worry), posing can feel a bit awkward and weird. But it's completely normal to feel that way at first, and once of the great benefits of the Engagement Shoot is to get comfortable with it. Honestly, I'm a photographer and I HATE posing for photos! I'm there to help and know what works, so it might feel odd, but it won't look it on the photos.
HANDS: We don't think about what our hands are doing most of the time, so when we focus on them you've suddenly got these two things dangling around waiting for instructions. My advice here is to always have something for them to do, whether it's in pockets, holding an umbrella, touching your partner, holding a coat and so on. Bring some props too if you want.
HEAD: it's better to slightly lean your head and neck forward towards the camera to smooth out skin and lengthen your neck more.
CANDID & POSED: For the most part, you being you looks great, I aim not to pose you too much, but I might help if something isn't quite right. I'll also give you some instructions to how and where to stand. For the most part I ask you to ignore me and just be yourselves (these make the best shots)
Some couples have a clear idea of what they want and where they'd like the shoot and everything has been planned. Some are happy to go with the flow. Either is fine!
I recommend using Pinterest to look at photos and poses you like. It not only helps you visualise what your photos might look like, but it helps me understand a bit about your likes, dislikes and style.
Of course I bring my own style to the shoot, but it never hurts to incorporate some ideas of yours too. They are your photos and I want you to be happy with them!
I've created a mood board you can find here for a good starting point.
You should enjoy your Engagement Shoot! There's nothing to worry about and I'll be there to help with anything anyway.
We'll get a lot of good photos, then I'll go away and do some edits and retouches. The images will then be available to you on your personal gallery.
You can choose to use them for wedding stationary, social media or anything really! Some people just like to keep them for family and close friends.
One last tip is to make a day of it. Make it the high point of the day so you're in a good mood and excited :)