Engagement Photos and Ideas
Why Do Engagement Photos?
In all the years I’ve been taking engagement photos, every time I walk away from a session, I think “That was so fun! I wish every one of my couples had a chance to do this!” Often the two questions that are asked then are:
1. Why should we do engagement photos
2. What should we do with the pictures once we’ve had the session?
Here are a few things that I’ve found to be true for every couple:
- Doing Engagement Photos will give you a chance to have capture some fun, more casual pictures of your relationship with each other.
Of course you’ll get pictures on your wedding day but that day you’ll be dressed to the hilt. For your engagement photos, you’ll most likely be dressed more casually which will free you up to do more fun, out of the box shots (like rolling up your jeans and wading through the creek together!)
- Doing Engagement Photos will allow you and your fiancé to get to know your photographer before the wedding
For most of us, the last time we had our pictures professionally taken was for our Senior Pictures and you may feel awkward in front of the camera. If you get the chance to do Engagement Photos, especially on location outside, you can get a taste for how much fun it is to work with your photographer and how un-awkward it can feel to be in front of the camera!
- Doing Engagement Photos will give your photographer a really good feel of how the two of you interact together.
This is similar to the point above, but if you’re really outgoing and don’t mind displaying lots of affection for each other, if you’re more reserved and aren’t as comfortable being playful or a combination of both, your photographer will be able to pick up on that during your engagement session. This will help them prep and plan the best ways to get natural looking photos of you for that session as well as for the day of the wedding!
How to Plan for Your Engagement Photos
The first and most important thing to figure out when planning your Engagement Photo session is who you and your fiancé are as a couple, what your style is and what you enjoy doing together. Let’s say you’re a country girl at heart and your fiancé loves to hunt and some of your favorite things to do together are to hike or spend the day at the lake fishing. If that described you, I would probably suggest that you pick a rural location, perhaps in a wheat field near an old barn or at your favorite hiking spot where you may have gone on many dates. Or perhaps you’re an attorney and your fiancé works at a university and the things that you enjoy doing together looks more like a dressy evening out at your local Italian Restaurant followed by a quiet walk in the park. If this is you, I’d probably suggest a more classy, urban setting such as a park with gorgeous red brick and black wrought iron fence work for your Engagement Session. Do you enjoy “Crossfitting” together? Do you love cooking together? If you haven't checked out my latest blog post above, do so, and you'll see that Mark and Katie chose to do their Engagement Session at Emerson Park in Auburn, NY because that's where Mark proposed!
Another option to consider is what season you’d like to do your Engagement Photos in. If you’re like me, you love a warm, summery look where you can wear your sandals and cute sleeveless shirts. Perhaps you’re more a fan of the autumn color when you're excited to pull your skinny jeans and tall boots back out and make it a priority to visit the apple orchard and pick out a pumpkin before Halloween every year. Others really enjoy the cozy look of an Engagement Session in the snow when you can mix and match colorful jackets, scarves, mittens and hats and even finish out the session with a couple mugs of hot chocolate! Then there’s always spring when the flowers are blooming, the trees are budding and the world seems to be painted in pastels!
Figure out what your style is and what you enjoy doing together, let your photographer know these things and then have fun brainstorming together on all the things you can do to make your Engagement Photo Session specifically unique to you!
What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos
Once you’ve chosen your style and location for your Engagement Photo Session, it’ll be much easier to decide on what you should wear. Be sure to plan an outfit or two and have fun accessorizing! Feel free to bring your cowgirl hat, a few cute belts, different colored scarves, a jacket or two, boots and maybe a pair of sandals! If you don’t have a place where you can change your whole outfit, these are just small wardrobe changes but will still add variety and color to your pictures. Do be cautious not to choose clothes with busy patterns or colors that will draw attention away from you and your face in the picture. The other thing to keep in mind is to choose outfits that have a “timeless look”. For example, you may want to tell your fiancé to leave home his tee shirt that has a date or a graphic on it that will appear really out of style when you look back at those photos 10 years later.
What to do with Your Engagement Photos
I’ve found that almost every couple who decides to do Engagement Photos will use a handful of those pictures on either their Save the Dates or Wedding Invitations. In fact, because it’s become such a popular idea, that we have started custom designing Save the Dates for our couples! You can let us know which images are your favorites and we'll take a theme from your wedding and pull it all together! The result is a card that not only features your photos but also a background and feel that goes along with the theme of your wedding. For example, if your theme and decorations include burlap and lace, you can let us know that you'd like to see that theme incorporated into your cards and we'll do it!
Another great way to use your Engagement Photos is by having a Photo Guest Book designed for you! Not only will you be able to enjoy them in a gorgeous book but your guests will be able to see them displayed as they leave you notes of congratulations. And let's be realistic, if you have a guest book that only contains signatures, my guess is that you're not going to pull it off the shelf very often. But if you combine these signatures and notes from your friends and family with the memories of your engagement, you'll likely never even put it on the shelf because it's out on the coffee table to enjoy.