Picture this: You’re old and gray, sitting in your back garden, and you decide to crack open the old photo album – BAM.
There you are – in all your youthful glory – looking like you’ve just stepped out of a romance novel. Now THAT’S why you need engagement photos. They’re time machines on paper (or pixels) – and they’re your ticket to showing your grandkids how much of a catch you snagged.
But wait, your engagement photos aren’t just for your own family albums – they’re true multitaskers! Save-the-Dates? Check. Invitations? Check. That wedding website you’ve been obsessing over at 2 AM? Double check.
And there’s even more! Engagement photos are your trial run – a sneak peek at what’s to come. You can get comfy with being the centre of attention, figure out your best angles (we’ve all got ’em), and learn to navigate the PDA that doesn’t scream “Get a room!”.
Plus, it’s a chance to see how you and your photographer (me?) vibe together. Because let’s face it, on your wedding day, they’ll be shadowing you like a ninja – a very friendly, camera-wielding ninja.
So, without further ado, here are the top 5 tips from a wedding photographer (still me) to make sure you absolutely nail your engagement photoshoot.
1. Choose the right location for your engagement photoshoot
When it comes to engagement photos, location is everything. It’s like choosing the right stage for your favourite play – the setting can make or break the whole performance. So, make sure you pick a place that’ll make your love story truly shine…
Think of a spot with some sort of personal meaning for YOU…
…maybe it’s where the two of you awkwardly bumped into each other and had that first: “Oh, sorry… wow, you’re cute” moment.
…or perhaps it’s the bar where you had that marathon date and drank yourselves into each other’s hearts.
…or – on a more romantic note – it could be a dream location that you’ve always wanted to visit together.
After all, these places aren’t just coordinates on a map – they’re chapters in your epic saga.
Now, if you’re sitting there thinking: “But our first date was at a chain restaurant over shared mozzarella sticks” – don’t panic.
This isn’t about prestige; it’s about what feels right for you. If those mozzarella sticks were the unsung heroes of your love story, then I say we make that cheesy goodness our co-star.
Let’s also talk about the look – because let’s face it, aesthetics matter. Those Instagram-worthy spots you’ve been eyeing? Let’s make them work for you. Charming vineyards? – Oh yeah! Untouched beaches? – I love the idea! Your own backyard? – If it’s where you’ve built your dreams together, it’s gold.
So as we set out on this scouting adventure, think about the vibe you’re going for. Are we channeling urban chic with graffiti murals as your backdrop? Or are we frolicking through nature, pretending we’re not slightly allergic to pollen? Whatever it is, we’re going all in.
2. Time your engagement session perfectly
…did I say location is everything?
Well, that was almost true. You see, in the world of photography, it’s not just about the ‘where’ – it’s also about the ‘when’.
And when it comes to the ‘when’, nothing comes close to Golden Hour. Now I know it sounds like a superhero’s favourite time of day (and it kind of is, IF you consider me a superhero).
After all, this is when the sun hangs low like a ripe peach in the sky, casting a warm, forgiving glow that makes everything and everyone look like they’re starring in their own personal romantic movie – no filters needed.
But even if you’re not a huge fan of golden hour, there are other options too. After all, there’s something about twilight – that blue-hued window where day shakes hands with night – that can add a touch of drama to your romantic photos too.
Or do you wanna dance under the stars? Nighttime shots can be magical with the right twinkle lights and a bit of technical wizardry from my part. Just pack some bug spray unless you want to double your photo shoot as a mosquito buffet.
The only time of day we’ll probably try to avoid are midday shoots. Why? Because the only thing we want shining bright like a diamond is you – and NOT the sweat on your brow from the relentless high-noon sun. Plus, in case you didn’t know, squinting is not the same thing as smiling.
Okay, but now you might be thinking, “But what if it rains?” Well then it rains! I mean, rain can be romantic too! With the right attitude (and maybe a cute umbrella or two), rain can transform your photoshoot into something truly epic, rare, and beautiful. Sure, let’s try not to get soaked – but otherwise? I say bring it on!
The bottom line is that we can plan, plot, and play with timing until we hit that jackpot light. But remember, Mother Nature has her own schedule. So let’s plan your perfect engagement photoshoot – and then be ready to deal with anything.
3. Choose the right outfits for your photoshoot
Alright, adventurers in amour, it’s time for some fashion advice – ‘cause in the land of engagement photos, wardrobe malfunctions are the only dragons we need to slay.
So here’s my first (and most important) rule: wear what makes you feel like a million bucks (even if you scooped it up for twenty).
This isn’t the day to test those new shoes that are as comfortable as walking on a bed of nails or don that shirt your aunt swore was ‘all the rage in Europe‘. Instead, pick outfits that you feel comfortable and beautiful (or handsome) in. Trust me, that additional confidence will show in your photos!
Other than that, let’s talk coordination.
– I mean, you want to look like you belong on the same canvas, don’t you?
Now, before you start plotting on how to overdo it, this isn’t some sort of matchy-matchy sitcom family portrait. Think more ‘complementary’ than ‘identical.’ If you’re all about that rustic vibe, maybe it’s denim and boots for you both, with a pop of colour to keep things interesting. Going for glam? – Bring on the flowy dresses and sharp suits.
And the final touch – props & accessories! They’re like the cherry on top of the (wedding) cake. A cool hat, funky glasses, or a statement necklace can add that je ne sais quoi.
But beware, because there’s a fine line between tastefully accessorised and looking like you robbed a quirky thrift store on the way to the shoot…
As for props, think about stuff that has YOU written all over them. Think authentic touches that say, “This is us, and we rock”.
But here’s the plot twist – your love is the star of the show, not the 3-foot inflatable swan (no matter how fabulous it is). Props should be the supporting actors that elevate your story, not scene-stealers that leave you as mere extras in your own photo shoot.
When thinking about your outfits, accessories, and props, just remember: these photos are timeless – or at least they should be. They should reflect who you are as a couple right now. And they should portray you in a way that you want to remember yourselves too.
4. Have fun and strip away your camera shyness
You know that feeling when you’re awkwardly standing side by side for a photo, desperately trying to remember how normal humans position their arms?
Yeah, well we’re not gonna do that!
I mean, it’s totally okay to feel a little self-conscious during a photoshoot. Embracing vulnerability is part of the process, and I’m here to help create an environment where you can relax and be yourselves. Think of me as your friendly guide – and not just a photographer. I’m here to capture your genuine connection, not to make you feel like you’re under a microscope.
So, to ease into the shoot, we’ll start with some warm-up shots. These casual, low-pressure photos will help you get used to the camera and the process. We’ll chat, joke around, and before you know it, those initial jitters will start to fade away.
If you’re worried about striking the right pose or putting on a forced smile, don’t be. We’re going for natural, candid shots that capture your authentic personalities. I’ll provide gentle direction and prompts to help you relax and interact with each other in a way that feels completely natural.
After all, a lot of those seemingly perfect, magazine-worthy photos are the result of genuine moments captured when the subjects are at ease and lost in the moment. So let go of any preconceived notions of how you should look or act in front of the camera. Your love and connection are what truly shine through in the photos.
So you do you! Cuddle, kiss, hug, or dance – feel free to forget that I’m even there and joke around or engage in a deep conversation. If you have a furry friend who’s an integral part of your love story – even better! Bring them along to join the fun too!
Still, if you want some guidance on how to recreate a photo you fell in love with on Instagram or Pinterest – then I’ve got your back there too! I can teach you the art of posing – and our engagement photoshoot should be enough time for you to master it too. So bring all your inspo photos, bring a list of your wildest ideas – and let’s bring them to life!
Whatever preconceived notions you might have, just trust the process. As a ‘certified third wheel’, I’ve been through countless photoshoots, and have seen camera-shy individuals transform into confident, radiant, beautiful human beings. So, by the end of the session, you’ll likely find yourself embracing the experience and enjoying every moment.
5. Plan the logistics of your engagement session
Now that we’ve covered every fun part of planning your perfect engagement photoshoot, we need to talk about the more technical details too.
For example, when it comes to the duration of your engagement shoot, we want to strike that perfect balance by having enough time to capture a variety of shots and moments – without feeling rushed or fatigued. So typically, I’d recommend around 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the shoot, the number of locations, and any specific requests you might have.
As for the deliverables, it’s all about setting clear expectations. I’ll give you a collection of high-quality, meticulously edited photos that encapsulate the magic of your engagement session and reflect the essence of your love story.
Now, the number of photos may vary based on the duration of the shoot and the package you select. But – whether you prefer digital files, physical prints, or a combination of both – you can rest assured that each photo will be meticulously edited to enhance its visual appeal while staying true to the authentic moments captured during the session.
But that’s just me – I want to hear your ideas, expectations, and wishes too! After all, transparency and open dialogue are super important to make sure that your vision for your engagement session aligns with the final outcome – and that the entire process will be a seamless, enjoyable experience that culminates in a stunning collection of engagement photos that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Can’t wait to have your perfect engagement session? Feel free to check out my engagement packages to find the perfect one for you!