Getting engaged is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. Whether love came quietly into your life or showed up with a bang, getting engaged is a decision that will shape your future forever. To celebrate this moment, planning a unique photoshoot will help you capture those emotions and get excited for your life together.
Taking engagement photos is just one step of the pre-wedding process, and it’s not something you should skip. While you might have had a friend take a sneaky candid picture of the proposal, don’t disregard the value of a professional photoshoot. Many wedding photographers offer engagement photos as part of the wedding bundle so you can get comfortable with them before the big day.
Engagement photos are also perfect for sending out save-the-dates and they document your relationship before you’re married. Planning a wedding can be stressful, so having a photoshoot can be fun relief from the more intense aspects of planning. Follow this guide to get unique engagement photos that celebrate this special time in your life.
1. Choose a Fun Photographer
The success of your engagement shoot largely depends on the photographer you hire. Skilled professionals know how to help couples relax, coach natural poses, and get a stellar result even if you’ve never done a photoshoot before.
Every photographer has a different shooting style and editing approach that’s unique to them. Many professional photographers have big personalities and enjoy being creative with couple shots. Talk to several photographers to get a sense of whether they’re a good fit. Then, choose someone you’re excited to work with.
2. Find a Jaw-dropping Location
One of the easiest ways to make your engagement shoot unique is by choosing a setting that automatically makes every photograph gorgeous. Consider going to the beach, hiking into a national park, or taking photos while on vacation. Places with a lot of depth and beautiful natural features are ideal.
If you live in a city, consider picking a unique urban setting. Textured walls and metal stairs keep the focus on you and your partner instead of directing the eye to the background. For a more glamorous shot, stand in front of a cityscape or pose in the street (safely, of course!). Places that are special to you, like the coffee shop where you had your first date, will also set your photos apart.
3. Bring Personal Props
Once you’ve found a photographer, ask them about bringing props to your session. Although it’s not a good idea to lean heavily on props, a few well-chosen items can highlight what makes you unique as a couple and add a really fun element to your photos. A simple bouquet of flowers or a cozy blanket are both classic engagement props.
Props can range from instruments to cars to food items. For example, you can totally incorporate French fries or ice cream into your engagement photos if you eat those items together all the time. Many couples also bring their dogs along for their engagement shoot. Props allow you to celebrate what makes your relationship unique.
4. Style to Stand Out
Many couples get fixated on finding the perfect clothes to wear. Although your clothing is important, what matters most is that you’re both comfortable. It’s not a good idea to wear new clothes or shoes that will be uncomfortable, since being relaxed will lead to better pictures. Most photographers suggest wearing neutrals, although bold colors can work if you want a pop of color.
Some brides-to-be use their engagement sessions to practice wedding-day hair and makeup. Whatever you choose to do, stay true to yourself and your sense of style. Wear clothes that fit well and try to complement each other – your outfits don’t need to match, but they should look cohesive. Dresses with a fitted waist and flowy skirt will naturally add movement and interest to your pictures.
5. Think About Weather
The best time of year to take photos depends on where you live. However, planning your engagement shoot for the off-season can be a fun way to make your pictures unique. Consider taking pictures in the snow or even the rain for a fun spin on traditional photos.
Some couples have gone so far as to take engagement photos while swimming at the beach or in a pool. Although strong winds aren’t usually ideal, you can take advantage of the dramatic movement they create. Working around a challenge or restriction can lead to extremely creative pictures and hilarious memories.
6. Plan on an Activity
To make your photos even more natural, consider planning your photoshoot around a fun activity. Choose something that you enjoy as a couple and ask your photographer for some candid shots. Movement and activity will help you relax and give your photographer an opportunity to capture your relationship in real-time.
Some ideas for activities include roller skating, horseback riding, surfing, dancing, or baking together. Even simple activities like walking or running can make for beautiful photos. Incorporating an activity into your engagement shoot works best if you want casual, living-life-together pictures.
7. Make It Relevant
Your love story is unique, so incorporating details from your relationship into your photoshoot will make your photos more meaningful and personal. Take pictures in the place where you met or somewhere you love to go on date nights. If you mostly hang out at home, consider a home photography session that commemorates this season of your life.
The worst way to approach your photographer session is by showing up with a shot list. Although looking at other people’s pictures can give you inspiration, copying other images usually doesn’t go well – and it certainly isn’t unique. The best photographers are storytellers, and this photo session should reflect your story.
8. Relax and Have Fun
To be unique, your photos don’t have to be completely different from everyone else’s. They just need to authentically reflect you, your partner, and your relationship. The best way to express this authenticity is to show up confident in yourself and ready to have fun.
It’s a good idea to plan a slow day and spend time together before your photoshoot. That way, you won’t arrive stressed and have to wind down before you can shine for the camera. Focus on your partner, laugh a lot, and don’t obsess over details like your hair or stance. The more comfortable you are, the more you’ll enjoy your photos later.
While there is no one way to take engagement photos, there are some best practices you can follow to create some amazing results. Remember to be yourself and capture your unique personality. The photos should be a celebration of your relationship and your love story.
Taking engagement photos should be fun, not stressful. Set yourself up for success by finding a photographer whose work you love and whose personality vibes well with you. You can use location, clothing, or props to add a special element that makes these photos stand out.
However, your engagement photos should be focused on you and your partner. Plan your photoshoot around a location or activity that’s meaningful to you and then just have fun. Couples who are enjoying each other naturally make for magical engagement pictures.
Author Bio: Cora Gold has been writing about weddings for over five years. As Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine Revivalist and a freelance writer, she loves sharing her inspiration with brides to help make their special day perfect. Follow Cora on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.