You’re engaged! Welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning. You know that box on your list that you know you need to check off but you’ve been putting off? Yeah, the one that says “Engagement Photos”. I know that one can sometimes feel like a can of worms you’re not ready to open. But here’s the thing, planning your engagement session doesn’t have to add to your stress. In fact, quite the opposite. Your engagement session is supposed to be fun! To help smooth things along, we’ve gathered a few tips to help you plan the best possible session for your engagement photos.
Looking Your Best For Your Engagement Photos
One of, if not the most frequently asked questions when it comes to planning for an engagement session is, what in the heck am I supposed to wear?! Well, at the risk of over-simplifying things, we say – whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Unless you’re doing a lifestyle type engagement shoot, you probably don’t want to wear jeans and flip-flops. We’ll touch on lifestyle shoots in a little bit, I promise! Instead, think more along the lines of something you’d wear out to a nice dinner, or maybe your Sunday best. You look great and you can still breathe while looking fabulous!
Just remember, this is your engagement session! This isn’t something you get to do on a regular basis, (if – and hopefully not – ever again). So why not go all out and get all dolled up and dressed to the nines?! I’m talking suit, tie, glitzy gown, heals, the works! Now I know this sounds like a complete 180 from what I JUST finished saying. However, we actually recommend picking out a couple of different outfit options for your engagement session. This can help create a more balanced imagery of who you are as a couple and as individuals. Because let’s face it, you can rock the comfy casual all day every day, but DANG do you clean up good!
Compliments and Complements
It’s important to be mindful of the colors and patterns you wear. Typically, we don’t recommend matching your outfits. You know you’ve seen that 90’s matching windbreaker family photo floating around the internet. We do, however recommend creating cohesive looks that complement each other well. Color choices and patterns are just another element that help you express who you are during your engagement session. Here are just a couple of things to consider.
- Have your location in mind when picking your outfit. Will the location of your engagement session have busy elements or a nice clean background, free of distraction? (Solid prints and bold patterns, respectively).
- Avoid clashing patterns. Your gorgeous floral dress may not photograph well next to your fiancé’s flannel or striped shirt. In fact, it definitely won’t!
- Think of the overall feel you want your images to have. Are you looking for a soft and dreamy, ethereal feel? Then consider softer colors for you and neutral colors for him (grey, tan, etc.). Or maybe you are the bold type, in which case you can spring for richer and more vibrant colors.
- Have your fiancé pick out your outfits. If that’s not an option, at the very least, do a quick wardrobe check before leaving the house. Coordinating your outfits like this will help decrease the risk of any oversights. Plus, if YOU like what you’re wearing and THEY like what you’re wearing, (and vice versa), then you’ll both step in front of that camera feeling like a million bucks. That feeling will totally show in the final results.
Choosing The Best Place For Your Engagement Photos
Remember when I said to have your location in mind when picking out an outfit? Let’s go ahead and jump right in. Take a look at who you are as a couple and your overall personalities. Your engagement photos and the location should reflect that.
If you’ve got that grand gesture, live life to the fullest, do and see everything kind of approach to your life and your love, then your photo spot should probably have that same sense of grandeur. Maybe you’re a little bit more low-key and find peace and beauty in the simpler things (totally me, btw). In which case, a more intimate setting will be your best bet.
A great starting point for when you’re trying to come up with a list of options for your engagement session location is thinking of places that have meaning to you as a couple. Where did you first meet? What’s your favorite weekend spot? Is there someplace new you’ve been dying to check out but haven’t had a chance to? Picking a place that has meaning to you will automatically make you feel more comfortable, which will naturally translate into your photos.
Wherever you choose to take your engagement photos, it’s important to make sure all of your bases are covered so there are no surprises when you get there. I’m talking photo permits. A lot of locations, natural parks and urban settings alike, require a permit for professional photography (some more costly than others). Talk to your photographer about this. Chances are, they’ve got that all figured out and know which places require a permit, for how much, and which one’s don’t. The last thing you want to happen during your engagement session is being approached by security or law enforcement, mid-smooch, and be asked to leave.
We’ve got a little bonus tip on location selection for you, coming from someone who learned the hard way! Pick a place that has safe and comfortable location for you to change outfits. Public restrooms may not be the ideal, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to do than the back of a car, not to mention less embarrassing.
If you had your heart set on that wide-open field of flowers out in the middle of nowhere, fear not! Someone out in the world has your back because portable changing tents are a thing and we always have one on hand!
Making Your Engagement Photos Fun
Our last bit of advice for planning the perfect engagement session is be true to yourselves. Your love and uniqueness as a couple is what makes you so very special. Your engagement photos are simply an extension of all that amazingness. The outfits, the locations, and the aesthetic style you choose to represent your relationship should 100% feel right to you. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to opt in for the traditional engagement portrait session. You can definitely go that route and do all of the things we’ve talked about so far, or you could dare to be different. Dare to be YOU! We’d love you for it all the same.
A lifestyle session may be just the thing to help turn this from a cringe-worthy experience to a walk in the park (literally!). If your favorite thing to do while spending time together is go for a walk with your fur-baby along the beach early Sunday morning, or cook a nice home cooked meal with a glass of wine not too far away on a Friday night, there is absolutely no reason you can’t turn those activities of your relationship into your engagement session. Have your photographer meet you in your natural element to capture those simple and equally special moments of your life together.
Your engagement photos don’t have to be just another thing to cross off your wedding to-do list. They should be something you look forward to just as much as your big day. Hopefully these few tips will help make your engagement session the fun and exciting experience you both deserve! While we tried to keep this short and sweet, it’s possible we left some ideas out. If you’ve got some other tips or suggestions we might have missed, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your input to help bring the most value to your wedding and engagement planning experience.
As always, if there is something you’d like to hear more about, or if we missed anything, we want to hear from you in the comments below!
Be sure to check out our Wedding Planning Resources page for more tips and insights for planning your big day.
About Ashley and Erik Photography
We are a family of like-minded creatives in Miami serving South Florida and various destinations, who wish to be a spark in the lives of the clients and families we serve. We are dedicated to loving and serving our clients as if they were our own family, and elegantly preserving their stories to be shared with future generations. We’d love to grab a coffee with you and discuss any questions you have about our Wedding Photography Experience. Please feel free to contact us anytime.