I shot Samantha & Jonathan’s engagement shoot last October, and could tell they were going to be an easy going fun couple. Sam and her bridesmaids were all such sweet close girls and Jonathan’s groomsmen were so much fun. The whole group was just a barrel of laughs.
Seeing the couple tear up during their vows, and goof off before the ceremony you knew their love was something special. They say you should marry your best friend and they definitely did. The day was full of love, laughter, and happiness and I was so honored to capture it.
If you just got engaged and are going down a checklist for wedding planning, don’t hesitate to book your take engagement photos. Engagement photos are a fairly new thing. Over the past 5-10 years they’ve become pretty standard, but a lot of people are still skeptical on why they need them. Engagement photos are a great way to prepare for your wedding day, and they are a lot of fun!
Capture How You Feel Now
Being engaged is a just a stepping stone to the next step with your partner. But the feeling of preparing, planning, and getting hyped for your wedding day and new life together is a beautiful thing. You’re giddy, happy, nervous, and in love.
Get to Know Your Photographer
I include engagement sessions in all of my wedding photography packages because I think it really helps us get to know each other. An hour in front of my camera helps us interact, and helps me know the best way to bring out your natural reactions on camera, because everyone and every couple is unique. It’s good to meet and spend some time together before the big day because any stress alleviated helps.
Use your Engagement photos on save the dates
Posting your photos on Facebook and social media is fun, but it’s especially nice to have a current cute shot of the two of you to send out as Save the Dates.
Get Comfortable in Front of the camera
Most people haven’t had professional photos done that often, so it’s normal to be nervous to be constantly photographed on your wedding day. Taking engagement photos is a good practice run to see how you’ll feel. I love to take photos when you two are interacting and not posed and ready, to really help ease the stress and capture a natural scene.
The biggest hesitation people have about sessions or their wedding day is that they worry if they will look good in photos. Cameras have the magical ability to either make us love or hate how we look. Angles, positioning, lighting, and facial expressions all contribute to how you will appear in a photo.
1. Bend like gumby
You have joints, bend them! Stiff legs and arms and sometimes even torsos look awkward. But when bent, you look natural! The words “Be Natural!” confuse clients sometimes because if you’ve never had your picture taken professionally how do you know what that means? But bending joints is a simple way to “Be Natural” it helps you look like a real person.
2. Don’t say cheese
Since we’re little kids we’re taught to smile and “Say Cheese” or another goofy phrase. It’s natural instinct to put on your biggest grin when a camera or phone comes out, but when it’s forced like that, it LOOKS forced.
Natural smiles and especially laughter are the best way to show your happiness and make you look damn good. Happiness flatters everyone. How do you achieve this? That’s my job 🙂 I act like a corny weirdo, ask you to jump, talk, joke, and sometimes even ask for fake laughter which always gets people laughing for real.
Unless you’re having your portrait taken most photos have more than one person in it. When you both just stand there, it doesn’t make for a very interesting photo.
When two people can show their relationship in a photo, it tells a huge story. Whether it be kissing, hugging, tickling, laughing together, jumping, running, doing an activity or even just looking at each other.
And if you are taking a portrait, interact with the camera! Look at the camera, close your eyes, than open them again to look engaged and awake. Smile at the camera like it’s your best friend or someone you love, or look directly into the lens to get an intense effect.
Turning your body and/or head to the side even just a little creates a much more interesting and flattering shot.
5. Don’t Try too hard – just have fun
You know those awkward photos of people with HUGE fake grins, posing their body to look nonhuman, and looking super uncomfortable? Don’t do that, guys.
The simplest advice: pretend the camera isn’t there. Have fun, smile, and follow poses as naturally as you can. My most favorite shots usually happen when you aren’t “ready” for the camera.