One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was styling and shooting my engagement photos with my photographer and friend, Kaytee Lauren. Aside from the usual selfie and occasional iPhone photo, this was the first time that my fiancé at the time (now husband, Kevin) could join in on the professional photoshoot fun that I do constantly creating content for Cathclaire and The Crystal Press. And what a better time to do it than to celebrate being engaged?
I treated my engagement photos like any other photoshoot for my blog and took a lot of time and care to make sure that no detail was left out. This might not be your style, but for the two of us, it ended up being a fun outlet to express ourselves while capturing our engagement simultaneously. We rented a beautiful house in the countryside of Charlottesville, VA and spent the weekend there with Kaytee and her husband. Not only did Kaytee capture magical photos, but it was also SO MUCH FUN! I highly recommend making a weekend out of it.
Read on to see my tips on how to plan your engagement photos.
Hire a Professional Photographer: I always recommend shooting with your wedding photographer for these photos so that you and your lover can get to know your wedding photographer better and begin to get comfortable shooting together. This will make you more comfortable on your wedding day and anything that makes the wedding day shots easier is an A+ in my book!
Bring Several Outfits to Choose From: Your mood might change or you may feel inspired to wear your most daring outfit you brought but one thing is for sure, curated outfit options are ALWAYS a good idea.
A few more outfit tips…
Just because an outfit looks like you, doesn’t mean that it will translate in photos. If you are having a hard time distinguishing between what will look good on camera, ASK FOR HELP. Get your friend to take some iPhone test shots so you can get a feel for how your look translates in photos. If you still don’t know, ask your photographer. My guess is they have a LOT of experience shooting couples in the same outfit conundrum that you are in right now and they will have great guidance.
Don’t confuse “wear something that you are comfortable in” with “wear something that is comfortable”. Of course, wear something that is comfortable to move around and pose in – but also wear something that has a bold photographic quality to it. Think clothing that has movement: big sleeves, ruffles, chiffon, a dress with a billowy skirt. Clothing pieces and accessories with movement will make your engagement photos come alive beyond the hold-my-hand-and-kiss-me photos.
When all else fails for picking your outfit, start with how you want to feel in your photos and build your engagement photo look from there.
Location Scout: Whether your dream engagement photos are in beautiful nature, the city, your home, or in a rented space (a studio, an airbnb etc) – decide where specifically you want the location of your engagement photos to be. Keep in mind that regardless of the place you choose, clean backdrops are always preferable because it keeps the focus on the two of you in the engagement photos.
Be Prepared with Poses: Have several different poses that appeal to you and your significant other saved on a Pinterest board or in your iPhone photo library. Notes can be helpful, but like they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Make it easy on yourself and keep some photo inspiration handy. This will make communicating with your photographer so much easier and help your vision for your engagement photos come to life even more!
PROPS, PROPS, and MORE PROPS : Get together with your significant other and talk about your favorite things. My husband loves making music – so it was a no brainer to include one of his guitars. We both chose a drink of choice for the shoot, a record we loved, a polaroid camera, some clothing accessories and other trinkets of sorts. Those are just the props that made sense to us but literally anything can be a prop when it comes to engagement photos!
I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to plan your engagement photos and I hope they make planning your engagement photos magical and just how you always wanted! XOX