Recipe for Awesome Engagement Photos
It’s been almost 1 whole year since my husband and I got hitched! It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long though – in fact I often still slip up and refer to him as my boyfriend! When I was growing up, I was never one to dream about what my wedding would be like. I think that was a good thing because I didn’t have preset expectations on how our wedding should have been. Everything was new and fresh and exciting.
I have to admit though – ever since we started planning for our wedding I found out that I have a secret obsession. I’ve tried to hide it but my husband has walked in on me several times… I’m addicted to looking at wedding dresses online. I don’t know how or why but somehow if I ever have a spare moment I’ll find myself googling Maggie Sottero, or Dessy… And it doesn’t end there. I also can’t stop looking at other people’s engagement and wedding photos. I love it! It’s the perfect combination of artistry, romanticism and voyeurism.
If you’re about to get married and haven’t had engagement photos done, I strongly encourage you to have them taken. Aside from it being a great way to preserve the happy memories (while everything is still perky and no sagging has occurred) it’s also great practice for your wedding photos! Keeping in mind that I studied film and lighting for years and worked as a model, I’ve compiled some tips on how to get the most out of your engagement photo session.
- Find Examples: Go online and look at photos that you like the look of. Find out what characteristics you like and show this to your photographer so they know what you want to get out of the shoot. Are you looking for a quirky style, or maybe the classic black&white or sepia photos that remind you of Paris… Do you like photos where the couple is posing or when they are just sort of caught in the act of being in love…
- Pick a Suitable Photographer: Suitable photographer does not necessarily mean the cheapest photographer! Yes – you can find excellent student photographers or friends who have nice cameras but make sure that they understand what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for some classic style photos, you may not want to select a photographer that specializes in S&M…catch my drift? If you’re looking for a good place to start check out Jen’s site (I went to elementary school with her and now stalk her work on facebook all the time!). Also Marlen is great too – she’s located in Toronto and is super talented and down to earth…Just watch out for her because she tries to get her clients naked (jk) as she is also an acclaimed boudoir photographer!
- Scout Locations: Don’t rely on your photographer to come up with the perfect location for your photos. If you have a friend with a gorgeous backyard near a babbling brook that you think would be perfect for your photos then ask them. Your photographer is a great resource, but be proactive! Also, remember that for shooting in public places you may need to contact the city to get a permit. The last thing you want is to be chased off in the middle of your photoshoot and be running from the cops.
- Prepare for your Shoot: Contrary to what you may think, successful models don’t just roll out of bed and go to a shoot. They buff and polish and wax and moisturize first. Now, this may sound a little extreme but its true. You need to prepare yourself for the shoot. Make sure you have lots of sleep the night before, drink lots of liquid so your skin glows and invest in a face mask to rejuvenate your pores. If you know that your hair usually looks better the day after you wash it, then plan ahead. Make sure you have your wardrobe picked out and whatever needs to be ironed is. Also, make sure you eat and have scheduled enough time for the shoot.
- Makeup/Hair: While I’m not saying that you need to get your hair and makeup professionally done, it may be a nice treat for you. Professional makeup artists and hairstylists know how to make things look a million times better on camera. These are your engagement photos afterall – you don‘t want to fade away into the background. Also, you may be surprised at how affordable makeup artists/hairstylists are! Many are trained to do both and they will meet you at your location. Some will even stick around to do “touch ups” – this can include makeup fixes or getting rid of those annoying fly away hairs that tend to muck up every photo. If you’re in the Toronto area and need some suggestions gimme a shout. I was super impressed with Sherry who I worked with on another shoot. Within minutes of meeting her I felt so at ease. She’s great with hair too! Within minutes she transformed my messy tangley locks into something that looked like it should be on a Pantene commercial!
- Have Fun: Don’t be uptight about things and try not to over think things. The point of engagement photos is to capture the love and the essence of you and your partner just being together and in love. Most of the time the best photos are the ones where the couple just stops caring and noticing the photographer, and just has fun with their loved one. If you’re a goofy couple – don’t fight it. Release your inner goofballs for the shoot! If you’re a couple that loves to go out dancing together, then consider having that caught on camera.
So there you go – in a nut shell! I hope you take these tips and words of wisdom and go out into the world and take awesome pics! Make sure to tag me in them because you know how much I love wedding and engagement pics!!