An engagement session with a professional photographer is usually more relaxed than a typical photo shoot. You and your fiancée should showcase the "essence" of your relationship in this simple series of photos. These shots can then be used creatively to decorate your wedding or they can be used on your save the dates. The possibilities are endless. Whatever you decide, an engagement photo session is necessary in today's world.
When To Take Engagement Photos
Try to take your engagement photos in the same season you and your fiancée become engaged. In doing this, you are hoping to “capture the moment” of your engagement. If you get engaged in cold winter months, you should still be able to find a photographer who can take your photos, but you and your fiancée must be ready for a cold photo shoot!
Choosing Your Location
Your photographer should have a number of places where they normally shoot engagement photos, but you should choose a location that has personal meaning for your relationship. Where did you get engaged, or where did you meet? Do you have a favorite date spot?
If these locations are not feasible for your photographer, you should choose a location that is fitting for you and your fiancée as a couple. Do you love to go on hikes and spend a lot of your time in the great outdoors? Maybe a local trail or a green park will be a good location. Or, do you like to go out in the city and sample local cuisine and culture? An urban photo shoot would work very well, and maybe you could be photographed sharing a glass of wine in a restaurant.
Whatever your location choice is, just make sure it says something about the two of you. These engagement photos should tell your story.
What To Use Your Engagement Photos For
Sure, your engagement photos should be plastered all over your walls and maybe a few will even make it into your Facebook profile, but these photos can be used for much more.
Save The Dates
Engagement photos are most commonly used on save the dates for your wedding. Save the dates are generally sent out about six months before the wedding date and are simply used to tell guests to not make plans for your wedding day. Save the dates are often in the form of a postcard (which will save you on postage), a magnet, or just a simple card. A number of good online stores such as VistaPrint and Magnet Street Weddings can be used to create your save the dates at very competitive prices.
You save the date reminders should include all the vital information for your wedding. The date, ceremony and reception time and locations, and your names should be the minimum amount of information given. Be sure to include an engagement photo or two to make your save the date really come to life.
Many couples will take their engagement photos and print them in a photo guest book. These books can be as large as you want and will oftentimes hold at least twenty engagement pictures or more. Each page should include a photo or a number of photos with a good amount of white space surrounding it. The white space is where all of your guests will write their names and any pithy words of advice or encouragement. The guest book usually sits on a table near the main entrance to your reception hall.
Online photo gift websites like Shutterfly and Snapfish are very good locations to have a book produced. These sites offer a number of well-designed templates that allow you to drag and drop photos into your book. Before you order anything from these website, be sure to do an internet search for online coupon codes, which will usually save at least ten to fifteen percent from your order.
You should also consider printing out some of your engagement photos to decorate your reception venue. You can place the photos in simple frames and put them on guest tables, the sweetheart table, or next to your guest book. This is a simple yet unique way to show the love that you and your fiancée share.
Finding Your Photographer
Look up possible photographers online or find them through referrals from friends and family. Once you find a few photographers that you really like and who are within your price range, contact them via email or telephone. Ask if you can personally meet with them for a consultation. Come to this meeting with questions regarding pricing, workflow, and experience—all very important aspects of a wedding photographer.
Before signing a big wedding contract, see if your favorite photographer will take your engagement photos. Think of this photo session as a “test drive” of your photographer. If their product is poor or you have difficulties working with them, feel free to find another photographer (but you still need to pay for the engagement shoot).
Working With Your Photographer
Your engagement photo session is a very important preparation for your wedding day photography. When the photo session first starts, chances are you will feel a bit awkward and unnatural. Most couples just do not like behind photographed. Do not be alarmed by this. If your photographer is good, they should make you feel comfortable more comfortable within a few minutes.
Your engagement photography session should be similar to your wedding photography in everything except its scale. Your photographer will pose you and move you around to get their desire photographs. You will be asked to smile, kiss, and hold a straight face. This will vary from photographer to photographer, but it should help you understand how your photographer interacts with you. Hopefully, you will completely forget that a camera is even capturing your every movement. This will make you all the more comfortable for your big day.
What To Wear To Your Engagement Session
Most engagement sessions will last between one and two hours. For the shorter one-hour sessions, you and your fiancée will probably only have time to wear one outfit, but another outfit is usually possible with a two-hour photo shoot.
Try to pick out simple clothes for your engagement session. Men usually look best in neutral solid colored shirts without emblems. Stay away from bright, distracting colors. Again, solid colored tops are generally best for women. Patterns work fine, but they should not be distracting. Above all, make sure that your outfits are coordinated. Your colors should not clash and should definitely not match.
If you have any further questions regarding your outfits, be sure to ask your photographer.
In addition to your wedding photographer, here is a quick list of all the other vendors you must book for your wedding day: