Tips for Engagement Photos and Couples Photos from a Professional Engagement Photographer in Connecticut
#1 Formal & Fun Attire
I am a HUGE fan when my couples dress up for their photos. In this day and age with most of us working from home, when do you really get the opportunity to dress up fancy? That’s right, hardly ever! Picking the right outfit can either make or break the images in your final gallery; therefore giving meticulous thought to your outfit is extremely important. Often times my couples will seek guidance and suggestions on the perfect attire. I have a LONG list of do and don’ts when it comes to the outfit! It is important to pick outfits that do not clash, are fairly formal yet comfortable & fun and match your personal style. Never try to dress or be someone you’re not during your shoot, because it will show, and prevent us from photographing your authentic self.
During winter months when greenery is scarce and the landscape is dull, wear at least 1 article of clothing that POPS. Perfect example is my lovely couple above she chose a stunning red dress that stands out from the overall green & yellow background but also picks up the slight red detail in the fall colors! The same but opposite is true for summer months. With all the bright blossoms and colors of the spring and summer try to avoid clashing colors like bright greens, pinks or bright pastel colors that will blend in with the foreground, and instead elect for more a neutral pallet. Also when it comes to footwear – ladies, if you elect for heels make sure to bring a backup pair of comfier shoes especially at a more rustic location.
#2 Bring a Prop!
Bring a prop that will POP! Something as simple and elegant as a single red rose can really add beauty, emotion, and dimension to your images. It can help tell a story and bring a unique element to your gallery. I have seen props that range from beautiful blankets, unique attire such as hats & custom jackets, flowers, custom signage, scrabble letters, large custom numbers to showcase your date, and these are just a few. Personally, I am a huge fan of simple and tasteful props such as flowers and simple signage, but all of these props are incredible as long as they are true to you and your partners style taste & personality.
#3 Location, Location, Location
You know what they say, location is everything. Not only when it comes to real estate, but in many facets of life including your engagement pictures! It is important to give a lot of thought about what type of mood and tone you are trying to set for your engagement pictures. Do you want the season and location to reflect the overall vibe of your Wedding Venue? Or do you want to go in a totally different direction?
With most of my couples I typically suggest choosing a location that compliments your Wedding Venue, and of course, the tone you are trying to set for your Wedding Day. In my opinion, I feel it is extremely classy to choose a location that will set the tone for your Wedding day. For an example, are you getting married in a beautiful rustic location? Maybe elect for an open field with beautiful tall grass at sunset. Getting married at a beautiful Mansion or castle? Choose a location that brings elements and components of your venue into your engagement pictures. As a photographer I have a long list of recommendations so my couples do seek my guidance in scoping out locations; however I do love when my couples find a location that has meaning to them.
#4 Bringing a Pet? Best Practices
I get this question A LOT from couples ! Can I bring my fury companion?! I am a huge dog lover and I would NEVER say “No” to having your beautiful and loving fur baby as an addition to your engagement shoot. Although animals are an incredible addition to any engagement shoot, I have one BIG rule when it comes to including them during your shoot: Bring a pet-sitter or family member!
Early in my career I never brought up this very important requirement, and suffered greatly for my lack of knowledge in this area. Having a loved one or a pet sitter will not only relieve stress for you, but also for your furry friend. During the photo shoot, expect to spend around 10-15 minutes with your pet at the beginning of your session. Once we get some adorable Instagram worthy pictures, hand off your fur baby to a trusted sitter or family member to watch them for the remaining 30-40 minutes of your engagement session. Leaving your dog unattended in a car can be hazardous and stressful for your furry baby and having them included in your entire shoot will prevent you from getting a diverse & dynamic ranges of images.
#5 Elect for “Golden Hour”
During the peak wedding season, between April- November, I can only conduct my Engagement sessions during the weekday at the Golden Hour. Although this is a requirement for myself and couples, it is in NO way a negative thing! Golden Hour is that special time 1 hour before sunset when the lighting is impeccable for photography.
Do you ever see an image and the colors, tones and lighting is just incredible!? Nine times out of ten exterior lights are involved OR the photographer was shooting during golden hour. Golden hour provides a soft neutral light that adds mood and dimension and has a perfect combination of highlights & lowlights that allow an image to really POP!
#6 Loosen Up & Just HAVE FUN!
As an engagement photographer, this one cannot be understated! The best captured images in your entire gallery are going to be of those pure authentic moments captured in that split second! Maybe your sweetheart says something silly in your ear, or maybe they sneak up behind you and give you a BIG hug startling you and make you laugh out loud in surprise!
Don’t overthink the moments in front of the camera & if possible even try to forget that you’re being photographed all together. Many of my couples are camera shy and believe they aren’t photogenic! You don’t need to me a model to take a captivating images, you just need to be authentic. I love to direct my clients into poses I know will suite them; however my direction and guidance only goes so far so I can help you relax and allow your true personalities and connections to shine through my lens. The most important elements of your engagement shoot are to just to relax, have fun and enjoy the loving embraces and company of your Fiancé. I am just the storyteller, but its your connection and love that makes my stories have meaning and purpose.
And that’s my professional advice for an engagement photo session as a premier engagement photographer! If you want to check out my work with couples, check out my engagement/couples portfolio HERE! If you are ready to learn more about my engagement/couples packages, CLICK HERE. Or feel free to contact me now so that we can start telling your love story! I’d love to be your engagement photographer!