It occurred to me this afternoon while planning a wedding consultation with a future bride that summer social media is saturated with WEDDING images and hardly anything is focused on the engaged couples anxiously awaiting their future wedding date. So… this one is for those of you engaged couples that would like some inspiration and advice on your upcoming engagement shoot. Here’s my top three steps to a successful and FUN engagement shoot:
1. Get to Know Your Photographer!
Do you really know your photographer? I mean really know them? Would you hang out with him or her outside of your engagement session? Are your styles for photography aligned, or did you choose them because they were the cheapest you could find? I have found that the most successful engagement sessions I have are the ones where we met BEFORE the session over coffee or adult beverages just so we could start to get to know each other. Relationships are everything…including the reason your there in the first place. I strongly believe that my client’s experience is of the utmost importance over anything else. If they aren’t having fun, they won’t enjoy their images. If they feel uncomfortable because there is no relationship built with me, they won’t be relaxed during their shoot and will ultimately not cherish their photos. So, if you know you don’t have that spark with your photographer, maybe it’s time to reach out to them to start a relationship or simply find a new photographer that better suits your fancy. Better now before the time and investment of your wedding day. You can tell in your images if you are comfortable and content with your photographer!
2. Go Shopping
Now, anyone that knows me knows that I am a sales rack kinda gal. I n.e.v.e.r. pay for anything full price. That was until I realized how important it is to invest in special moments in life. Your engagement shoot is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make it one! Go all out. I encourage my brides and grooms to dress for success. What do I mean? The clothing choices for an engagement shoot can make or break a session’s success. Do you really want to remember that the sweater you wore in your engagement session images was from Goodwill? No? Well, I do every time I walk past our framed engagement photo on my wall at home. To make it worse…all I remember was that it was the only clean-ish sweater I had at the time because I was too cheap to go and get something that would make me feel special and beautiful for my shoot. I tell all my brides to think about what they want on their walls for decades to come. I send them a complimentary KV Enagement Style Guide to help them plan everything for their shoot. From hair, to make up, to accessories it has it all. And it answers so many questions they may have! It encourages them to find something timeless, flattering, and most importantly, special. Long flowing dresses are and have always been elegant. Don’t forget about the man of the hour! Skip the t-shirts and go for a classy suit jacket and nice slacks. You want to make him feel equally as special and handsome so that he takes pride the images just as much as you. Think magazine worthy clothes!
3. Let Your Photographer Do All the Work
I am a Pinterest pinner just like you. “Hi, my name is Kelly. I have a pinning problem…” I get you! Half of the fun is pinning all of the must-have poses for the engagement shoot and wedding day, but let me share with you one problem with Pinterest…It’s impossible to recreate all of your pinned images in one shoot. Not only is it impossible for the photographer to keep up with the request, it’s not fun for you or your groom-to-be. Believe me (Grooms, you’re welcome). Constantly checking your phone for the next pin to recreate not only takes time away from creating unique and fun images for your engagement shoot, but also takes the fun out of your photo session. Yes, the boards can be great for photographers to view before your shoot to get an idea of the style that you are looking for, but don’t let your pins run your shoot. You are too unique to have copy cat images! Let your photographer do all the heavy lifting. Trust that he or she knows exactly what is good for the location, for the light, and most importantly for you as a newly engaged couple. Like me, most photographers have taken their years of experience coupled with endless hours of continuing education with webinars, blogs, or learning modules to advance our skills as portrait photographers. We got this! And if you just sit back and enjoy the experience, we will knock your socks off with the final images!
My advice–enjoy being ENGAGED as much as you can. Don’t rush it. Enjoy it. Savor it. It will prove to be some of the most valuable and sought after time of your life. Trust me on this one ;). You have the rest of your life to be married–enjoy saying the word, “fiance” as much as you possibly can ;).
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