Engagement photo season is upon us! Whether you just got engaged or you’ve been engaged for some time now, congrats! This is such an exciting time of your life. You might have already booked your wedding photographer and you’re now wondering what you should do for your engagement pictures. Keep in mind your engagement session is so much more than just an added bonus to your wedding package. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know your photographer, learn your best angles and spend a fun time with your fiance to create awesome photos for your future photo books. I do understand if you might feel nervous about being in front of a camera, let’s face it we all feel a bit awkward about having our pictures taken. What should you wear? Where should you go? These are one of the most frequently asked questions I hear when it comes to engagement photo shoots. So, here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to help you nail your engagement shots.
1. Set the Scene for your Engagement Photos
Location, location, location. Before you go to your neighborhood park for your engagement photos, consider what really inspires the two of you and look for a place that reflects that. If you’re into camping, you could drive up north for some awesome hiking pics. If exploring new trendy restaurants in town is more your thing, you could book a table for two at a newly opened bar and have me take sweet, candid photos in that space.
The key here is to set the scene for your engagement photos. I really loved how Erin and Jesse opted for an engagement session at the place they met - a local pub in Peterborough, Ontario. Don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary.
2. Wear Something you’re Comfortable In
It’s true that what you wear has great influence on your mood, and in the way you walk and feel. While it’s only natural for you to want to look fantastic in photos, wearing something you’re actually comfortable is key. The last thing you want to worry about is trying to cover up your clothes or adjusting them if they are too tight or too clingy. Choose something that makes you feel like YOU! Something that goes with your personalities, it will certainly come across in photos! For this session, Maxine and Dale wanted their engagement photos to show their favourite thing to do together - biking. They dressed comfortably and brought along their motorcycle jackets for a quick wardrobe change and a new look.
3. Select Complimentary Outfits
Speaking of outfits! It’s always a nice touch if your engagement session outfits complement each other, whether it’s texture, color palette or pattern. When it comes to coordinating your wardrobe, keep the end result in mind. Do you want your photos to feel bright, airy and dreamy? Opting for a long silky gown for her and a nice pair of dress pants and a dress shirt for him is a great choice. Complement each other outfits in a way that will say something about you as a couple. While your choice of wardrobe is going to look amazing on its own, they should look equally good when put together side by side.
4. Come Up with an Activity
It’s easier to forget that there’s a camera around when you have something to do. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, play your favorite table games, prepare breakfast or even go apple picking! I love it when engagement photos are full of natural movement, spontaneous laughter, and genuine emotions. Nothing makes it easier to achieve that kind of candidness when you come up with some sort of activity! It also helps to bring out the best in you: your sincere laughter, loving gazes, and playfulness, everything you do that shows off the connection between the two of you. Cass and Don had their session at the old Roseneath Carousel near Peterborough. Such and fun shoot.
5. Bring a Prop to Change Things Up
Whether it’s a picnic basket or a cozy blanket, bringing props along to your engagement shoot instantly adds an element of storytelling to your photos. Consider including props that complement your shoot’s color scheme. Here the brown picnic basket adds to the fall theme of Aaron and Elizabeth's engagement shoot.
6. When in Doubt, Kiss!
Where do we put our hands? Which way do we look? These are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear during the engagement shoot. My tried and true tip to help you loosen up in front of the camera is to go in for a kiss! It’s a great way to help you connect with your partner and bring your focus back to each other. After all, this is what your engagement photos are all about, right?
Beautiful Ken Reid Park just north of Lindsay, Ontario was the location for this engagement session. We chose a later afternoon session so we could take advantage of the lower sun angles. This beautiful couple will be getting married there very soon! It's such a spectacular spot that we can't wait to shoot their wedding.
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.