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Making Your Engagement Photos Awesome
So he finally popped the big question and now you’re about to get married! CONGRATS! Now that you have told your family the amazing news, posted an image of the engagement ring on Instagram to make all of your single girlfriends jealous, set a wedding date and found your awesome wedding photographer, the next step is setting up an engagement shoot so you can get those save the dates in the mail ASAP. As a wedding photographer in Temecula, I want nothing more than to give my brides and grooms the type of engagement photos that will be f***ing awesome. Photos that kick so much ass that every time you look at them you will think “I am freaking incredible”. Your engagement photos are a reflection of you and that means they should emphasize your personal style and creativity so lets talk about what steps you should follow in order to get the raddest possible engagement photos!
1. Photo Bombs: Avoid Weekend Crowds At Popular Spots
Fitting a engagement session into a busy work week along with other personal or family obligations can sometimes feel a little like a pain, and this is the reason why 85% of all engagement photo shoots occur on the weekends. Unfortunately, choosing the weekend to have your engagement photos captured can potentially cause some photography complications if you and your partner decided to select a popular location such as Balboa Park, Griffith Observatory or even the beach. The reason is because these types of locations are not only popular for engagement sessions but popular in general. That means you will be trying to get into the romantic mood with a lot of strangers walking by and most likely interfering with candid natural moments. For some couples, acting like themselves with just a photographer around them and camera in their face can be difficult, let alone joggers, kids, dogs or space aliens disguised as red-haired humans. If you have your heart set on a location that gets a lot of traffic that’s great, but just try to schedule the engagement session on a weekday (not a holiday weekday!) so the number of distractions are minimized. Photo bombs can be funny during the reception of a wedding, but I can guarantee that nobody wants a homeless man on roller blades in the background of their engagement photos.
2. Let’s Go Outside: Make A Day Of Your Photo Session
Most people have never had professional photos taken of them so that makes the engagement session the first time they will have ever worked with a real photographer. That can sometimes lead to a little nervousness. Therefore, a good plan of attack is to avoid having your engagement session set up like a photo shoot where everything is fake and unnatural. I always tell my soon-to-be brides and grooms to make a plan to do something for their engagement session that they think would be fun while I simply tag along and take photos of the adventure. Of course, during this adventure I will periodically set up shots to create better composed photos, but by making a day out of the engagement session it will help keep you relaxed and focused on your partner. This is where the focus should be. The best photographs capture natural moments as they happen. Forced smiles look just like that, forced. So plan a fun activity or visit some place you always wanted to check out and I will be there to capture the playful smile or booty grabbing shenanigans if/when they occur!
3. Dress For Success: Wardrobe Changes Make For Cool Photos
Engagement photos should reflect your style and personality. But you are a complicated person much like that of the fashion hair styling of the mullet: business in the front, party in the back. Nothing helps capture different parts of your personality more than a simple wardrobe change. What is so great about wardrobe changes is that they can totally change the feel and tone of a engagement session. For example, the first part of the engagement session a couple can dress more traditional (think church clothing), whereas the second portion the couple can dress in something a little more fun or edgy (here is an excuse to bust out that Bill Murray tee shirt). Combine this wardrobe change with a quick jump to a different location and the engagement photos instantly become more diverse and unique. So grab that vintage sundress that always makes your mother smile, but also don’t be afraid to grab that retro outfit that makes your boobs look bigger and causes your fiancee to drool just a little bit more than normal. Showcasing your style and your personality will only help make for awesome engagement photos!
4. Location, Location, Location: Guess What It’s NOT About Location
One of the things that many couples get stuck on is trying to figure out the location they want to take their engagement photos. This is something that every engaged couple thinks about, but the reality is that the location is not critical to you getting awesome engagement photos. Engagement photos are NOT about the setting! They are about two people in love. Therefore, pick a place that you feel comfortable being at, a location you always wanted to visit or a simple spot that is special to you. That can be at your house with your dogs, a farmer’s market, local pub, beach, hiking trail or whatever location is special to you. The best engagement photos capture awesome people smiling and simply enjoying life while living in the moment.
5. Prop Control: Keep The Props To A Minimum
One of the more popular trends with engagement sessions is to utilize props. Props can add that little something to really give an engagement session a good feel, and personally I always encourage couples to bring a prop or two if they want. However, props are a lot like alcohol in that they both need to be used in moderation. Props can be great details but the problem is that they can also be distracting and take the focus away from the couple. This is not a good thing. A guitar, a colorful hat or maybe a vintage suitcase are all creative ways to add some color or style, but remember your engagement session is not a photo booth filled with sparkly hats, wigs and over-sized bow ties. Try to keep the props to a minimum and think of them more like accessories. Props are a trend and trends come and go, so approach the engagement session like a minimalist fashion shoot that way your photos have that timeless look and feel.