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10 tips for your engagement photo shoot

October 11, 2016
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By Katherine Ellis

You step into the field, looking into your fiancé’s eyes. You hold his hand and smile shyly, looking up. He smiles back, with that coquettish look you know so well, tilting his head and winking at you.

“Perfect!” yells the photographer. “Now look at me.”

You make sure your dress is placed correctly, and look up with a soft smile. Click, click, click goes the camera.

“Alright guys, now let’s try the next pose.”

Every photo should reflect your personality, your relationship. And, above all, it should all look natural.

Following Canadian Thanksgiving, which is traditionally one of the most popular days throughout the year when someone is likely to pop the question, we decided to continue our FAJO Wedding Series (you can find the last story here). 

Here are a few more tips as you get closer to your big day. This time, we focus on the engagement shoot.

1. Not everyone has an engagement shoot. Engagement shoots can be really quite personal to the couple. Not everyone does one, not everyone wants one. Don’t feel pressured in having a session. This should be personal to you as a couple, not something you feel you have to accomplish to get the “wedding” experience.

2. Look for packages. A lot of photographers sell photography packages, which include the wedding day and engagement shoot. Before committing to anything, price it out. Does this fit your budget?

3. Pick your location, but keep an open mind. We have stated this throughout our wedding series: don’t be so married to an idea (pun intended). Maybe you have a location that is sentimental to you, maybe it’s where you got engaged, where you had your first kiss, where you always wanted to have your engagement photos. But, logistically, it may not work for photos. Make sure you explore all available options.

4. Think strategically about your outfits. Think about how you can coordinate your wedding colours into your outfit, or wear complementing colours with your significant other. Make it simple – you want to pop on film, not the clothes.

5. Dress for the location. Having a photo shoot in a field? You may want to ditch the heels. Running around a vineyard? Then maybe the long, flowing dress might not be the best option. You will look great no matter what, but think about how you are going to move from pose to pose. It could save you a few more minutes, and allow you to get those few extra shots that really are the best of the bunch.

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6. Consider this the rehearsal before the opening night. In all likelihood, the last time you saw your photographer was when you signed the dotted line for the contract. This is really the first time you will get to know how your photographer works, and a chance for your photographer to get to know you as a couple. If they will also be shooting your wedding, take it easy, be courteous and really get to know them.

7. Do some research. What do you want to look like in your pictures? There are tons of photos on Google, in various wedding magazines and websites. You may find something you like.

8. Give a variety of looks. You want to have a variety of shots to pick from. Different tilts of the head, different angles.

9. Think of their time and your time. This is a business for the photographer and you are not their only client. You may think that your wedding day is the most important event, and it is, to you. But they have other clients who equally think that it important to them. Be clear in your request for information and be mindful of their time.

10. What’s most important? Remember to have fun! This is your engagement shoot – and you will only have one in your life.

Katherine Ellis will be getting married in April 2017.

(Images courtesy of: llaszlo/Shutterstock.com, dfrolovXIII/Shutterstock.com, mpaniti/Shutterstock.com, StockLite/Shutterstock.com.)

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