(1) Trust your photographer on location – unless there is a particular location that means a lot to you and your fiancé, otherwise, trust your photographer in selecting a location for pictures. Sometimes what we see as a “perfect location” might not work in photos. A good photographer should be able to talk to you and determine the style you like, and then present a couple of options for you. If a photographer is familiar with the location, it will most likely lead to a smoother photo session.
(2) Girls – a little make-up and nail polish will make a big difference! I am one of those that do not like to wear make-up at all. So I am with you if you want to go totally natural! However, when it comes to pictures, a little make-up, even if it’s just a little foundation, will give you a more “natural” look. Putting on nail polish will also help you to be comfortable with all the poses without having to think if your nails will show or if your nails look ok. The key is you want to feel comfortable and beautiful, and then trust your photographer to make you look BEAUTIFUL! (Read more on what to wear here: What to wear for engagement photos?)
(3) Guys – empty your pocket – We do not want keys or a phone showing through your pockets. Guys, sorry to call you out on this one. I always ask my clients to give me all the keys/phone/wallet before I start taking pictures. In case your photographer doesn’t mention that, please empty your pockets and trust me, your photographer will be MORE THAN HAPPY to hold on to those things for you!
(4) Be on time – most engagement pictures are taken outdoors. There is a reason why your photographer suggests starting the session early or at a particular time in the evening. That is to take advantage of the beautiful natural light about an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot. And nobody wants that.
(5) Relax! You don’t have to be a pro at this – One of the most important reasons for engagement pictures is for you to know your photographer and vice versa. This the chance that your photographer will show you a few posing techniques. Enjoy the process and don’t over think it.
(6) Bride-to-be… prepare your man – if you are one of the girl that is a little anxious about how your fiancé is going to react to this whole “picture” thing, you are not alone! As you prepare for your shoot, there are a few things you can do to prepare your man. First of all, I highly recommend sitting down with your guy and showing him some of your favorite engagement photos, preferably photos from the photographer you picked. Just a few, DON’T overload them! This will allow him to gauge what his expectations should be. Next, I recommend that you allow for plenty of time to get to your shoot! There is nothing worse than when a couple shows up late and they have been arguing in the car! That is definitely going to put your man in a bad mood. Last but not least, remember to have patience with him and don’t assume that he is not going to have a good time. You will be surprised how much fun it is sometimes for guys to have pictures taken!
(7) TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER – there is a reason why you picked a photographer. Once you made that decision, you should relax and trust him/her. Most of the time my clients will send me photo samples of what they like, and I do encourage that, so that I can get an idea of the style they like. Sometimes I don’t have the chance to meet my client in person until the day of the engagement session. So these photo ideas will help me to prepare a mood-board. HOWEVER, I always tell my clients that I DO NOT DUPLICATE PHOTOS. Meaning I won’t try to take a photo exactly how they show me. This is because if I do, I can guarantee that you will be disappointed. Reason is there are many elements that made up a photo. There are various reasons why a picture would appeal to you. It can be because the couple in that picture is in a great mood, the lighting that day is gorgeous, the location is flawless, the couple can be a model, the couple is very comfortable with posing, and so on… So if you think you can get a picture that looks exactly like the one you see on Pinterest, you will be disappointed. Most of the time it is not because your picture isn’t perfect. It is simply because it doesn’t look like what you have in mind. So my advice will be, once you sent your photographer some photo samples, remove that list, and forget about them… then trust your photographer to do the job right for you. After all, you want a photographer to do something different for you, and not just giving you some cookie-cutter photos!
“Someone else has already been taken, so just be yourself” 🙂