Why an engagement shoot is so important?
There are many reasons that an engagement shoot is important once you have announced that you are planning on tying the knot. Most couples have never experienced being photographed professionally before. An engagement session can be one of the most valuable steps you take before your wedding. And an added bonus is that you will get some great professional photographs of the two of you to keep forever and capture your love for one another soon after the excitement of getting engaged.
So what do you need to do first?
1. Choose your wedding photographer
Choose who you would like to take the photographs of you and your family/guests on your wedding day and get them booked up (some are booked over 2 years in advance for busy periods!). Do your homework here, the images you get are of a once in a lifetime occasion so you want them done right. You may be restricted by date or budget but make sure you are getting the value that you want from your photographer.
2. Set a date for your engagement session
I would recommend doing this as soon as you can after booking your photographer, so you can get the photos taken while you are in a nice calm state months before any final stresses around wedding planning kick in. In terms of time, I would always recommend having the session in the "golden hour" which occurrs roughly the 2 hours after sunrise if you are a morning person, or the 2 hourse before sunset. It may not be the most convenient time but you will not regret 1 day of inconvenience for the impact on your images.
3. Choose a location for your engagement session
You may want to choose to have your engagement session at your wedding venue. This can be great so you and your photographer can scout out the best places for portraits and group photos on the wedding day. Or you can choose a location that is meaningful to the two of you, such as where you first met, or had your first date together, or if you have access to somewhere a little obscure, like an airport hangar, suggest it as then your photos will be unique and unlike anything seen before!
4. Decide what you are going to wear
We are Rubix have an engagement session style guide which can help with this if you are struggling. Things to think about here are:
Colours - which colours photogrpah well as well as colour combinations to wear
Coordinate - this means coordinate the outfits between the couple, not necassarily match. Subtle hints of the same colour can have a huge impact rather than you both wearing the same.
Style - wear clothes that naturally flatter the human body. This generally means a blazer and trousers with shoes for the guys, and a dress (long or shorter length) with heels for the girls.
Hair & Makeup - go pro if you can, it will help you look your best! It may even work out well to have your hair and makeup trial done on the same day!
Details - socks/cufflink/tie/tie-clip/jewellery/hair clip/watch - all of these are great for accessorising your outfit
The style guide goes into a lot more detail so you can really set yourselves up to look the best you possibly can.
5. Establish a relationship with your photographer
Most professional photographers are great at this, they have the experience and the knowledge to help you feel comfortable in front of camera which is key to getting those lovely natural, sincere and stunning photos that capture your emotion. As it may be the first time you and your partner are being photographed professionally, you may be nervous or may not like your photograph being taken. The first 15-20 minutes may be a little awkward (I usually throw in a couple of silly poses or ask the couple to do something out of the ordinary to help break the ice and relax) but once you settle into the session you will start to really relax and let your true emotion show through. That will be captured on camera for you to enjoy forever.
Spend an hour of two getting to know your pro, listening to them (they should give you hints like when you go to kiss your fiance(e), try not to pucker up as it doesn't photograph well. Instead just touch lips, it is much more flattering) and having fun with them. They will be taking note of how you interact with each other and these mental notes will help capture those moments that you will cherish forever on your wedding day.
In addition to getting to know your photographer, and him/her getting to know you, you will be able to see how they work and you will get to see how you look in pictures that they take long before the wedding. A huge advantage of this is that you can tell your photographer in advance is there are any angles or shots that you don't feel show your best side and also point out the things that you do like. Remember, communication is key!
6. Show off your engagement session photos
When you receive your photos after your session you are probably going to be really excited to see how amazing you like and you will have much more confidence in yourselves (as you will look STUNNING on camera) and you will have confidence in your photographer. So when it comes to taking photos on your wedding day, you will be looking forward to it, instead of dreading it.
Do check with your photographer before sharing your images all over the web as chances are they will own the image rights. Most photographers will not mind you sharing, as long as you give them credit.
And by sharing and showing off your photos on social media you will not only be sharing with your friends and family how amazing you actually look, you are helping to promote all the hours of work your photographer has put in as a little a thank you.
Whatever you choose to do, go out with your photographer with an open mind, get creative and most importantly HAVE FUN! In the end, you will be the one's who really benefit. Knowing and liking your photographer is significant in the success of your day and it will help keep you focussed on the real reason you are having a wedding in the first place - your love for each other.