5 Tips for Taking Great Engagement Photos

Hey everyone! I thought I would share a few tips for taking awesome engagement photos!

I am not a photographer or a model, I am just speaking from experience. My husband and I just got married in December of 2018, and I learned a lot during that year and a half that we were wedding planning. For those of you busy ladies out there, scheduling wedding prep tasks like engagement photos, parties, etc. can be difficult, especially if you are planning from a distance. My strategy was to get as many things done as possible during my breaks and vacations, and just let it go and focus on the day-to-day the rest of the time. Your breaks may not be as relaxing, but compartmentalizing the planning really helps with anxiety.

During these bursts of wedding planning, I found that I was laser-focused and I had everyone I needed around me and available all at once to delegate tasks, run errands, and knock stuff off of my very long to-do list. More on this here. We took our engagement photos during one of these said vacations. My husband and I took our engagement photos during Christmas vacation very early on in our 1.5 year engagement, and they came out beautifully. Here are some tips for taking some amazing engagement photos:

1. Wear something you both feel comfortable in, and something that makes you feel beautiful.

Wear clothes that look special, match your personality and are comfortable to wear. When you are uncomfortable, it shows on your face and your body language, as hard as you may try to suppress that discomfort. You have one afternoon to get all of the shots you want, don’t look back and regret what you wore. I would also suggest wearing something solid and as close to neutral as possible. If you decide to change scenery during your photoshoot, you can then guarantee that what you are wearing will not clash with the background. This strategy also decreases the chance that you will clash with your partner, and gives you both the freedom to wear whatever you want without necessarily matching.

2. Get your nails done!

I didn’t do this and I regret it. I wanted to go for a natural look, but it was cold and my fingers looked a little blue, so all of the ring shots ended up being my least favorite shots. Along the same note, put some effort into your hair and makeup so that these pictures look special. Photoshop can only do so much, and you want to get the most value from the money you are putting into getting these photos done.

3. Pick a place that is meaningful to you

We took our pictures in Valdosta, GA, which was where we spent a lot of time together. We were both in school, and we used to take turns driving between Valdosta and Boca Raton for the first year that we were dating. Valdosta is where my husband grew up and where we really grew our relationship. Getting the chance to walk around the places we used to frequent brought back a lot of memories and made for a really special end-product.

4. Get a photographer you like and don’t spend too much money

We were lucky. My husband’s cousin recommended our photographer. He was doing photography on the side at the time as opposed to the full-fledged wedding photographers that you find on those wedding vendor sites. I think that‘s why we got such a good price. We paid $900 for engagement photos, wedding photos and rights to use all of the images . At the last minute, we changed our wedding venue from Valdosta, GA to Miami, FL, and the photographer was flexible enough to come and capture our wedding.

The photographer also traveled to our wedding and brought an assistant. We covered hotel costs for two nights while they were in town, and we still saved a lot of money. Make sure you read your contract! Ask for what you want because wedding photographers don’t all offer the same services as part of their fee. This includes rights to all of your photos, downloads or a CD, engagement pictures, etc. Also, see if you can hire a family friend or a new photographer to lower your wedding photography costs. Our photographer was Gary Wilson of PICWILSON photography.

5. Do the photoshoot outside

Natural light is best, and the golden hour is golden. Being outdoors gives your pictures an artistic quality you might not otherwise get. You can interact with nature, which keeps the awkward poses at bay. In addition, you look the most natural when you are walking around like a normal human being. This is the reason that so many of our shots came out so good. We have a whole bunch of them hanging around our home.

Of course, just try to relax and have fun with your engagement photos! This will be one of the happiest moments in your life. Don’t get so caught up in the details that you forget the whole point of why you are getting married. The engagement period and the wedding are such short blips in the grand scheme of things. Make the investment in your relationship so that it is bullet-proof and lasts forever. Click here for exciting wedding planning tips on a busy schedule!

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