Traditionally used in wedding announcements, engagement photos are now an essential element of save-the-date cards and personalized wedding websites. The setting can range from formal shoots in which couples are dressed to the nines to casual shots featuring couples in everyday attire. When planning an engagement shoot, couples should give themselves carte blanche with regard to style, as the photo shoot need not follow the conventional rules that the wedding itself will most likely adhere to. After deciding on the overall style of the shoot, here are some ways to ensure the portrait session is a success.
Find a photographer who shares your sensibilities. Photographers can vary greatly in style, and an engagement photo shoot will be most successful the photographer has a style that matches that of the couple. You likely would not hire a nature photographer to photograph a basketball game, so don’t hire someone who specializes in posed shots if you want your photos to be more lively and spontaneous. Before you hire anyone, ask for samples of each photographer’s work to be certain you are getting someone who has experiencing shooting the type of photos you want.
Solicit ideas from the photographer. Some couples already know exactly where they want their engagement photos to be shot and which poses they want to be arranged. However, many couples have little or no experience with professional photo shoots, and they should solicit ideas from each photographer they are considering hiring. A skilled and seasoned photographer should be able to propose several ideas. Be wary of photographers who offer little input, as you may ultimately be dissatisfied with their work.
Avoid studio shots. Many couples prefer their engagement photos be taken somewhere they have a personal connection to, such as the sight of their first date or a park they frequently visit. Studio photo shoots might provide the best lighting, but couples have no connection to such spaces, and down the road they may regret not taking the photos somewhere a little more meaningful. In addition, a photo shoot outside the studio affords more opportunities to experiment and improvise, which can produce a wider array of shots than a studio shoot is likely to deliver.
Don’t forget candid shots. Candid shots make the photo shoot more fun and loosen couples up a little bit. Many engagement photos will never be seen by anyone other than the photographer and the couple he or she is shooting, so don’t be bashful for fear of being embarrassed. Have a little fun, and your other photos are likely to come out better as a result.