I never really thought about what people should wear to engagement shoots, or if I had any cool tips or tricks to their shoot, but I realize this could be your first ever professional shoot – and questions are okay! Here are some popular questions I get when booking engagement shoots (or any shoot, really). Hope this helps!
- Should We Dress Up or Stay Casual?
This is the #1 question I always get – and my answer will always be, yes, dress up! It’s not often you take professional photos so why not take advantage of it? You might have these for your grand children to see years from now, or even show up in a history text book 100 years later, you never know 😛 haha. Now I’m not saying you must wear a formal suit and tie and long elegant dress (although it does work, like the featured photo!) but a beautiful summer dress and a button up shirt with nice pants will always look classy and timeless. Casual outfits are always nice, but maybe use it as an outfit #2 option if your photographer will allow wardrobe change. (I do!)
- Do We Need to Match the Setting?
Not necessarily by color themes or anything. Like the featured photo, elegant outfit will work in a forest! Even if you are on the beach, a fun summer dress or slightly rolled up pants will look just fine. In the end, its about YOU TWO as the engaged couple. Above is a photo of a couple I shot at Joshua Tree National Park, in cute outfits instead of hiking gear. You can be the judge to say it works or not. My opinion? They NAILED it!
- How Do I Pick the Photoshoot Location?
Some couples already have a place in mind, which totally works for me! But if you needed suggestions, don’t worry, ask your photographer! Chances are, we have explored a lot of places and have some tips and tricks on achieving your dream look. Just let us know what kind of people you are – do you both enjoy the outdoors? Let’s go to the mountains or the beach! Do you both enjoy movies? Let’s find a cool theater! Are you both crazy cat people like myself and my husband? (lol) Cat sanctuary! Haha – the point is, there’s limitless of possibilities out there. Communicate with us, and let’s work together!
- I’m Nervous! I Don’t Photograph Well…
Don’t be silly!! I truly believe everyone has a fun, beautiful smile and I love moments like this. I might keep talking to you – but trust me, this is just me trying to keep it casual, and fun for all of us if I see either of you a bit nervous. This is natural, especially if you have never done photoshoots before.
My one tip if you still feel awkward, talk to each other – your soon to be husband or wife might just be as nervous as you! Laugh about it, its okay! Natural laughs are always more photogenic anyway, and its our job to capture these moments. If you want to, talk to your photographer on how you two met, and what your hobbies are, your jobs, your pets (bonus if you bring them to my shoots!! haha) anything! The first 10-15 minutes might be suuuper awkward for you, but trust me, it gets better.
- Should I Even Take Engagement Photos? Do I Need to Take Engagement Photos?
This is actually asked quite often. My answer is always yes! Most photographers package in complimentary engagement shoot when you book the wedding anyway, and it’s a great way for all of us to get to know each other. This also helps a bit to prepare yourselves for the big day. Like I mentioned earlier, most often times people are not used to getting photographed professionally. Let this engagement session be your practice run. Even better, if its an included package! I always love meeting my clients before their big day, and getting to know them individually.
Also another pro is if you are doing save the date, or website for your wedding, these photos can be used! Even if you don’t use them for this purpose, you can always print them and have them around your home to remind yourselves about the fact you are about to marry the love of your life 🙂
- Do I Need Props?
Not necessarily – but having one is always good! Even if its simple like bouquet of flowers like the above photos, it does add a lot of character! Balloons are fun, smoke bombs, champagne, your fur babies, etc. The only prop I really prefer not to do is glitter confetti…because they are bad for the environment. Unless we are in a controlled situation where we can easily clean up, I just prefer not to litter our beautiful planet.
- I Did the Photoshoot – I Don’t Like My Photos…
First of all, I am sorry if this has happened. And even more sorry if it came from me!! But please communicate it with your photographer. Most decent photographers will be willing to reschedule another shoot. Unless of course, its uncontrollable reasons like bad weather (if its really bad, we would have rescheduled before the actual shoot), crazy photo bomber in the background that ruined one of many photos, you don’t like your outfit, etc. If it’s editing style you don’t like, let us know! Hopefully we can make it right for you.
- Any Overall Tips & Tricks?
HAVE FUN!! Seriously, nothing photographs better than you both in your element, having a great time. And it helps us as the photographer a lot, too. Bring all the weird out, we all have it! (no? maybe just us then…haha).
That’s it For Now!
I sincerely hope this little article helps. If you have any questions regarding this topic, leave a comment below, or email me! I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can 🙂 Happy planning, enjoy your engagement and each other!
Akiko T. Liu