This post has been on hold for a while and if you really pay attention to detail, you'll notice that my blog has a new home now at tiffanyheidenthalblog.com. There are reasons for this. Good reasons.
Making lists is definitely what all the cool kids do on their blogs, and this subject has actually come up a lot recently as I'm starting to do a lot of engagement sessions for next year's wedding clients. So without further ado, here are my best tips for your engagement session.
1. Wear outfits that compliment each other, but don't match.
Wearing the same color tends to blend people together in photos and create a blob of that color. It's boring and nobody wants to be boring. Instead...
2. Pick a color scheme and work it.
I have no idea what Ashley and Brian's wedding colors are going to be, but for their engagement session, I think it's pretty obvious they were rocking a PURPLE theme. Having a heavy presence of that purple made Ashley's teal dress really pop! Whatever color or colors you choose, they don't have to be your wedding color, they just have to work together. Even in little ways like with accessories. Scarves and hats with a punch of color that picks up on his plaid shirt, etc. I especially love cohesive colors because they look especially gorgeous when you put all of those photos in an album.
3. Choose one casual outfit and one dressy.
This tip is just for the sake of variety. There are a lot of ways you can use your engagement photos. They might turn into an album, save the date, wedding invitation, a beautiful canvas to display at your wedding, a collage in your home, and of course your newest Facebook profile picture! There's a different tone in pictures you use for Facebook and pictures you display at your wedding, so having a casual and a formal outfit will help you get all the different photos you need.
4. Consider a practice make up and hair run.
Most brides do a trial hair and make up day before the wedding to make sure the look is just right. Consider scheduling those sessions for the day of your engagement shoot and you'll have gorgeous, professional make up and hair for your photos. That little extra touch of prep can really help you be confident in front of the camera.
5. Bring props that are meaningful.
My friend, Emily, had a saying with her fiance... "I love you more than Starbucks" so naturally they had to have some Starbucks cups in their engagement photos! That was meaningful to their relationship and gave their session extra personality.
Photo taken by the amazing Matt Stanton who also happened to be my wedding and engagement photographer :)
6. Don't expect to get the same shot you saw on Pinterest.
It's fine to send me a photo that you love and tell me why you love it so that I can try to incorporate something similar in your engagement session. I'm here to give my clients what they want, but you should also know that there are a lot of factors that go into creating a photo. Especially something like your engagement photos, there is a heavy emotional connection to the pictures and the experience. Recreating a Pinterest photo will never give you the same magical feeling as seeing something that really embodies who you are as a couple. I love Pinterest. I use it for inspiration, too! But too much of anything is never good! This is a good article that goes more in depth on the effect Pinterest has had on his photography.
7. Choose locations meaningful to your relationship.
This is one of the regrets I have from MY engagement session. Matt and Sara did an amazing job, but I did a terrible job of choosing a location. My venue told me we were welcome to do engagement pictures at the same place we were having a wedding, so I thought okay sounds good!
Again, photos by Matt Stanton Photography.
But now, I have no photos of our engagement session hanging around my house because I love the wedding ones so much more and they were all taken at the same place! Erik and I had a hilarious first date in Richmond that involved a dock, a playground, a 12 scoop ice cream and cheese fries. An engagement session that incorporated those tidbits would have been way more meaningful to us.
8. Have fun and be yourselves.
Seriously. Don't all lists end with something like this? It's with good reason. If you're not enjoying the experience, you won't enjoy the results. If being yourself means wearing your favorite football teams jerseys and taking your dog on a walk through the park, then that's what we should do! It's when you start doing what you're "supposed" to do that you become disconnected from your photos. Just relax, interact genuinely with your love (which you already do every day!), and forget about the girl with the camera watching your every move ;)