BECAUSE EXPERIENCE SHARING IS THE BEST KIND OF WORD VOMIT
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ARTICLE BY COLLECTIVE MEMBER: SHELLIE REID WARNER OF REL(EVENT) PLANNING
The ring is on your finger and it’s time to capture the love between the two of you now that you are engaged! Engagement photos can be so much fun and a great way to get to know the photographer you will be working with on the day of your wedding to ease you into the comfort zone of having your photo taken…A LOT! You may have already been scoping out photographers with a quick Google search or even have had some recommendations from friends. But pump the brakes……read this first!
From my experience as a planner, who has worked with dozens of photographers, AND as an amateur photographer for 40 years, there are a few things you need to do first! Trust me on this….
Commit to no one until you have done your due diligence! Friends with cameras will offer to take your engagement photos, but hold off on accepting until you have researched photography styles, couple poses, outfits that photograph well, locations that reflect your relationship… and pricing. Most professional photographers are worth every penny as they work very hard to not just make you feel comfortable, but also are comfortable with their camera settings, lighting, composition, and editing.
Think of it as a mini portfolio of a photographer’s best work. Obviously, they are selecting the shots to post, so they are picking their best work. It is also a great place to get inspiration for other things mentioned above, but the primary decision you should make here is the style of photography you prefer. Do you like light and airy? Dark and moody? More colorful and natural? Dramatic? Fun and whimsical with a dose of quirky? How do you want these photos to make you feel when you look at them? And does that reflect your relationship? I mean, why go dark and moody when all you two do is laugh and goof around?! Be you.
Then, begin looking at photographers who shoot with that style. How do you find them? Once you find one, you will see many who follow them on IG who have a similar aesthetic, often in the same area or city. Peruse to your heart’s content to see what appeals to you both.
Give your photographer the opportunity to meet you face to face, or at least on Skype or FaceTime. Photographers are visual people and being able to see you and talk with you gives them a great opportunity to understand who you are. And you get to develop a relationship with them which will help you feel at ease when it comes time to do your shoot! This dialogue is priceless in the creative process.
Your photographer probably has some great ideas of where to shoot, but let them know if you have a special park, stadium, neighborhood, or property that holds meaning for you both. If it is a public place be sure to inquire about photographing there or applying for permits if needed.
Choosing what to wear in your engagement photos is so personal, it really depends on both of you and the look you are going for. And obviously the weather. Making sure the vibe between you is similar is the safe bet, and it can be reflected by the timeless appeal of jeans, wooly sweaters and flannel shirts on a fall day or both of you all decked out in formal wear in the middle of the city, as the sun goes down! Be sure the colors are complementary and not too busy. Keep accessories to a minimum, but add a little drama with a hat or scarf for a pop of color or texture. Leave shirts with logos or words at home unless your “fandom” is the focus here! The most important thing is to be comfortable being YOURSELVES!
Now let’s have some fun! Bring a bunch of bright balloons, your favorite mugs you love to drink your morning Joe out of, your favorite snack (hello pizza!), a quilt you always picnic on, a bouquet of your favorite flowers, vintage heirloom furniture you love, sporting equipment (bikes! Tennis rackets!), or your favorite ride! Your pets are always a great addition, but you may want to bring along a friend to hold them while you are getting some shots alone.
While it may be tempting to let a friend take your photos, remember….professional photographers are professional for a reason… EXPERIENCE! They know how to make you relax, react and relate to each other. That’s what you are trying to capture. So even if you have to resort to having a glass of wine before you start, let the pros guide you through the process and pretty soon you will forget they are there and that is when the magic happens! Click!
Engagement photos capture your relationship in a way that truly lets you relax and be yourself. The bonus is they also let you get to know your photographer and how they work to get the best shots. You will spend more time with your photographer on the day of your wedding, than any other vendor, so knowing you trust them and enjoy their presence will show up in your smiles and photos.
The best form for keeping things on track & PROVING to your clients that you did, even the PITAs.