1. Consider How You Will Be Using Your Photos
Engagement portraits are usually your first professional quality photos as a couple, and they can be used for almost everything leading up to your wedding day! You can use them for Save the Dates and on your Wedding Website. You might choose to display them at any parties, showers, or celebrations leading up to the Big Day. They can even be used to customize favors or “Thank You” cards! With that in mind, you may want to coordinate your outfits or location with your wedding theme or colors.
2. Reflect on Who You Are As a Couple
Pick a location that tells part the story of the two of you – perhaps your first date was a walk on the NYC High Line, or your first kiss was in Central Park. You could choose to visit your favorite place, or somewhere you’ve both always wanted to go. If you’re really stumped, ask your photographer. They might know of a great place to shoot, with interesting surroundings and fantastic lighting.
Also, bring along props that are representative of something you both love! If you’re both New York Jets fans, incorporate a football into your photo, or change into matching jerseys. If you're Harry Potter enthusiasts, bring a copy of your favorite novel. Writing fun messages on a chalkboard is a playful, contemporary touch – you can’t go wrong with neatly writing out “She Said Yes!,” your wedding date, or even a simple heart! You may even choose to bring along a beloved pet (just check with your photographer first).
3. Look for Engagement Picture Inspiration
Chances are, you chose your photographer because you like their style. The day of your shoot, your photographer will have some poses in mind, and will be creative enough to be able to utilize their surroundings to keep your photos interesting. However, if there is something special you've seen or want to do, let your photographer know! There is plenty of Engagement Photo inspiration on the internet, especially on Pinterest! If something stands out to you, your photographer will be happy to oblige.
4. Choose your Outfits Carefully
Opt for something nicer than what you might wear every day, without getting formal. A beautiful dress and comfortable heels, a dress shirt – think “elevated casual.” If you decide to wear jeans, dress up the look with a nice blouse or button-down shirt. Avoid matching TOO much – in fact, it can look lovely when one partner wears a pop of color to contrast the other’s neutral outfit. Additionally, avoid complicated patterns and designs, and shirts with slogans or logos.
Consider also the time of year, especially if your session will be outdoors. You certainly would not want to be wearing a long-sleeved shirt on a very hot, sunny outdoor shoot in DUMBO, nor would you want to be under-dressed for a snowy-day session in Prospect Park! You want to be as comfortable as possible in your outfit so that you can focus on enjoying this special time with your partner!
5. Hire a Makeup Artist
You want your photos to be as flawless and natural as possible, so if you are not used to applying makeup, put some serious thought into hiring a makeup artist. They are skilled at creating looks that will photograph beautifully, especially in High Definition! If you aren't sure where to start or who to contact, your photographer will surely be able to recommend an expert MUA they've worked with in the past.
6. Think About Making a “How We Met” Video
Your engagement photos will be beautiful, but nothing captures a moment like video. Your “How We Met” video will record everything – the twinkle in your eyes, the subtle change in tone of voice, your coy smile – as you recount the day the two of you met, your first date, and the moment you knew you had fallen for your fiancé. When you play this crystal clear, High-Definition video for your loved ones at your wedding reception, there won’t be a dry eye in the house!
This is the perfect time to get to know your photographer before your wedding day and vice versa. Your photographer will pick up your vibe as a couple, and be able to capture you best if you are just yourselves! If you try to pose unnecessarily, your photos may come across as forced or stiff. Relax, and enjoy the company and comfort of the one you love, and it will allow the photographer to capture the essence of your relationship.
It may happen that one of you is more uncomfortable in front of the camera than the other. Your photographer is a professional, and will have techniques in their repertoire to help you relax. But one of the easiest ways to alleviate camera-shyness during an engagement photo shoot is to focus on your partner! Take a moment to remember that this is just a fun hour spent with your favorite person, and it will absolutely be reflected in your body language and facial expressions.