June 19, 2018
Taking engagement photos before your wedding is becoming more and more prevalent. There are many reasons why we always tell our clients to take them, the biggest reason is it allows you to get comfortable with your photographer. We look at engagement photos as a test run. You will understand how your photographer works, positions they will put you in, and most importantly their personality while shooting. If you don’t have a comfortable connection with your photographer, it will show in your photos. The more natural your reactions, the nicer the pictures will look!
Now we will discuss our 10 helpful tips that you should consider before scheduling your engagement photos.
1. CHANGE OF SEASONS
What month are you getting married in? Well take that month and subtract 6 from it to find your engagement photo time. We love when there is a noticeable difference in the season between your engagement photos and your wedding photos. These two days are most likely the only ones you’ll have professional photos taken of for a while so we want to make sure they have a different aesthetic. Being that we’re based out of Chicago, we understand there are a few months in the year that it’s difficult to take photos in, like February. If that’s where your “6-month” mark is, don’t sweat it. Push it 1-2 months before or after to still get that winter glow with possible snow.
2. BRING 2-3 COORDINATING OUTFITS
Don’t feel that you have to match your significant other, but pictures tend to be easier on the eyes when the colors blend together. For each outfit, think about picking either neutral colors, cool-toned colors, or warm-toned colors. You also have to think about the outfit composition. We like when you choose one casual outfit and one that’s a little more dressed up. Pairing shorts and a polo shirt with a sundress. Or pairing slacks and a button down shirt with a long maxi dress with heels. We recommend bringing between two and three outfits.
3. MAKEUP TRIAL
99% of our clients get a makeup trial before the big day. We find this to be very important so you know you will be happy with your makeup artist. We love when our brides show off their beauty after the trial in their photos, which they will have for the rest of their lives! Side tip – we don’t recommend scheduling your hair trial the same day as your engagement photos. You want that aspect of your look to be unique on wedding day. Schedule your hair trial for your bridal shower or a fun night out with your girls.
4. LOCATION IS KEY!
This is where you really can explore some fun places to take your photos in. Most times, our clients take their engagement photos around the city of Chicago, even if they live and are getting married in Chicago. That being said, we live in this beautiful large city that has many neighborhoods with different aesthetics. You drive one mile north or south from where you are, and you’ll have an entire different photo shoot look!
We also LOVE to see when our couples explore different areas. You could do photos while you’re on vacation like this fabulous shoot in Paris like Allyson and Justin did.
You could travel to your alma mater for some pictures on campus. We’re obsessed with this photo of Kristen and Neal who met at Indiana University.
How about your home town? Lindsey and Mitch headed back to their home town, Naperville, located 35 miles out of the city to take their engagement session.
One of our other favorite hometown shoots is Lauren and Reid. They took their photos in Downers Grove at their favorite local ice cream shop. If that doesn’t bring back good memories and some natural happy photos, we don’t know what does.
Finally, have you thought of actually taking your photos at home? This is by far one of the most comfortable places to take your photos because you’re in your ‘own element’. Grab your cog or cat for a photo op, goof around in the kitchen, and enjoy sitting on your back porch.
5. COMMON INTEREST OR HOBBY
Are you huge sports fans, enjoy cooking, love outdoor activities? Show off your common interests in your engagement photos. They’re supposed to be fun and light hearted. Kristen and Neal brought some Chicago baseball shirts (even though they’re rivals!) to put over their outfits for a quick and easy photo opportunity. We’ve seen clients bring flags, hats and blankets representing their common interest as well.
6. BRING PROPS
You may be asking yourself, what type of props could you possibly bring to your engagement photos? If you want to warm up your space, think about bringing a blanket that you can put on the ground so you can get nice and cozy.
You can also bring a calendar, date cubes, or sign that says your wedding date. Many couples do this so they can use the photo on their Save The Date cards.
7. DON’T FORGET THE ENGAGEMENT RING PICTURE
Is it necessary? Not at all, but don’t you want to remember the beautiful ring that symbolizes your love for years to come? More photos will be taken on wedding day once you have both wedding bands, but it’s nice to capture the place where it all started!
8. TIME OF DAY
Make sure you consult with your photographer on times of day he/she is comfortable shooting. We have couples request sunset and night time engagement photos but some photographers don’t have the equipment to take gorgeous photos without light.
If you want to take photos at a major tourist attraction, like the Chicago Bean, take your photos really early in the morning so there won’t be people in every angle of your photos. Also, if you plan your engagement photos during rush hour, you will be spending more time moving from one place to the next than actually taking photos.
9. HAVE A DRINK, RELAX
This tip will help with our #10 tip. Have a drink if that will help you relax. Don’t drink as much you would at a tailgate, but have a few to make you loose. We’ve had multiple clients actually go to a bar, or make drinks in their house as part of the shoot! This works very well with the type of groom who is not a picture person. He will have a much better attitude with the shoot if he’s having fun!
10. BE YOURSELF!
THE most important rule of taking engagement photos is to be yourself. Dress in clothes you feel comfortable and beautiful in. Stand in poses you feel comfortable in. Focus on your fiance and show your love like you do every day. Your attraction and love towards one another is the key to taking the perfect engagement photos.
We hope you learned something new! Stay tuned for more wedding tips!