Tips for Awesome Engagement Pictures

So you said "Yes" and you are now wearing a fabulous ring on your finger, or maybe you are the one responsible for picking out that fabulous ring. Perhaps you have decided to skip the ring altogether. No matter you style, you are in love, and now it is time to document this incredible time it your lives. 

We have had the opportunity to photograph some pretty awesome couples, but there are some questions that come up from time to time and I thought I would try to address some of them for you here with a little FAQ...engagement photos style. 

I am more concerned about the photos at my wedding. Why do we need engagement photos? 
This is a great question, and really, I had the same question when I was a newly engaged bride-to-be. When we booked our wedding photographer I told them that we had already gotten our engagement pictures taken by a friend while we were at the beach. I had no intention of getting engagement pictures taken, but all of their packages included engagement sessions, so we decided to just go with it, and I am glad I did. Here are some of the reasons why I was happy to have our engagement session with our photographer and why I have included an engagement session in all of our wedding collections. 

1. The Engagement Session is a chance for us to get to know each other. 
The engagement session is a chance for everyone to become more comfortable with each other. My goal for the wedding day is to be able to give you amazing images that you will cherish forever with each of you interacting naturally as a couple. Having a time before the pressures of the wedding day to have a relaxed and fun engagement session allows you to become more comfortable in front of the camera. We will be spending a lot of time together on your wedding day, and if we have already gotten to hang out, we are more like old friends than the paparazzi. It just makes for a better day all around. 

2. It allows you to remember this time in your life
Although you may be counting down the days until you walk down the aisle, this time in your life really is special, if you stop and think about it. What a wonderful time in your lives when you are young and in love to capture you just being you. You will also have proof to your grandchildren one day that you were, in fact, young once.

3. Show your personality
Engagement sessions are all about you. You get to pick the location. You get to pick what to wear. You get to pick the theme. It is a wonderful opportunity to show your stuff and your personality. I love creativity!

4. Creates photos for the wedding, etc
You will be surprised how many times you need photos of you as a couple, save the dates, engagement announcements, christmas card, etc. Couples also love to have photos to display for their guests at the wedding and engagement photos are perfect for this. I can also create a personalized guest book with your photos that will become a keepsake for you with your guest's signatures right inside. 

5. Have fun!

When is the best time to get our photos taken? 
There are two ways this question can be interpreted and I will address both. 

Anytime you are engaged is a great time to have your photos taken. Some couples like to have the photos taken earlier to allow them to use the photos for save the dates and announcements while others prefer to wait until closer to the wedding. 

I am a natural light photographer and my favorite type of lighting is just before sunset, or at sunrise, but most couples prefer just before sunset :-) Typically, I will schedule the session to begin about 2 hours before sunset, as the sessions will last about an hour and a half. 

Where is the best place to have our engagement photos taken? 
I like it when the couple chooses a location that suits their taste. Part of the point of an engagement session is to document your love in an environment that screams YOU. Parks, waterfronts, old barns, neat towns with soda fountians, they all make for great locations, but most importantly, choose a place that you like. 

What should I wear for our engagement session? 
Don't get too hung up about what you wear. Make sure that it is something that you are comfortable wearing because if you feel good, you will look good. Typically, bright colors photograph well, but don't be too matchy-matchy. Also, polka-dots and plaids usually don't pair well together. The clothes should be new or in good shape. We encourage couples to bring a change of clothes, if they want to have a little more variety in their images. Usually, a couple will have a more formal and a more casual set of clothes. However, remember, the session will be about an hour and a half long. We schedule the sessions when the lighting is right, and if you take a long time to change, you may miss out on some of the best lighting, so I recommend choosing an outfit that allows you to do a quick superman change. 

Hair, Makeup, etc.
If you are going to have your makeup professionally done for your wedding day, a lot of makeup artists will have a trial application included in their package. The day of your engagement photos is a good time for this, but do schedule it early enough in the day for a stress free recovery job, if it turns out that your makeup artist would have been more at home traveling with the clowns at the circus. I reccomend trying out your makeup the day of the engagement shoot because it will give you a chance to see how it will look in pictures before the big day. I mean, if you are getting your makeup professionally done, you should have your picture taken, right? Then, you should go out for a nice dinner :-D

The engagement shoot is also a good time for a trial run of your hair as well. You may not want to have a fancy undo like you would for your wedding, but you can try the color and perhaps some elements of the style you envision for your wedding day. If you are getting your hair colored, I would recommend that you not schedule that appointment for the same day as your engagement shoot, just in case something doesn't turn out as planned. 

Finally, we will be getting shots of your ring. After all, this is a shoot with the three of you: bride, groom, and ring. You may want to get a manicure because we will be seeing your nails. 

Can I bring props? 
YES!!! Engagement sessions are all about showing off your love and your personality. If you have some items that define the two of you, please bring them. Or, if you have just always wanted to have photos of the two if you having a picnic, by all means bring the props. Like I said, I love creativity. Sometimes, we have couples that would like to bring a pet. We love pets! The best way for this to work is if you also bring along someone that you are comfortable with to be in charge of the pet during shots where they are not needed. 

Most importantly, engagement sessions are about having fun and enjoying this time of your life. 

I hope this post has helped to answer some of your questions about engagement photos. 

Thanks for reading! 

Erika Brown Photography
Wedding Photography | Engagement Photographer
Chicago | West Lafayette | Indianapolis| Central Indiana
Available Worldwide