Often, engagement photos are when I first really get to know a couple’s personality. I like to use this time as a way to practice for the wedding day in a more relaxed environment. Most of our couples are excited and a little nervous about their engagement session. So, to take the edge off of those nerves, here are our tips for taking great engagement photos.
Location, Location, Location
Over the years, I’ve found my favorite spots to shoot engagement photos. However, I’m always open to exploring new sites and adding to my arsenal. One of my first tips for taking great engagement photos is to choose a place that either has meaning for you as a couple and/or fits your personalities. A couple of examples of this could be the coffee shop where you had your first date or the park where you walk your dog on weekends. The possibilities are endless. Don’t worry if nothing jumps out at you right away. Your photographer is there to help with generating ideas.
Three C’s of Wardrobe Choices
One of the most common questions we get asked before an engagement session is “What should we wear?” So, our next tip for taking engagement photos you’ll love is to remember these three C’s as you plan your wardrobe for the session:
- Complimentary Colors – Personally, I’m not a fan of matching outfits for portrait sessions. Instead, coordinate and choose clothes that compliment each other. For example, if one person is wearing a solid navy blue top, the other could wear a plaid shirt with navy stripes. Keep in mind that bold colors draw the eye. Use bright colors sparingly. You and your partner are the focus of the engagement photos. So, that neon orange dress you wore the night the two of you met is probably not the best option, even if it does come with a great story.
- Confidence – We are talking about being true to yourself and your personal style. If you want to get your hair and makeup done and wear a fancy dress, go for it! IF that’s what you like to do. Select outfits that accentuate who you are because that will go a long way in making you feel good. When you feel good, it shines through in the pictures.
- Comfort – Whether you decide to dress up or more casual, it is important to choose clothes you are physically comfortable in. It is hard to look natural and relaxed if you’re constantly having to rearrange your clothing. Also, this is not the time to break in new shoes. However, if you have a pair of heels you absolutely have to wear with your outfit, it’s a good idea to bring a backup pair in case your shoes start to hurt.
Consider Photos with Your Furry Friends
We’re 100% pet people. So, it only stands to reason that one of our favorite engagement photos tips is to think about incorporating your four-legged furry companion into your session. Unless you’re bringing your pet mouse, we know animals typically aren’t very responsive to the classic “say cheese” method of photo preparation. The last thing we want is for your pet to introduce frustration or stress into your engagement photos.
With this in mind, we recommend coming prepared with all of your furry friend’s favorite toys and treats. These are a great way for us to grab your pet’s attention behind the camera. They can also be a welcome reward for your fur-child in between shots. We know that your finished portraits won’t be enjoyed by your pet as much as they will be by you, so we’re all about providing treats as we go.
Some of our couples have also found great success through inviting an additional human friend to their shoot to serve as your pet’s handler for the day. This is always an option — whether your friends walk on two legs or four, the more the merrier!
(P.S.: Dressing your pet in a tiny tuxedo is not required, but it’s always a very happy surprise.)
Bring Props for Personalization and Posing
You and your partner’s happy smiles are enough to make any photo magical. Still, another tip for taking fun engagement photos, think about incorporating some props. We’ll bring the umbrellas in case it starts to rain, but the rest of the pieces are up to you! The options are endless, but we’re happy to suggest some of our personal favorites.
First, incorporate dates! Many couples bring chalkboards or other homemade signs to display the day of their wedding. The resulting pictures are perfect to use for your “Save the Date” cards and are a precious, simple reminder of your anniversary. You can also pay homage to some of the happy couples and families that came before you. Ancestral heirlooms are incredibly romantic and sentimental, making them a natural addition to your engagement session.
There are even more subtle ways to acknowledge your one-of-a-kind moments as a couple. Any small mementos, objects, or outfits that highlight favorite memories are welcomed. Whether it’s an inside joke or relates to a story you tell friends over and over again, we’ll jump at the chance to commemorate it. Remember, an engagement session isn’t just about preparing for the future — it’s about celebrating your unique history.
Last, But Not Least…
Our final tip for taking engagement photos you’ll love is to RELAX and HAVE FUN! Smile and enjoy the moment. Remember these photos are not only to announce and celebrate your upcoming wedding, but they are for you to look fondly back on for years to come.
We hope these tips help you in planning for a fun, relaxed engagement photo session – because that is the point after all. Do you live in or around Erie, PA? Get a hold of us for more information about booking an engagement session or inquiring about availability for your wedding.
For more engagement photo session inspiration, here are the full blog posts of some of the engagement photos featured in this post:
- Lori and Layne’s Engagement Photos at Wintergreen Gorge and Modern Tool Square
- Walking in Mellon Park with Laura & Neil
- Spring Engagement Photos in Downtown Erie with Ariel and Aaron
- Amanda and Justin’s Whispering Woods Engagement Photos
- A Winter Engagement Session in Waterford, PA with Ella & Riley
- Andrea & Teagan’s Winter Engagement Photos
- Wintry Penn State Erie Engagement Photos with Cassie and Stefan
- Kelsey and Nick’s Penn State Erie Engagement Session
- Katrina & Joe’s Fun, Summertime Engagement Photos in Erie PA
- Rachel & Matt’s Engagement Session at Modern Tool Square
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