How to prepare for an engagement shoot?

by pazza

So you have scheduled an engagement shoot, the date keeps getting closer and you start wondering if there is something you should do to make sure you have absolutely great pictures. As a matter of fact, there is a lot! What many of couples do not realize, is how much of an impact they can have on the way their pictures will look. The key thing here is to think creatively and concentrate on what separates you from other couples. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your engagement shoot:

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–          Just the two of you. Think about what it is that symbolizes your relationship, what was the thing that brought you together. Do you you go on trips whenever you get a chance? Is it humor, that keeps your relationship strong? If so, is there an inside joke the two of you absolutely love?  Did you meet at an unusual place? Things that like these can give you ideas for props to bring to a shoot – for example, if you are an avid traveler, you can bring maps or vintage suitcases to create a unique mood during the shoot.

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–          Think simplicity. The most ordinary things look most fun in pictures because they put an emphasis on your emotional connection. So think – how does your day usually go and which part of it would you like to showcase? Is it getting ready for work together? Taking your pets out for a walk? Maybe sharing a Sunday brunch at a small cafe? Or going on a bike ride in the woods? Those are the scenarios you can do during a shoot that will create really great energy and tell your own story. By doing this you actually show your interaction instead of limiting yourself to cliché couple photos you are tired of seeing.

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–          Palettes. If you do not know what location to pick for your shoot, it often helps to think of palettes each location can give you. For example, if you are planning a shoot outside a forest or park will give you a green palette, city streets will give you nice beige colors, and you will end up with rosy/yellow/lavender colors if you go to the beach. I generally advise to pick at least two locations, so that your pictures have versatility. Your home can also be a great place to do the shoot not only because you will feel relaxed, but also because you decorated it yourself.

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–          To pose or not to pose – that is the question. Do not be intimidated by the thought that in order to get good pictures you need to know how to model or pose – the most beautiful couple portraits are created when a photographer simply captures the two of you sharing a moment together. This means being relaxed, expressive and affectionate with each other – put your head on your loved one’s shoulder, give a light kiss, or share a laugh together.

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–          Something more creative. I always offer a stylized engagement session for my couples, where they can construct more of a story and get those fashion magazine-like photos. Studio shoots are also a great option.

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–          Dress the part. Now, what do you wear to a shoot? Generally speaking, solid colors work best. Patterns can look good on guys, however, you want to stay away from large patterns because they can be distracting. You probably want to bring two or three changes of wardrobe to create different moods for the shoot. I usually suggest girls to wear something feminine like a skirt or dress for the first half of the shoot and then change into shorts or pants for a more relaxed feel. Also, do not be afraid to accessorize – a fun scarf or belt will be great in showing your personality. Ladies often ask me how to do their make-up for the shoot. If you are doing the make-up yourself, you want to go a little darker then you would on an ordinary day and take the time to blend your make-up really well. Scheduling a make-up appointment at the salon is also a great idea.

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Photographer: Pazza Photography
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