The months-long (and in some cases years-long) anticipation has reached its end. The question has been popped, the ring slipped on, and the romantic story shared with family and friends. Perhaps even a wedding date has been set. Now what?!
If you are reading this, the next several months of your life may be filled with excitement, anxiety, and endless decisions to make your wedding the most amazing day. Of course, you will want to document all the special moments of your wedding day and the months of hard work you put toward it. Given that, requesting that your photographer to get to know you and your fiancé through an engagement photo session will be one of the best decisions you make. This is an opportunity, not only to professionally document the beginning of your love story, but also a chance to ease wedding day jitters by becoming comfortable with and trusting your photographer.
However, before you get in front of the camera, there are a few things you’ll have to consider and prepare. Each of them should be fun and exciting decisions to make. The following is our ultimate guide; it will provide you with three questions so you can focus on the most important considerations when creating your dream engagement album.
1. Location: Find a place special to you and your fiancé.
The sole purpose of this album is to celebrate the unique love that you have for one another. This means that the place where you decide to have your e-session should be one of particular significance, or where you can do a meaningful activity that you enjoy together. Some ideas to consider include:
- Where you met
- Where you got engaged
- The bar where you get a drink each Thursday
- The restaurant of your first date
- The venue where you saw your favorite band together
- Your living room, backyard, kitchen, or dinner table
- Activities such as: sailing, playing games, cycling, walking the dogs, cooking, painting your house, or picking apples
2. Wardrobe: What colors and style represent you, and also work for the camera?
Perhaps the most sought-after advice when preparing for your e-session; what to wear for a professional photoshoot takes some (FUN) planning. Talk to your fiancé about the style you’re going for: casual, formal, or somewhere in between? Will your outfit work in the context of your desired location, as well as the time of year? Remember, your e-session is meant to authentically capture your relationship. These photos will last you a lifetime, and you’ll want to look back at them with confidence that what you were wearing represented you. This being said, while it may seem like a no-brainer to throw on your favorite outfit, it is important to consider these three fundamental suggestions that, if followed, the camera will love:
- SIMPLICITY: When you opt for wearing solid colors (with the exception of a lot of white) instead of large patterns or graphics, you will eliminate the risk of your clothes catpuring all of the attention.
- COORDINATION: Remember: compliment, don’t mirror (no matching outfits)! It is best to choose 2-3 complimentary colors between your two outfits, and it is okay if your clothes have small patterns of muted or harmonious colors. Another tip? Blue jeans work with any color combination!
- FLATTERY: Certain clothing material and fit may look different in a singular snapshot than in person. From our experience, we have cultivated the following suggestions regarding clothing type:
- Stay away from jersey material, such as polo shirts.
- If wearing a skirt, choose a hem-line that allows you to sit without showing too much leg.
- Avoid tops that flare out just below the bust line – they hide your figure.
- If shoes will be worn, make sure they are clean and that socks are dark.
If you still aren’t sure if the outfit you choose works, discuss your options with your photographer! Bringing a second outfit is never a bad idea. For the grooms-to-be, consider bringing a blazer, sweater, or long-sleeve button down shirt than can be worn over your shirt to easily mix things up.
A note on hair and makeup: the same rules apply regarding authenticity; do not feel the need to go over the top. It is a myth that you need heavier makeup than usual for photographs, and hairstyle should feel comfortable and familiar. We have had clients who regret getting special hair appointments for their e-sessions because the style was unusual for them. Be you!
3. Accessories: What is meaningful to incorporate, and what isn’t?
It is important to decrease the amount of items that you’ll find yourself fiddling with or adjusting throughout your photoshoot, so we recommend that both men and women remove watches, and that any jewelry be small. If you wear glasses and want them for the photos, it is important that you not wear transition lenses; they’ll turn dark outside and hide your beautiful eyes. Any purses or pocket-carrying items such as wallets, cell phones, keys, makeup, mirrors, or combs should be emptied and put in a backpack that your photographer can carry as you move.
As for The Ultimate Accessory, your engagement ring, there is no single formula for how to incorporate that special piece of jewelry into your photos. Discuss with your photographer how and to what degree you’d like it displayed, as there are many approaches you can take with showing off your rock. Your e-session will be a time during which your ring could be on display. Ensure you are happy with ring sizing and styling. Blue Nile’s Engagement Rings page offers comprehensive information on all of these important considerations.
Above all, the most important thing to prepare when approaching your engagement session is a positive attitude. These pictures are meant to capture the genuine excitement and happiness that this time holds for you. Relax into the presence of your fiancé, trust your photographer, and have a blast!