When it comes to your engagement photos, you want them to be as unique and special as the relationship that you are celebrating. Generic, posed shots can feel forced and lack personality. Cookie cutter engagement photos don’t say anything about your love story, your personalities, or the connection between you. If you want to capture your love in a more creative way, follow these tips for planning an epic engagement photoshoot!
How to get started
It’s ok if you don’t have a super detailed idea of what you want your engagement photoshoot experience to be. Unless you’re an art director, chances are you’ve never planned a photoshoot before, or even been part of one! That’s where I come in. There’s no need to get overwhelmed or bogged down trying to figure out how to execute an incredible, show-stopping engagement photoshoot. You bring me the ideas, and I’ll help you get there.
Choose a creative location for your engagement photos
One of the best ways to make your engagement photos unique is to choose a creative location. This could be a park, a downtown area, a nature reserve, or any other place that has special meaning for you and your fiance. Taking them in a special location that is significant to the two of you will add a layer of storytelling to your photos, and it will be like a little secret between you!
Not sure where to go and need some inspo? Get on Pinterest and start searching!
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, your photographer can be a great resource. They may have suggestions for locations that would be perfect for your shoot, or they can help you find a spot that matches your vision. You’d be surprised how many secret locations your photographer knows about from location scouting that they have been just WAITING to shoot at!
Use props and activities to personalize your engagement photos
Another way to make your engagement photos stand out is to use props. This could be something as simple as flowers or sunglasses, or it could be something more meaningful, like heirloom jewelry or items from your first date. Props can add interest and personality to your photos, and they can help to tell the story of your relationship. (And as an added bonus, they give you something to do with your hands!)
Planning an activity is a surefire way to provide effortless connection during your session. You won’t feel stiff or awkward while you’re too busy trying to balance each other on the handlebars of a bike while riding along the beach, or picking out records to jam to on your living room floor while you eat pizza.
Think outside the box and treat your engagement photos like a date night, or like the the sweeping montage scene in a romantic movie! Try an underwater session at the beach you got engaged, a night time stroll under the streetlamps before getting fries at your favourite fry truck, or playing instruments at home and coming up with silly love songs for each other.
Your photographer can help you choose props and activities that will work well with the location and theme of your shoot. If you have specific ideas in mind, be sure to communicate those to your photographer so they can make sure to capture them in the photos.
Incorporate your personal style into the engagement photos
Your engagement photos should be a reflection of you and your fiance’s personalities. If you’re both laid-back and casual, that should come across in the photos. If you’re more formal or dressy, that should be reflected as well. And if you’re quirky and fun-loving, make sure that comes through too!
Your engagement photos are a great opportunity to show off your personal style. So don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Choose clothes that you feel comfortable in and that reflect who you are as a couple. And if you have any other ideas to make the shoot more personal, be sure to share those with your photographer!
Get your photographer involved in the planning process
Your engagement photoshoot should be a collaboration between you and your photographer. After all, they are the experts! They know what works well in photos and what doesn’t, so they can help you make sure your ideas come to life in the best way possible.
Your engagement photographer should be more than just someone to take your photos. They should be a partner in the planning process, helping you to come up with ideas and bring your vision to life. So don’t be afraid to involve them in the planning of your engagement photoshoot. The more they know about what you’re hoping to achieve, the better they’ll be able to help you get there.
When it comes time to choose a photographer, be sure to interview several different candidates. Ask them about their engagement photography style and see if it matches your vision. Show them examples of photos you love and see how they react. And most importantly, make sure you connect with them on a personal level. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding day, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities.
How you can avoid stiff, awkward photos
Here’s a bonus tidbit that I tell all my clients. They key to truly having authentic, candid, emotive engagement photos is to stop thinking about them like they’re photos.
Yep, seriously. Let me explain.
There’s a certain magic that happens when you get into the right flow… you don’t break connection to look at your photographer for the next instruction because you are too busy having fun and being obsessed with each other. All the planning, props, and activities mentioned above will totally help you get into that groove. But mindset is also super key here. The best way to keep the flow moving is to pretend you’re in a music video or movie instead of at a photoshoot!
Think about it, if you were being filmed, would you immediately drop your arms and turn away from each other after a kiss to look at the director for the next scene? Of course not! It’s all about that follow through, baby! And the scene isn’t over until the director yell “CUT!”
So don’t just stand there! Twirl, kiss, hug, laugh, play tag, roll around, ruffle their hair, keep each other warm, wiggle your butts…. just keep the scene going until your photographer let’s you know to move into a new location or activity.
Executing an engagement photoshoot doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. By following these tips, you can plan a shoot that is creative, personal, and uniquely you. So get out there and start planning your epic engagement photoshoot today!
Check out some real life engagement & couples sessions here!