How to Prepare For Your Engagement Session - Grier Cooper Photography

How to Prepare For Your Engagement Session

You’ve tried on dozens of outfits and you’re feeling stressed; you want to look your best for your engagement photos, but you’re worried about choosing the right outfit, or feeling awkward in front of the camera. If so, you’re not alone… but with a little bit of planning you you’ll end up with engagement photos you will love and treasure for a long time to come. Read on for tips on how to be prepared.

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Find a location that speaks to your heart.

The right background can make all the difference between good photos and great photos. Select a place where you enjoy spending time, that reflects your personalities. For instance, if you are outdoorsy people, consider your favorite hiking trails or a secluded grove of redwoods.

Elizabeth and Derek Marin County engagement photos

Choose an outfit that makes you feel good.

Here’s a simple formula to help you pick the right outfit for engagement photos: Special + Comfortable + Flattering. You won’t want to wear your daytime pajamas (aka yoga pants) but you do want to be able to move freely. Choose something that is flattering to your specific body type, keeping in mind any areas you want to downplay. For instance, if you aren’t loving your arms right now, choose a top with sleeves, rather than a camisole.

Marin Engagement photos | Rachel and Marcus

More About What to Wear For Your Engagement Photos

Coordinate. This doesn’t mean you have to wear matching outfits. In fact, looking extremely matchy-matchy is artificial; your looks should simply fit together. There are two aspects to coordinating:

A – Level of formality. If he’s in a tux, she shouldn’t be in a peasant blouse. And if she’s dressed to the nines, he shouldn’t be in a sports jersey.
B – Color Palette. Drawing from the same color palette is a great way to coordinate!

Layer and accessorize. Layers and accessories can add so much depth and interest to your photos. They can also turn a decent outfit into a stunning one. A scarf and belt elevate a simple outfit into one that looks perfectly pulled together. Besides adding interest, accessories are also a great way to bring your personal sense of style into your engagement photos. A chunky necklace, for example, adds special flair to an otherwise casual outfit.

Dress it up. Engagement photos are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull out all the stops for your portraits. Why waste it on an outfit you wore to the grocery store last weekend? I love the idea of choosing a dream dress from Rent the Runway for your session. Most engagement shoots offer time to change your outfit, so you can have one fancy outfit and one more casual. The most important suggestion I can offer is this: Be yourself, but be the BEST VERSION of yourself. Elevate your outfits beyond the everyday so that you’ll have engagement photos that you’ll want to show off for years to come!

Consider hiring someone to help you with hair and makeup.

Some girls will have their practice run regarding hair and makeup for the engagement shoot. This helps them feel a little more ‘done-up’ for the shoot and boosts their confidence. I’m not saying you should do this AT ALL!! However, what I can say is that in my experience shooting engagement sessions, girls want to feel pretty and confident…and sometimes spending a little extra time getting ready achieves just that.

San Francisco fine art wedding photography 2

Have fun!

It’s always fun to bring along props. They give you something to do and make the session feel more playful, so feel free to bring things along that really reflect your fantastic personalities. For instance, I’ve had a couple bring along Harry Potter wands because they are self-professed HP nerds. Another couple bought cotton candy and had fun eating it together. Another couple had matching Nintendo Switches, so they brought them along because they’re both really into games. The list is endless! Suggestions: Bikes, balloons, bubbles, a favorite pet, magazines you like reading. Anything! 🙂 Don’t hesitate to bring anything that truly reflects you individually or as a couple.

Once you arrive for your engagement photo shoot, it’s time to relax and let the pro take over. A good photographer knows how to guide you in and out of poses naturally; a really good photographer knows how to help you enjoy the process. Remember, this is a special time for you and your partner to be with each other in a beautiful place. This doesn’t happen every day, so revel in the experience!

As with so many other things in life, a little bit of planning makes all the difference. Follow these tips and you’ll look your best for your engagement photos and have an amazing day!

Apr 13, 2017

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