Engagement photoshoot guide

Planning Congratulations, you're engaged! However your engagement came about, it's a pretty big deal, we think you'll agree, and such events deserve to be marked. And one excellent way of marking the occasion is with an engagement photoshoot!

Whatever your reasons for an engagement photoshoot, we've put together our best tips, from experts and experience.

Follow them and you'll feel in control, enjoy the experience and end up with some smashing photos that reflect you and your partner's relationship. Sweet!

What function will the photos perform?

The only reason you really need to do an engagement photoshoot is... because you want to.

However, it could be that you want to use the photos on your wedding website. Or maybe you'd like to make little stickers to go on your invites? Or you know there's scores of proud relatives who'll love adding a photo of the newly engaged couple on their mantelpiece.

Why does function matter? Because it can influence the types of shots you need. But it's arguably not as important as...

What's on your wishlist?

Are you imagining you'll have no choice but to lean against a tree, positioned awkwardly while wearing fake grins? Nope, not unless you want to! It's your session, so make it your own.

Discuss it with your partner: do you want something formal and sophisticated, or do you want something silly and fun? Or a bit of both?

Then make sure you tell your photographer! They need to be on the same page as you, and they'll have tricks up their sleeve to help make your vision happen ... and they may well have their own brilliant ideas to add too.

Dress for it.

Even if you want a relaxed shoot and informal pics, give a little thought to your clothes. They'll be immortalised, and we forget how relatively timeless wedding outfits typically are... unlike our day to day outfits (and even then some wedding clothes end up looking pretty dated!)

A note about matching outfits ... while the concept can be cute, they actually work against the visual appeal of contrast ... so don't be afraid to dress as individuals. If you want a level of colour coordination, you can always pick shades that go well together.

Be prepared.

Moving from location to location, out in the countryside, zipping from one part of town to another ... phew, photoshoots can be pretty active! And you might be away from comforts and amenities for a few hours.

So bring a quick-fix kit including blister plasters, painkillers, a mini sewing kit, stain wipes, fashion tape, a lint roller, a nail file, makeup re-touch products, hair products and so on. Better to have and not need than need and not have!

Also, bring any personal props that'll add character or are important to you and your story. Oh, and snacks and drinks. You're supposed to be a happy couple, not a hangry couple!

Keep an open mind and some positivity.

Enthusiasm and joy comes across in photos ... or rather it doesn't if there is none! So try to stay in the moment and enjoy the shoot.

And as long as it doesn't feel like your photographer's railroading the whole thing into something totally different from what you've asked for, try to trust them and be open to their suggestions. They take pictures for a living, so let them bring their skills and expertise to the table.

Clean your ring.

Seriously, get your engagement ring cleaned professionally. It needs to be ready for its close-up. For that matter, consider a manicure or at least a good hand-moisturising routine in the lead-up.

Pick some interesting backgrounds.The right background can work wonders, and if it's got a personal connection to your love story, even better!

Think up some cool settings in advance. It could be as simple as a pretty bit of graffiti on a disused building. It could be the bus stop where you met. It could be an aquarium or zoo. It could be your own back garden. There are so many options, and you can pick several and move around on the day.

That's it really – those tips will keep you pretty much on track. But as a bonus we thought we'd include some popular types of shots for engagement sessions, so you can go ahead and use them, or at least get inspired ...

The two of you getting close (it'll feel weird to do this while being snapped, but get used to it!). Kissing, hugging, leaning on each other, holding hands... get as much variety as possible.

  • Lying down, heads together.

  • Rings. If you have one each, a shot of them together. Then some separately. Some of them on fingers, then some off-finger, and maybe one of them in the original boxes.

  • Site of the proposal.

  • Location of your first date.

  • A pose mimicking the proposal.

  • The two of you, taking part in a hobby you both love, especially if that's how you met!

  • You two, with any pets.

  • The two of you, having a picnic, or toasting your future with some bubbly.

  • Something silly, like a paint fight, water pistol battle or playing.

  • The two of you at home.

Have we missed an unmissable shot? Let us know! What plans have you got for your engagement shoot?

Tags: engagement, photo shoot, photography, planning

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