Wedding season is right around the corner but the engagement photo season is already here! According to researchers, December is THE most popular month to be engaged. Once the weather warms up, the engagement sessions begin to roll in. Are you someone who got engaged during the winter months and now you’re looking for tips on what you can do to have the most romantic and cinematic engagement photos? Follow these 5 tips below:
Select A Gorgeous Location
Where you shoot your engagement photos matter. Your location will determine how your engagement photos look. It sets the mood, the emotions, the colors, and the wow factor. If your engagement session matters to you, avoid the cheesy local parks where the only interesting thing there are green trees or a murky lake. I honestly believe that one of the worst things in planning your engagement session is to choose a boring location. Choose to shoot in the city. Shoot at the beach. Drive up to the mountain top. Hike to a waterfall. I know it may take up an entire weekend, but aside from the photos; you’ll also receive an amazing experience. Use the engagement session as a getaway for the weekend and kill two birds with one stone.
Shoot At Golden Hour
What time of day you shoot at matters almost as much as your shooting location. Fashion photographers prefer harsh light because it creates shadows and defines jawlines. However, that type of light is not popular amongst wedding photographers because we prefer a softer & more romantic type of light.
On a normal blue sky day, it is best to shoot during the golden hours. Now, what is golden hour? Golden hour is the part of the day when the sun gives off a soft light. The first golden hour begins at sunrise and lasts two hours. The second golden hour happens 2 hours before sunset up to sunset. This is the cookie cutter time of day to shoot your engagement photos.
Another popular time to shoot is under cloudy conditions when the sun sits behind clouds. The clouds act as a large softbox to even out the light and prevents the sun from casting harsh shadows.
If you’re into moody portraits, I’d recommend shooting under cloudy conditions. When shooting under cloudy conditions, you’re able to shoot at anytime of the day but I do recommend shooting towards midday; which is opposite from golden hour.
Think About Your Outfit
Your outfit will help tell the story of your engagement photos. For example, if your photos are being taken on a mountain top and you choose to dress appropriately for the hike (hiking boots and hiking clothes), the images will tell the story that you and your fiance went on a hike up the mountain. If you decide to shoot at home or AirBNB, dressing down and casual will help communicate a story of authenticity.
Another thing to account for is color science. If you’re shooting in a forest and green is all around you, it wouldn’t make sense to wear a green or blue dress because you’d blend in with the environment. You want to POP out in the photos. In this case, a red dress will help you stand out. I won’t go into the details of color science, but use the image below to determine what colors will help you stand out.
Consider your location and the colors around. If the location is primarily green, choose the color that is directly across in the color wheel. In this case, it’d be red. If the environment is more blue, then an orange outfit will look good. Now, you don’t have to choose solids. Maybe it’s an orange plaid shirt or some type of design that has a splash of orange. Be creative!
If you don’t want to worry about color science, neutral colors are always easy on the eyes. White, Grey, or Black are always good options.
Hire a Good Photographer That Matches Your Style
I can’t say enough about this topic. It is said that a great photographer can make a $2000 wedding look like a $20,000 wedding; and a bad photographer can make a $20,000 wedding look like a $200 wedding. The same applies to engagement photos. You can follow all of the rules above but an amateur photographer will give you amateur results.
I think it’s important to make your engagement session important. It tells the world of your love, so hire a photographer who can best capture your love story.
I’ve had a few people re-shoot their engagement sessions with me because they weren’t happy with their first session with another photographer. They’ll tell me things like, “Wow, I’m so glad you know how to position and pose us because our last photographer just told us to just stand there and do something,” or, “the quality of the photos from the last photographer weren’t good enough to use.”
Hiring the right professional photographer matters!
What better way to show the world who you both are than by capturing you and your fiance in your most natural type of love. Posed photography has a place and time, but for engagement sessions, I think it is important to show that you two really enjoy being with one another. This means that you can be silly during the shoot, poke fun at each other, cry, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company while the photographer captures it all.
Try some of these posing tips designed to create laughing photos:
- Let him hold you from behind with arms over your shoulders. Then make him guess what your favorite desserts are, but here’s the catch, he has to say it in an Irish accent.
- Stand next to each other facing the camera. Have your fiance hum a song while the other one tries to guess it.
Are you looking for a photographer to capture your engagement session? I have some availability left for engagement photos, so if you’re searching for a photographer to take care of your needs, contact me below!