In a time when people are constantly taking pictures of everything they do, see, and eat, making special arrangements to have your photo taken is certainly out of the ordinary. But becoming engaged isn’t something you do every day, either.
Why set aside time and get all primped to have engagement photos taken? There are several reasons. The first is so that you have a newspaper-worthy picture to submit with your engagement announcement. The second is so that you have a great shot to use on your wedding website or your save-the-dates. The third is so you can test out the photographer you’ve chosen to take the pictures on your wedding day. And the fourth is, well, because it’s fun! Follow the tips below to make sure your engagement photos are truly memorable.
Choosing the Photographer
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a good photographer is going to cost the equivalent. But skimping on this wedding expense is probably the one regret you’ll have. The time leading up to your wedding is going to speed by, and the wedding day itself is going to be over before you know it. What you’ll have left are beautiful memories and, we hope, beautiful photographs that capture every golden moment and the small, precious details that tend to fade with the years.
There’s no better advice than to hire a professional who specializes in wedding photography. This may be your first time at the altar, but it shouldn’t be the first time for your photographer. He or she will have good cameras and good lighting, and will know how to get the right poses and compositions without being intrusive. Also, unlike a friend who may have volunteered for the job, a professional photographer won’t be sidetracked by trying to be a guest as well.
Selecting a wedding photographer early — and you have to anyway, because the good ones book up well in advance — gives you the opportunity to have him or her do your engagement photos first. This gives the photographer a chance to know you as a couple and to experiment with getting your best angles and learning what will be most effective on your wedding day.
Deciding What Kind of Engagement Photos You Want
Indoors in a studio or outdoors in a natural setting? Formal or casual? You’ve seen engagement photos with a couple canoodling in a romantic location like water’s edge at sunset, or poised in silhouette against a stark industrial background, or in the park with their pets, or dressed in costume and acting out dramatic scenarios, or just grinning and holding signs that say things like “He asked. She said yes.” You’ve seen photos with a couple so far in the distance that you can’t recognize them, and shot in such close-up that every freckle is visible.
Special photographic effects are also popular for engagement photos: everything from sepia to hyper-saturated color. Some look like high-fashion layouts, some look like scenes from a movie, and some look like candids taken with a selfie-stick. Many couples coordinate their engagement photo style with their beautiful wedding venue.
Pictures tell a story. Just make sure it’s your story, and not something that’s going to feel artificial when you look back at the photos later. If you’d never go hang-gliding in your life, for instance, you may not want to have your engagement photos taken to look as if you’re about to jump off a mountain top… regardless of how apt you may feel the analogy is.
Whatever style you opt for, remember that you’ll want one “standard” pose if you’ll be submitting a photo to a newspaper or other publication. This means a photo where your heads are close together, you’re looking at the camera, neither of you is wearing a hat, and there’s no distracting image behind you.
Choosing What to Wear
The style and location of your engagement photo session is going to dictate your wardrobe, but regardless, be wary of wearing prints or fad clothing that’s too of the moment. (Many ‘80s brides regret those shoulder pads!)
Your clothes should coordinate with each other’s as far as appropriateness for the location, and should be in complementary hues as well as be equally subtle or bright. Unless you’re going for a comic effect, matchy-matchy is usually too much of a good thing. Remember that in close-ups your neckline is the most important part of your outfit, and don’t wear blingy jewelry that will detract from your own radiant smile.
Scheduling the Photo Session
You’ll want to take engagement photos as soon as you’ve selected a photographer. This is particularly important if you intend to send them to the local paper, your alumni magazine, or other publications, because there can be a several month lag between submission and seeing your announcement in print.
Taking them as soon as you can is also necessary if you’re going to use them as part of your save-the-dates; you’ll want enough time to let your photographer perform his or her magic in perfecting them (oh, the joy of Photoshop), and then to print up your announcements and send them out so everyone has enough advance notice to join you on the big day.
Newly engaged? Contact LA Banquets today to find your venue and set the tone for your big day.