Lessons Learned: Engagement Photography

I know that doing engagement photo shoots is not normal for everyone. Maybe you’ve never heard of such a thing and have somehow missed it on all the wedding blogs. Maybe you couldn’t afford it (totally valid!) or didn’t have the time. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely not a necessity.

With that being said, I want you to know that I love our engagement photos. I love that we have so many wonderful pictures of us that we can cherish.

(All following photos by Love Song Photo)


We have this one framed in our living room.

Plus, I’m kind of a ham and I like having my picture taken.

One of the major benefits of engagement photography is that you can get to know your photographer and they can get to know you, which helps to ensure pictures that are representative of your personalities and your relationship. Since our photographer is a friend of ours that wasn’t as big of an issue. For us, the major benefit was in knowing things that worked or didn’t work in pictures.

Do: Listen to your photographer when they suggest “whisper sweet nothings” or “tell a joke.” Your first picture may not be perfect”¦


I still like this photo, but it’s odd not to see Sparky’s face.

”¦but the resulting pictures may be great.


Looking at each other, smiling, and laughing

Do: Get some solo shots. I mean, why not? You’re already all dressed nicely, right?



OK, not the world’s greatest photo, but it is hilarious. A squirrel launched itself out of a tree just as this photo was taken.

Do: Take advantage of local “prop” locations.


Copyright Love Song Photo

Do: Be yourselves! You wouldn’t want pictures where you don’t look like you!



Do: Bring things that are representative of you into the photos (a combination of the above two).



Don’t: Spend the whole time talking.

I realize this is an odd one, but it was a biggie for me. I’m quite the talker and since I spent the whole time joking, talking, and laughing it means that several photos are not very flattering of my face. (I still love the pictures, but I probably won’t be printing them out.) I know now to be more mindful of this on our wedding day!


The colors in this picture are amazing. While it’s honest that Sparky makes me laugh, I wish we were just smiling softly and gazing at each other.


Dear self: Maybe keep your mouth shut a bit more? The composition of this picture is so neat but I’m making a weird face.


It definitely says something about the talent of our photographer that I love all of our pictures despite funny faces and open mouths.

Don’t: Forget to pay attention to timing. Our shoot took several hours, and because we took longer than anticipated at our first spot we couldn’t get as many shots at the second location because of the harsh lighting. (Lucky for us Krista is so patient!)

I’m sure there are more lessons I could glean from our shoot, but the MAJOR lesson is this: Do pick a photographer who produces work that you love. This ensures that you’ll be happy, funny faces and all.


This is definitely us.



Did you have an engagement shoot? Do you feel like you learned from that experience?


Mrs. Campfire

Seattle, WA
Wedding Date:
September 2013
The Dress Hunt Begins: David's Bridal
We Did It!
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  1. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:40 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! I know engagement photos have certain expectations … but, I personally love the photos where something ridiculous is happening. I’m not good at “faking it” either. So, I really appreciate the genuine hilarity photos. In other words, my favorite photo is the one where you had just seen the launching squirrel.

    P.S. You guys are an ADORABLE couple!

  2. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:05 pm

    @Mrs. Mongoose: Thanks! I’m also really glad we did the shoot – I know now what to remember (don’t talk the whole time!) on our wedding day! :)
    @priyathescientist: Thanks!

  3. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:55 pm

    Great tips, and I love seeing more of your beautiful photos!

  4. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:32 pm

    @Mrs. Pony: Thanks!

  5. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:27 pm

    Great tips!
    I am a talker too, but mostly we are goofs and we couldn’t keep ourselves together when asked to “look into each others’ eyes”. I keep thinking our photog did magic with us because he got great romantic shots from our goofiness.

  6. campfire Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:34 am

    @Mrs. Toadstool: Your pictures were amazing!

  7. Member
    scarlet_letter 369 posts, Helper bee @ 10:12 pm

    I’m a bit nervous about our shoot with our photog team. Not because they’ve given me reason to be nervous — just because I am not very good at being in front of a camera. We will only have one hour (that is what was included with our whole wedding package) and I hope we can get comfortable quickly..
    Luckily, Mr. SL is a total ham and makes me laugh a bunch.

    I love your e-photos and have been waiting to see you blog about them!

  8. Member
    honeybee22 57 posts, Worker bee @ 11:20 pm

    I agree with you, engagement photos are something that can be cherished and it gives you a chance to work with your photographer before oh-so-important wedding photos, which cannot be redone.

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