The Rules of Engagement (Photos)

Engagement announcement

You’re engaged, and you want to shout it from the rooftops! And you also want the most beautiful engagement photos of you and your betrothed so that you can capture this exciting time in your lives on film. But how do you find a great wedding photographer? What should you wear to the engagement shoot? And where should you plan to shoot the pictures? Here’s what to know and what to think about when scheduling an engagement photo shoot.

How to Hire an Engagement Photographer

After the question has been popped, you’ll want to get the ball rolling on hiring a photographer. Though some may specialize in engagements, many wedding photographers have a packaged deal that includes engagement photos. This makes sense because you and your wedding photographer will want to have a “trial run” and a chance to get to know each other before the big day.

Wedding photographer

When searching for a professional in your area, the best thing to do is to go to their website and take a closer look at their work. You may not know what kind of aesthetic you want for your engagement and wedding photos yet, but looking at multiple pages and Instagram accounts of some local photographers can help you narrow down what you like and what you don’t like.

Once you narrow it down to a couple of choices, ask each one to meet up with you for a consultation over coffee, and discuss rates, what’s included in their packages, and how much any extras like bridal portraits or boudoir photos will be. Many photographers will wrap up an engagement session with the wedding photos, but be sure to ask and don’t assume. If for some reason your photographer isn’t available for a shoot before the wedding or is charging more than what your budget allows for an engagement session, you can always book another photographer or schedule a studio portrait session with a department store.

Location, Location, Location

After you’ve hired your photographer, now you will need to figure out where you are going to take photos. The answer: wherever you want. Of course, you could go the traditional route and pick a pretty spot in town and take a few shots there, but there are so many creative choices for engagement shots.

For example, you could have the photographer come to the home you share and just take some candids of the two of you hanging out on the couch. You could also have a photographer take photos of the two of you where you had your first date. Pose in a variety of your favorite downtown spots and places that you often hit up on date night. There have even been zombie invasion scenes for an engagement shoot!

The point is that whatever is most meaningful and beautiful to you is where you should take your photos. If you need any advice from your photographer on what would look the best on camera, be sure to set up a meeting and talk about what your vision is for the photographs so they know exactly what you want.

What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos

Engagement photos

What you wear really depends on what kind of aesthetic you’re trying to achieve in the photos. Photographers generally advise not to wear really bold prints or any kind of clothing that you feel uncomfortable in (so if you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, don’t assume you’re going to look and feel great in a dress that you hate wearing).

However, the most important thing is to dress for the season. If you are going to be taking photos outside (the norm nowadays for engagement photos), then you don’t want to be freezing or sweltering hot because you’ll likely look uncomfortable in the photos. The idea is to look relaxed and have fun with your future spouse.

A cute spring or summer engagement photo outfit for a future bride might be a cotton dress, a fun romper, or shorts and a breezy off-the-shoulder top to create a romantic look. For a groom, stick to light and breezy fabrics for shorts and shirts in summer colors like light blues or greens.

A fall or winter engagement photo shoot is all about bundling up and looking cozy in tights, knit dresses, sweaters, and boots. Bundle up in a plaid blanket or put on your favorite scarves and coats to get that perfect picture kissing in the falling leaves or pretty white snow.

Whatever you decide to wear, don’t feel like you need to match your fiancé perfectly. Matchy-matchy outfits tend to look a little cheesy—especially after some time has passed. Stick with classic prints, solids, and stay away from über trendy outfits to avoid making your photos look dated really quickly.

Lastly, make sure that you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Everyone has body insecurities, but this is your day to feel confident and beautiful. If you don’t feel 100 percent great about what you’re wearing, your discomfort will come through in the photos. Don’t let others pressure you into wearing a specific outfit—make sure that you are wearing something that you feel sexy and body positive in. This isn’t the same thing for everyone. One woman’s little black dress is another woman’s t-shirt and shorts. Whatever you decide on, make sure that you really love it. We know that you’ll look beautiful no matter what.

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