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Shades of White Stone

All You Need to Know for a Successful Engagement Photo Shoot

Whether you’re already engaged, or you think the big question is coming soon, engagement photos are probably on your mind. I love engagement sessions. The excitement and newness of the couples’ big news, the romance between them, and hearing about the wedding planning down to the details of their story and proposal are just some of the reasons these shoots are some of my favorites.

I’ve learned over the years as a photographer that there can be a myriad of questions surrounding your engagement session, so I’m here to help make answer those, and helpfully prepare you just a little bit for what’s to come. Below I’ll share all the tips I’ve found can help make this session not only memorable and fun, but a great trial-run for your actual wedding photos!

Tip #1 – Wear something you’re comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show. I like to tell my soon-to-be-brides to go buy a new outfit. Find something you feel beautiful in, and definitely take into account what the weather will be. If you’re hot or cold, it won’t make for a very fun or natural session. If you do purchase something new, take it for a test run – hello, date night! – with plenty of time to launder or dry-clean in case of a mishap. As your photographer, I just may have a sweet little surprise to help you find that perfect outfit here locally, and at a discount. ;) If you book with someone else, always ask your photographer first because they may have deals with local stores as well! For the ladies, I also like to tell them to find something that flows or moves easily, especially for outdoor shoots. And lastly, it’s always helpful to start with the bride’s outfit, or a key piece of it, and then plan the remainder of your clothing around that.

Tip #2 – Get your hair and makeup done! Everyone loves an excuse to be pampered, so why not let this be that very excuse you are needing. You will feel beautiful, and you won’t have to stress about doing it yourself. I liked to advise my brides to try and schedule their hair and makeup trial on the day of engagement photos! If that doesn’t work out, or you are on a budget, ask a girlfriend to do your hair and makeup. It will be a fun memory for you, and a good practice for your wedding day! You never know – you just might find t the look you are wanting on the big day. You could also go for a massage or pedicure before just to make sure you feel put together, and relaxed!

Tip #3 – Choose a meaningful place. If you have a favorite thing to do together, choose a location based around that. If you are all about relaxing at home or even cooking in your kitchen, an in-home shoot may be best for you. If you are adventurous and outdoorsy, something outside would be a perfect setting. I also love when my couples take me back to the spot of the actual proposal, or even where they met. For my engagement photos, my husband Austin and I had ours taken at his family farm. We love looking at them now and seeing those familiar places in the photos. Choose somewhere important to both of you, and you will be so glad you did down the road.

Photo by Emily Michelson

Tip #4 – Bring meaningful items, or even pets. Austin’s family dog was also in some of our photos, and it makes those particular shots so special now as time passes. If you have a pet you love, or even a photo of one, bring it with you. If you have a photo of a loved one who has passed, that can also be something meaningful to include. Maybe your first date or proposal involved

a picnic. Bring a picnic basket and blanket to set the scene. Whatever is special to the two of you is what matters. I’ve even had some couples bring their kids for some of the photos. In that case, it’s always helpful to bring someone to look after the kids once their portion is done so we can focus on the couple after that. Just remember – It’s all about you, the couple. Whatever you want is what goes!

Tip #5 – Bring your best attitude! This may sound a little silly, or even trite, but it is almost the most important thing! Choose a day and time where you will be well-rested, and not stressed. Come ready to enjoy time with your fiancé and be prepared to really have fun with the whole process. If you come in dreading photos, you won’t be as happy with your pictures as you otherwise might be. My goal is to make a day of it with my couples so that they are so relaxed by the end of the session, they don’t even realize I’m photographing them. I have some fun tricks up my sleeve as well to get those perfect natural shots of you two being well, you. I want to capture real life – the way you are together day in and day out.

I hope this helped you a little as you prepare for your engagement shoot! I’m always here to help answer questions, plan out your shoot, connect you to a stylist, find the perfect outfit, and so much more. I always say I’m so much more than a photographer, and I hope you believe that! I love walking this through this whole process with you. And lastly, Congratulations on your engagement!

XOXO, Ashleigh

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