5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot

Wedding season is upon us!  And that means lots of excitement in the house, last minute dress appointments, RSVPs from your family and friends, coffee shop meetings with vendors, stress, stress and more stress.  Basically, it’s a busy, eventful time that can take a toll on the fun of it all.

Let me help you knock off one to-do item from your list of manys so that you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience:  preparing for the engagement shoot.  For some couples, it’s completely awkward and nerve-wracking to have your photos professionally taken, let alone, romantic and intimate ones with your partner in front of a complete stranger (me!).  Or how about what to wear.  Do you go for your favourite graphic T and or fancy it up with a dress and killer heels?  Do you practice in front of the mirror so you have an idea how to pose in front of the camera?  Do you get your photos taken at the same place your friends did?            

5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

These are some of the many good questions we’ve gotten from our couples, so we've put together some tid bits of advice to help you relax and enjoy this part of your engagement.

1 - Get to know your photographer ahead of time

It’s always a good idea to get to know your photographer before your engagement session.  You can meet in person, have a call or just look through their website. This will give you a leg up in terms of understanding their approach and style and making you more comfortable during the shoot because you have a better idea of what to expect. Not to mention, your photographer should be able to answer all your questions about how to prepare ahead of time. 

2 - A meaningful location

While it’s always beautiful to have your photos taken at the garden or park where your friends got their photos taken, why not take it up a notch and choose a place that’s meaningful for you and your fiancé.  Maybe you are avid hikers and enjoy nature - you can choose an outdoorsy location that speaks to your nature-loving heart.  Enjoy cooking together at home?  Why not have a snuggle session at home.  If you proposed at a certain spot in the city, you can go back and document your love where she first said ‘yes’!  For travellers, how about a destination engagement shoot?  Somewhere exotic, beautiful and speaks to your soul.  The possibilities are endless - chat to your photographer about your ideas.

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3 - Oh, what to wear?

I didn’t realize this until I wrote it out, but my main advice comes from words starting with the letter ‘C’.  Hence, the triple ‘Cs’.  Classic, Comfortable with Coordinated tones and colours to bring it all together.  

5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot

As much as you love wearing your favourite graphic, Goku T-shirt (Ali’s favourite) or your loose 5.5 year old university sweat pants (my favourite), save those outfits for your Friday night, Chinese take-out, House-of-Cards-binging evening in.  Sweet and sour chicken anyone?  When in doubt, go classic. This feel will give you a fresh look that stands the test of time.      

Pick outfits that you are comfortable in.  Not that new dress that you’ve been dying to wear, but then realize in the middle of your engagement shoot that it’s too tight and doesn’t flatter the right goods.  Ladies, we’ve done this all too many times!  Clothes that fit you well and make you feel good are key.

Think complimentary colour palette rather than 'matchy matchy'.  For example, blush, ivory and blue denim always looks good together. Throw on some accessories, your favourite heels or flats, a brown leather jacket and you’ll be the definition of casual chic - if this speaks to your style of course.  Maybe you prefer print or florals for a more urban look or a more dressed up look with a long flowy dress and pin-striped suit - then do it!  As long as you both are coordinated in colour palette, style of dress and level of fancy.           

5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

4 - Consider it a fun, late afternoon date

It’s all about perspective.  If you approach the engagement session as if you are going on a date with your favourite lady, then you will look forward to it even more.  What better way to end the day than by taking a break from all the planning and simply hanging out with your best friend for an hour or so.  You can even plan to go out for a special dinner right after.  So get your flirt on! 

5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

5 - Don’t pose, just be you! 

I find that photos come out even more natural and true when couples - ironically - don’t know what to do or have no modelling experience coming into the session.  So, don’t think that you have to smile or pose a certain way.  A good photographer will direct you when needed but will also give you free reign to simply be who you are together.  

5 Tips to Prepare for your Engagement Shoot - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

The engagement period is a special time in your lives that deserves to be documented, so let loose, be spontaneous and enjoy this fleeting time.

If you'd like tips on preparing for your wedding, check out our post below:

- Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline