#Love & Sex
Tips for the Best Engagement Photos
by Rebecca Boneschans
When it’s time to let the world know that you and your love are ready for the next big step, you’ll want to schedule an engagement photo session. Whether you prefer classic portraits or want to play up your personality in your pictures, try these tips to get a better engagement photo.
There are so many questions going through your mind when you’re newly engaged: Where will the wedding be? Who are you inviting? Who is going to take the photos? When it comes to wedding planning, perhaps nothing is as important as finding the right photographer, which is why we spoke to wedding photographers Mindy Myers, from Mindy Myers Photography, and Jennifer Moeller, from Studio.1328. These pros know how to deliver beautiful engagement photos for soon-to-wed couples. Here are their tips.
Meet the Photographer
Get to know the photographer. Myers says it’s great to build a relationship before the wedding, so you’re more comfortable in front of the lens. “I tell them the engagement sessions are a good idea because they get the couple used to me, to my personality, and to having a camera pointed at them,” says Myers. “I also like getting to know the couple and figuring out their quirks and how they react in front of a camera.”
Pick Your Location and Be on Time
When it comes to choosing the right location, find a place that’s meaninful for you and your love. It could be the place you met or a place you like to go together. “I absolutely love outdoor sessions because there is so much more flexibility and opportunity to be creative,” says Moeller. For fall sessions, Moeller suggests looking for prairies and parks. “Areas with prairie grass and tress are going to be beautiful in the fall,” Moeller says. “Areas such as parks or pastures will let you have plenty of room to try different things and get a lot of variety shots. I love finding old barns and silos around these areas, too, for some added interest.”
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Moeller, Studio.1328
Another tip: Don’t be afraid to use props! “For engagement photo session, props could include a vintage chair, a banner with your wedding date, or something that is special to both of you,” says Moeller. If you’re involved in activities together—like boating, or biking, for example—find an old bike or a row boat to incorporate in your photos.
Myers also prefers to take photos outside, but will do a few formal shots inside. “When you’re outside, I feel like people can relax more if I am not right up in their face telling them what to do or how to pose,” says Myers. “I can shoot with a longer lens, giving them some space.”
Outdoor photographers agree: The best time for engagement photos is during “the golden hour.” This is late afternoon or early evening when the sun is setting or within an hour of sunrise; you get the natural gold glow. Myers starts her sessions two hours before sunset to get some of the lighter daytime hours in as well. It’s crucial to show up on time so you get the best lighting possible for your engagement photos. Another advantage to showing up on time, or early, is you eliminate the stress of pushing your appointment time—being relaxed is crucial to taking great photos.
Choose the Right Clothing
Everyone knows black is slimming, but on camera, black shows off every stray piece of lint or hair. It also makes you blend into the background. The focus of engagement photos is you and your fiancé. But avoid dressling alike. “One thing you do not want to do is match,” says Moeller. “Having corresponding colors, textures, and patterns is best. Another thing you want to avoid is shirts with large logos or writing on them—these can be distracting.”
When choosing colors for outdoor shots, Myers suggests natural colors that will complement the backdrop of greens or hues of golden browns. A few great colors would be blues, tans, coral, rose, and browns—pretty much any color that you would see in natural settings.
Photo courtesy of Mindy Myers, Mindy Myers Photography
In terms of how many outfit changes, Myers and Moeller agree that three is plenty. Also, bring clothing items that can be layered. This is a quick way to change the look of the outfit.
If you’re more of a casual couple, opt for casual clothing like a pair of nice jeans and a top or consider going barefoot. If you’re a formal couple, try a sheath dress and heels. Your fiancé can wear dress pants and a nice shirt. No matter what your style, always dress in a comparable tone so one of you is not more casual or formal than the other.
Look Your Best
If you’re a makeup and hair novice, it might be a good opportunity for you to get your makeup and hair done professionally for this occasion. That way you’re not worrying about whether or not your eyeliner is straight or if you chose the right shade of lipstick. “Go a little heavier on makeup on your cheeks, eyes, and lips than you normally would so it pops in the images,” says Moeller. Don’t get too crazy with the makeup, though; if your family and friends aren’t used to seeing you in va-va-voom red lipstick, stick to a natural shade.
Photo courtesy of Mindy Myers, Mindy Myers Photography
Another way to look your best is to focus your attention on your fiancé. There’s no specific way to sit or stand for engagement photos; these positions generally come naturally when you’re close to the one you love. One thing Moeller recommends for the photo shoot is to clean your ring. “Those close-ups of the rock are an important part of the shoot,” says Moeller. “We want it to sparkle!”