It’s #WeddngWednesday aka my Thursday because tomorrow I am off to Palm Springs! Today I am sharing all about engagement pictures: what to wear, where to take them, and how to pose. Plus, you’re getting to see our engagement photos, finally! I’ve been sooo excited to share these with you all. Outfit details are linked at the bottom of this post!
We took our engagements rather late in our engagement compared to many couples for a few reasons. First off, we are doing a destination wedding and needed to get our save the dates out as quickly as possible. Secondly, we had engagements scheduled in the Fall, but weather made us post pone them. Unfortunately, they were scheduled just before the holidays, so we were super busy around that time and then Charles had busy season and was working most weekends. This made them get pushed back until just recently!
We were driving up to Arkansas for a shower where Charles is from and made plans to stop in Little Rock for a night on our way so we could take photos with our photographer the next morning. As I mentioned previously when talking about choosing a photographer, we chose Stephanie Parsley who is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is an incredible talent and I am SO excited we chose her. Our engagements was actually the first time we met in person and meeting her, I felt like I had known her for years. Although we didn’t necessarily need photos for a save the date or anything like that, we wanted to take them to spend time with Stephanie before our actual wedding in Italy this summer! I’m a big believer that the best photos come when there is chemistry between the photographer and their subject and she made us feel so at ease. Plus, it was so much fun! Stephanie is a little ray of sunshine. My favorite quote from her that day was “I feel like I’m playing with Barbie dolls.” Too cute. Our experience with engagement photos made me look forward to the images to come from our wedding even more. I meannn.. how amazing is her work?! We are obsessed!
Engagements can be daunting, especially for someone who isn’t used to taking photos or may not feel comfortable in front of a camera. I figured some tips I have, plus a few things I learned from Stephanie that day, could be helpful to others, so that is what I’m sharing today!
WHAT TO WEAR
Priorities, duhhh. Well, really I’m sharing this first because it’s what you’ll be planning out a bit. Think about where you might be taking photos. I personally like one more dressy outfit and one more casual outfit for photos. We kept it classic for our dressy outfit. I went with a little black dress, that had a fun off-the-should detail, a classic pump, and a tiny pop of color from my earrings. Charles kept it light in a grey suit with a white shirt. Classic and timeless!
I’m a heel lover, so my casual outfit was more on the dressy side. I did want to wear jeans though, so I went with my favorite pair at the moment and wanted to do a white top. White is one of my favorites for clothing, plus it’s perfect for a bride-to-be. I loved the romantic, light feel of this one. I added a statement pearl earring to keep it classic, with a little trendy edge.
My recommendations when shopping: think about what looks good on camera. It’s different from what looks good in person! Really. You’ll be standing in all sorts of different poses and being photographed from different angles, so be sure to keep that in mind. You want to be sure you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. If you don’t, it will show in photos. Try to avoid anything too trendy. You’ll look back on these photos forever and don’t want to be haunted by a loud, out dated print. I also recommend earrings over a big statement necklace. If you have shorter hair, be sure your earrings aren’t too big, too. You don’t want your accessories or clothing to be too distracting. You two should be the focus of your photos.
Finally, make sure your outfits coordinate. You don’t want to be in a hot pink dress and him in a purple shirt. That is alottttt. Choose the same color family or colors that compliment one another.
Oh and one more thing, girls– be sure to get a mani! I personally went with a neutral color. Again, you don’t want to be haunted by a nail trend and you don’t want your mani distracting from that bling.
WHERE TO TAKE THEM
My biggest recommendation is to talk to your photographer about what you have in mind. Lighting is key, so if you want to take them in a certain location, this may change the time of day that you take them. Typically, photos are best taken during golden hour in the evening or early in the morning when the light is juuuust right. You want to be sure you’re dressed appropriately, too. It doesn’t quite make sense to be dressed up in heels and a suit in the middle of a field. Sometimes that juxtaposition is amazing for an editorial or fashion shoot, but not typically for engagements.
Trust your photographer’s eye! Tell them what you have in mind and think about what works for you as a couple, then let them guide you to what they think will work best. If you are home bodies, you could take photos in the comfort of your home. If you met in the big city, a city back drop could be perfect! If there is something you can’t stand, be open with them about that. If you are totally against PDA, then tell them you’re not comfortable kissing on camera. Your photographer’s expertise and your preferences will help narrow down a location, and lead you into the next area on the day of the shoot, how to pose during the photos.
How to pose
My biggest tip for posing is that when things feel a little unnatural, they actually look natural on camera. Another reason to listen to your photographer. Space between people looks bigger in photos, so you want to be sure to be really close together when taking your photos. Get alllll up in there with your loved one when you’re taking pictures. For posing inspiration, look to Pinterest and see what other couples have done that you like. Personally, I cannot stand the engagement photos where the couple is like staring off into the distance looking all serious. Like, what?! You’re getting married. What’s so upsetting over there?! Look at the one you love. Smile, have fun. I also don’t like anything overly cheesy. These are engagement pictures, so you’re going to cuddle up, hold hands, and kiss on each other. However, it can be done in a fun, tasteful way!
If there is something you really don’t like, be sure to tell your photographer. For example, if you hate your side profile, tell them so they don’t capture you from that angle. If you’re insecure about your arms or something else on your body, be open. They can photograph you without emphasizing that and help you end up with pictures you love and feel good about!
My biggest advice with engagements is just have fun! The less you worry about it, the better the photos will be. Oh, and find a complete rockstar of a photographer like we did, who will land you with some seriously awesome photos and make it such a great experience.