Couples take engagement photos for a variety of reasons. Some use them as gifts, some weave them into the decor at their wedding venue, and some give them to their local paper to announce their engagement.
Some couples even do an engagement photo session simply for the sake of doing a dry run with their wedding photographers so that they can get a feel for how they work, get more comfortable with them, and also ask any questions or make any suggestions pertaining to their wedding day.
We’ve done our share of engagement sessions in our time doing wedding photography in NY and NJ and we know how important they are, so we put together some tips to ensure your engagement photos are as stunning as your wedding day will be.
When should you to take them?
Like mentioned above, you can use your engagement photos for a variety of reasons, and when you should schedule your engagement photo session depends on why you’re creating them and how you intend to use them.
If you want to use your engagement photo as part of your engagement announcement in a local newspaper, schedule your photo session as early as possible, but if you want your photo to be part of your wedding announcement, you can wait up until about 3 months before your wedding. Also, check for any specific requirements and guidelines.
If you intend to use the photos for your wedding website or save-the-dates, schedule the session at least 8 months before the wedding so there’s enough time to print and send them out, and if you’re using your session as an opportunity to audition potential wedding photographers, wait until you book your wedding photographer or are at least down to your final round of choices.
If you’re going to be testing out different hairstyles and styles of make-up, then you may want to schedule your engagement session on the same day as your testings to get a feel for how you’ll look on camera on your wedding day. Just remember to leave extra time just in case you don’t like the look.
If you’re planning to use your engagement photo in your decor, wedding program, etc., schedule the session at least a month beforehand so that you have ample time to choose your favorites and print everything out and lastly, if capturing and preserving your and your partner’s initial reactions and emotion is your primary objective, you can always take the photos on the day of your engagement.
Where should you take them?
As far as the location and resulting style of your engagement photo and how casual or formal you approach the process, again, it depends on how you envision them displayed, whether it’s in a newspaper, on the wall in a relative’s home, in your wedding program, etc.
Some of your location options are simply staying in your comfort zone and holding the engagement photo session right in your own living room or going to a nearby park or outdoor area.
You can also think about the various locations that hold particular significance to you and your partner. For instance, is there a coffee shop nearby where you first met? A restaurant where you went on your first date?
And take it from us as NY and NJ wedding photographers who know our area well, you may also want to ask your photographers about any local sites that would make for picturesque backdrops and, from there, try to position yourselves relatively close to each other in your photos.
It shouldn’t take much convincing. After all, you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with this person, but the point is, don’t be afraid to show your affection for one another in this photo, considering it’s the one announcing your commitment to each other to the world.
What should you wear?
First of all, unless your intention is to be funny or you’re trying to align with a specific theme, you don’t want to go overboard in terms of trying to match in your engagement photos.
The best ones are typically more focused on the moment and the genuine emotion the couple is experiencing in that moment. Drawing too much attention to your attire will only diminish that effect.
So, don’t wear anything too flashy. Avoid bulky, shiny pieces of jewelry and, while you want to avoid perfectly matching outfits as well, at the same time, you don’t want to wear outfits that clash too much either.
Plaids, floral patterns, and busy designs aren’t the best options because of their clash potential, so try to stick to solid colors. Just don’t wear all white or all black.
Again, you don’t want to go overboard with trying to match by choosing colors that coordinate perfectly, but if you want some level of uniformity in terms of color, just get together with your partner and decide on a main color or color scheme.
Do whatever it takes to capture the essence of your love story.
The bottom line is, when it comes to taking your engagement photos, no matter how you intend to use them, it’s all about capturing the essence of your and your partner’s unique relationship and journey together.
That’s why some people feel so much pressure over the whole process, but the truth is, as long as you stay true to yourselves and do what makes the most sense for you and your partner’s love story, your engagement photos will be perfect.
About Us: Live Picture Studios is composed of a team of experienced NY / NJ wedding photographers, videographers, and editors. We’ve been creating dazzling wedding photos and videos in the NY, NJ, PA, and CT area for years. At LPS, we make memories magical. Check out our photo gallery and video gallery to see for yourself.