You’re Engaged! Congratulations! Now is the time to start planning your wedding and that also means it is time to choose your wedding photographer and schedule an engagement photo session.
Today, most wedding photographers offer free engagement sessions if they are photographing your wedding. If that is the case with your photographer you will want to be sure and be prepared for your session.
Here’s a few tips we share with our couples:
Newly engaged couples choose to capture the occasion in photos that they can cherish. Often, one of these photos is used as an announcement to family and friends and might even be published in the newspaper.
Engagement photos may be part of a package negotiated with the photographer who will be covering the wedding day.
When shopping around for a photographer, there are certain things couples should keep in mind. The first and most important is selecting a photographer you can relate to. If you don’t feel a connection with the photographer, he or she will have trouble coaxing the shots that will produce the best results. He or she should also be a professional and have some experience working with posing couples. This way the photos don’t look stiff or contrived. Here are some other tips that can lead to great photos.
* Find a photographer who fits your style. If you’re a quirky couple, go with a quirky photographer. If you’re reserved and a follow-the-book type of couple, then select a more traditional photographer. Some photographers out there forget that this is your moment and want to impart their idea of what you want. My advice: Stay away from these photographers because in the end you will not get what you really want! I believe when a couple chooses a photographer they should get the type of images THEY are looking for. After all, who’s paying the bill?
* Select one who is open to different shoot locations and brainstorming. Some of the best photos occur in natural settings, where things aren’t entirely planned. If a photographer simply works out of a studio, you may want to select one who has more free rein with different locales.
* Choose your location wisely. Certain locations will stand out in your minds because they are visually stunning or are special places where you have spent moments as a couple. By choosing a place that offers a personal connection, there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate the photos in the long run. Also, be open to the fact that unplanned stops may offer a great background for the image. Be open to the unexpected.
* Try random poses and some candid shots. Although you might have a vision of the perfect photo in your mind, experimenting with different ideas can sometimes lead to a great photo you really love. Expect to take your share of kissing, nose-touching and portrait shots. But some fun poses, such as running or jumping (or rolling around on a beach full of waves) can produce candid shots that are truly masterpieces. Remember, sometimes photographers will pose you in positions that seem a bit awkward, but this is to get the best lines of the body and flattering images.
* Choose clothing that fits the mood. If time and budget allows, have several different wardrobe changes so that you can see which outfits work and which ones don’t make for interesting engagement photos.
Avoid clothing that is too trendy or busy, which may take away from the actual images in the long run. Plus, you don’t want to look back at these photos in the future and say, “What was I thinking?”
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.