Your engagement shoot - it's important. From this shoot you can get pictures you might use at your actual wedding, you can get pictures to use as your "save the date" cards, you get pictures that you will treasure forever, They are typically very fun shoots - you don't have the pressure of the wedding day intruding on the shoot, the only people typically there are the engaged couple, the photographer and maybe an assistant. It's just usually a fantastic day that provides fantastic memories in a tangible way!
But too often it's squeezed in as almost an afterthought. Frequently a couple might ask a friend with a camera to meet them at a local park and snap a few pictures. Some couples might even go out and do the couples version of "selfies" with their cell phone (would those be couplies?)
But your engagement shoot is important! You have found the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, and now you get to announce that to the entire world! This shoot should be special, it should be amazing! They should reflect the magic and emotion of your romance - they should show your friends and family WHY you two are getting married, WHY you belong together! So that involves some thought and preparation.
First, you need a professional photographer. Yes, again, I am a professional photographer, so yes I am biased. But a friend with a camera may get a lucky shot or two, but a professional photographer knows which angle to shoot from, knows where the sun should be - a professional photographer has DONE this before - they will get ALL the shots! They know how to do this, they know how to catch the moments that happen - even when you might miss it or just weren't expecting it. At a recent shoot, I asked the bride to "pop her hip out" in order to get a more feminine pose for the shot we were doing. She wasn't sure what I meant, and without warning, her fiance popped his hip out and said "like this!" - it was hilarious, it was great and everyone laughed (yes, even the fiance). But him actually popping his hip out was so unexpected, and it happened so fast - it was gone in an instant. But ya know what? I got it. Perfectly exposed, perfectly shot - I got that picture for them. That little fun moment is theirs forever. There were many other moments like that at this shoot, as there are at EVERY engagement shoot. A friend with a camera may get lucky and catch a moment like that for you, but the shot (if they are lucky enough to get it at all) will likely be blurry and poorly exposed.
You also need to know what YOU want. This is YOUR engagement shoot! Look around on the internet, look around on pinterest. What sort of pictures do YOU like. And why? What is it about the pictures that you like? The pose? The location? The items in the picture? Pick the images apart and figure out WHY you like them, and tell your photographer! The photographer is there to get the images YOU want - but you need to make sure they know and understand WHAT you want! Don't worry, you don't have to come up with each and every pose - chances are if you show your photographer a few images you want and explain why you like them, your photographer will get a feel for what you are after and will be able to direct the shoot from there.
You need to know your area. Not every detail or hidden spot. Just what type of area you are in. If you are in an area that has no cornfields, it might be difficult to do a shoot in a cornfield. But even that doesn't have to rule that concept out - if you like the cornfield vibe, maybe there is something in your area that can serve as a substitute. Things like that.
Don't be afraid of props! But they should be YOUR props! Your photographer may or may not have items they can bring to the shoot - but those props won't mean much to you. Think about the items that mean something to you and your fiance. Items that hold special significance, items that have deep sentimental value. It doesn't have to be a diamond studded necklace either - maybe you and your fiance go to a lot of movies and you have been saving the ticket stubs - bring them! You can incorporate those into a few of the pictures. Remember, I mentioned that these pictures should show your friends and family why you are getting married? This is a great way of doing it! Use items from you and your fiance's' life together so far to tell the story of you! It doesn't matter what other people might think of the props themselves, or if they even "get it" - tell your story, and those you care about will either already know, or give you the chance to explain the story to them - which can be another fantastic moment for you!
These pictures can set up some incredible memories down the road as well. In the picture above, the couple is sitting on a blanket. Imagine the special privilege of maybe one day this couple sitting down with their kids and showing these pictures to them - then pointing to the blanket and saying something like "and THAT is the blanket on your bed!" Suddenly, their kids will feel an actual, tangible connection to these pictures as well as a glimpse into mommy and daddy's life before they were born. The kids, I mean - not before mommy and daddy were born - that would be some sort of weird Back To The Future thing.....
The point is this: your engagement shoot is important. It can be special. It SHOULD be special. You should INSIST that it be special. Don't sell yourself short! We would LOVE to do an engagement shoot for you (AND to make it special!), our prices for engagement shoots start at $250, and if you hire us to shoot your wedding we include an engagement shoot at no extra charge! You can check out our engagement shoot work here: http://www.robmorrisphotography.com/engagement/ and you can contact us at RNmorrisphotography@gmail.com
So please consider us for your engagement shoot, but even if you go with another photographer, we hope you have a very special engagement shoot and an AMAZING life!
Thanks for readin!