Tips for an Amazing Engagement Photo Session Plus Styling Inspiration
We highly suggest doing engagement photos. Not only are they a ton of fun for you to bond as a couple, but they are also a great way to get to know your photographer even better before the wedding day. Plus you get to use these photos for many things throughout your engagement and beyond.
As soon you hire your wedding photographer, the next step would be to start planning for your engagement photos! Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
1. Location is key. Time of day is next important (but your photographer can help with that). Your photographer may have some suggestions of places to do your engagement shoot but if they don’t or maybe they aren’t familiar with the area, then try to think of what type of scenery you want for these photos. If your wedding is on the beach, then maybe you don’t want engagement photos on the beach. Or maybe you do so they match the theme? If you are more of a mountain type couple but your wedding is near the beach, then maybe you want to go to the trails or a park to take photos. Or maybe you have a favorite city that you just love to go beer or wine tasting in or maybe even your favorite ice cream shop. You could even plan a whole picnic with a blanket and champagne at the park or beach. Try and get creative but don’t get too crazy because remember, it’s all about the two of you and going somewhere that feels comfortable to you both.
2. Make it personal. If you have a favorite team as a couple or a favorite song you love together, make sure to play it on your phone while taking photos. Or bring the hat of your favorite team to wear for a few photos. These are the pics that you’ll be the most relaxed in and you’ll love.
3. Bring a prop. Did you raise a puppy together where they can be in a few shots (just make sure they aren’t a complete distraction)? Do you have a cute umbrella or hat or maybe even matching shoes? Or maybe you can make a cute sign like “I Said Yes!”
4. Make sure to rest (and don’t stress about the process). And drink lots of water 3 days leading up to the shoot to relieve any puffiness.
5. Have fun and when in doubt, laugh and kiss! Your photographer will be there to make sure you are posed well and that you look good. So just try to remember that this is supposed to be fun!
Styling as a couple:
These are the photos that will go on your website and maybe even your Save the Date card. You may even use these photos in your guest book or as a framed photo at your wedding. So yes, thinking about what you are both going to wear ahead of time is a great idea. Be prepared and make sure to check the weather so you can plan the right type of wardrobe. Also make sure you are both comfortable in your clothes. If your man doesn’t feel right wear tight khaki pants, then don’t force it just for the photos. Remember, you want to feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy!
1. If you are able to do two wardrobe changes, then do one casual outfit and one more formal. Make sure to choose clothes that match your location though. If you are in a sunflower field, you wouldn’t want to wear pinstripes. If you are at the beach, you want to make sure you pick clothes that don’t blend with the sand and water. Make sure to plan your location in conjunction with your wardrobe. If you are doing two outfit changes, I would suggest going to two different locations (hopefully near one another).
2. Don’t choose too matchy-matchy outfits, but think about the overall color coordination. Pick colors that compliment each other. And try to stay away from patterns and stripes. If one of you must wear a pattern, make sure the other is in solid colors.
3. Keep it simple. Don’t go too trendy because you’ll want to love these photos for a long time.
4. Don’t feel like you have to buy something. Look through your closet and see if there is a cute dress that you love, and then coordinate his outfit to match. Or maybe he has a nice shirt and you can find a cute pair of jeans, hat, and a blouse to match.
5. It may be worthwhile to get your hair and make up done, especially if you don’t love doing your own. Sometimes brides will do their trial with their hair & makeup artist before the shoot so that could be an option to consider. But make sure to do hair that you feel comfortable in for these photos. If you are planning something more formal for your wedding day, then I would save the trial for another time (or you can do two trials).
6. Don’t forget to try on the outfits together BEFORE the photo day (yes, even the shoes)! And make sure they are ironed and free from wrinkles, tags, etc.
Let loose (maybe pop some bubbly), trust your photographer, and let them do what they do best! Remember you selected them to shoot your special day for a reason, so put your trust in them and have fun! Make it a date day or go out for a nice dinner afterward to celebrate!
San Diego Location Ideas (make sure to Google these spots “engagement photos at…” to get an idea of pictures in each location):
Balboa Park (Alcazar Garden, Botanical Building, etc)
Torrey Pines State Park + beach
Coronado’s sand dunes
Marion Bear Park
Eucalyptus Grove near La Jolla
Los Penasquitos Canyon
Mission Gorge Trails
Trail in Liberty Station next to the water
Seagrove Park, trails along the cliffs and beach
San Elijo Lagoon
La Jolla Cove
Make sure to check with your photographer as they will likely have suggestions for you (and some extra tips).
Good luck! We can’t wait to see your photos!
PS. Aren’t Bridget and Kyle the cutest couple?!? Plus, they have the best engagement story! Thank you for letting us share your engagement photo session! The photos are perfect and Stetten Wilson captured them perfectly. Can’t wait for their special day next October!!