as many of you know, ryan and i got married about two months ago, so we took our engagement photos quite a while ago. this is a post i've been meaning to write for quite some time!
after we got engaged, i knew I wanted to take engagement pictures. i always wanted the "pinterest perfect" photos of me and my fiance. i knew i wanted something like this...
what i didn't know (or expect) was what it would be like to scroll through about 900 photos...some good, some great, and some bad. this post is to give newly-engaged people some advice about taking engagement pictures (and to calm any nerves you may have!)
before i really dive in, i want to say how much ryan and i absolutely loved our photographer, alex kaplan; they were fantastic and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding photographer!
here's eight tips and tricks we have for you! enjoy!
number one: don't worry about coming up with poses!
before we arrived at our photoshoot, i was nervous. i've never taken photos like this before so i had no idea what to expect. but, the photographer will literally tell you exactly what to do. when ryan and i got there, we walked out onto the grass and blankly said, "uhh...what should we do?" immediately, the photographers told us how to position ourselves. they tell you where to look, whether or not to smile, where to put your hands, etc.
number two: for every beautiful photo a couple posts to instagram, there's 200 bad ones
social media is very DECEIVING. we all know that social media is completely curated to display people looking their absolute best. what we don't see is the pictures of people blinking or sneezing or just being flat out awkward. to ease any nerves you may have, here's a few of our absolute gems from the photoshoot. these guys DEFINITELY didn't make it to social media...(don't make fun of us!)
number three: don't worry about props; it's not worth it
i blame pinterest for this one as well. i saw so many cute pictures online where the couple brought really cute props to feature in their photos. some were the date they were getting married to use for the save the date; others were just sweet additions to the photo. the thing about this is that props generally don't come cheap and who knows if you'll even like the picture.
number four: pets don't always cooperate
if you know ryan and i, you know how obsessed we are with our dog, amber. throughout our engagement, we toyed with the idea of involving her in the ceremony. (we opted not to; she's nuts and it would have been a disaster.) so, we wanted to take some of our engagement pictures with her in it.
here's what they don't tell you: dogs don't always cooperate. first, i didn't think of what we would do with her when she wasn't posing in the picture. we ended up having to tie her up on a cable close by, which she didn't love. she barked for a solid 20 minutes throughout the time. then, when she was actually in a photo, she was too consumed looking for squirrels or sniffing around. our advice would be to involve the pet if it's super important to you, but don't have extremely high expectations for them.
number five: it's weird to see yourself kissing
not only is it weird to see myself kissing, but it's weird to see what i look like all different angles. the thing about engagement pictures for us was that it was the first time that we've ever seen this many photos of us in so many different ways. we're used to seeing straight on pictures of us smiling directly at the camera at a birthday party or smiling from our seat at a restaurant with a group of friends. so, looking though 900 photos was a little uncomfortable at first. i'm not going to lie; the first time i looked through them, i only liked very few of them, mostly just because it was something totally new TO ME. the more we looked through them, the more comfortable we got and we realized we loved a ton of them.
ryan and i talked about this a lot throughout our engagement and after our wedding. after looking through our couple thousand wedding pictures, we thought it would have been a much different experience if we hadn't already looked through our engagement pictures. we got the "whoa, that's what i my nose looks like from the side?" and were ready to simply enjoy our wedding photos.
number six: be comfortable
be comfortable. i mean this in so many ways. be comfortable with what you're wearing, with where you are, with who you're with, etc. we chose to take our engagement pictures at the lake in ryan's childhood neighborhood, across the street from his parents' house. we would have felt completely out of place in the city or surrounded by a bunch of strangers at the beach, so this was ideal.
we wore clothes that we were comfortable in and i did my hair and makeup in a way that felt normal to me. (i even had a glass of wine while we got ready because it made the day feel more fun!) i think trying something totally new before engagement pictures would be a risky idea, but that's just me!
number seven: think about the vision of your wedding
if you're planning on doing save the dates, using an engagement picture would be fantastic! think about the vision you have for your wedding. will it be super formal or more organic? rustic? daytime? nighttime? think about the elements that will make it "yours" and try to incorporate it into your engagement photos. we knew we were getting married at the lake valhalla club, which is a beautiful lakeside venue in montville, nj that has huge fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wood floors. taking our engagement photos by the lake was perfect and matched our vision well!
number eight: have fun!
most importantly, have fun! getting engaged is a super exciting part of your life! being engaged is also exciting, but it's lots of work to plan the wedding, so remember to really enjoy your engagement pictures. the camera will capture the love you have for one another, so just try to be as comfortable as you can and have a wonderful time!
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! IF YOU'RE RECENTLY ENGAGED, CONGRATULATIONS! ENJOY THE PROCESS AND HAVE A BLAST TAKING YOUR PICTURES!
BEFORE I GO...HERE'S A FEW OF MY FAVORITES FROM OUR SHOOT:
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!