Your engagement photoshoot will set the tone for your wedding day photos. It allows you to experience what it is like to have your photos taken by a professional engagement photographer. Plus, it also allows your photographer to get to you both. And understand what is essential to each of you and how to best direct you to get timeless photos that you will love.
Hello, I’m Antonio, an award-winning wedding and engagement photographer, and owner of White House Wedding Photography. I have written this post to help couples prepare for their engagement session. The post is packed with information to help you get the most out of your session. So let’s dive right in!
The date and time of day you choose for your engagement photoshoot are as crucial as your outfit. Be sure to select none holiday dates because venues are generally crowded for the holidays. Plus, parking can be tough to find, depending on where you choose, especially in South Beach. Also, whenever possible, go for a weekday. Try to avoid dark locations such as parks with lots of trees and tropical bushes.
My favorite time to create beautiful photos is one hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. The natural light during this time frame has warm colors and soft tones making it perfect for portraits. However, don’t worry if you can’t schedule a time within this time frame. A good engagement photographer will work with you to ensure you get beautiful photos that you will love.
Pro Tip: Do your best to avoid late morning, noon, and early afternoon. Finding quality lighting during this time of day can be challenging. Also, Fall through Spring are generally the best time for outdoor sessions here in South Florida – humidity and rainfall are at their lowest.
After selecting your engagement photoshoot date, the next step is to choose your location. The type of location you choose will impact the overall feel and aesthetic of your photos.
Take some time to consider what is important to both of you, and make sure to select a location that compliments your personality. For example, dark places with lots of foliage, such as parks with lots of trees and shrubs, are great for creating dark, moody pictures.
On the other hand, choose a bright and airy location if you want bright and airy images. For example, Vizcaya Gardens, Downtown Miami, Musem Park, etc.
If you are unsure where you would like to have your engagement session, please let me know. I would be happy to recommend a place for your session.
Styling your engagement session will depend on the theme you wish to portray. For instant, you may want a beach theme, an elegant upscale theme, urban, picnic, etc. Furthermore, your session style should align with the location you choose. For example, it would be tough to portray a beach theme in an urban area.
Some couples like to bring props to their session. If this is you, be sure to let me know ahead of time what props you plan to bring to the shoot. In general, I recommend that you keep it simple unless you are a pro stylist and comfortable working with props.
Keep in mind that your engagement photographer wants to capture the passion between you and your love. So consider clothing that you love and feel confident wearing.
The weather and the location will play an essential role in the best clothes for your session. The best fabrics for South Florida outdoor sessions are lightweight and natural materials such as cotton and linen. These types of clothing dry quickly and will allow air to pass through the fabric and keep you cool.
For indoor or colder outdoor sessions, you will have more options in the type of clothing you can choose. For these situations, formal attire can work well without having to worry about your comfort.
Don’t forget to accessorize your attire but don’t go overboard with it. Earrings, handbags, bowties, sunglasses, hats, etc., are all appropriate in moderation.
Consider a color palette of three to four colors. Too many colors and you will get lost in your photos. Think of cool pastel colors like shades of blues and white or warm pastel colors like orange, pink, red, yellow, etc. Warm pastel colors are soft and work well against dark backdrops like gardens and parks with lots of greenery.
On the other hand, choose bright, vivid colors such as reds and yellow if you want to be bold and make a statement. Be sure to select colors opposite your backdrop colors so that you don’t blend into your background.
Avoid clothes with logos, patterns, and pinstripes or plaids. Although I don’t object to pinstripes and plaids, some pinstripes and plaids may look odd in your photos – especially attire with smaller stripes. Furthermore, some patterns can be very distracting. So try to keep the distracting patterns to a minimum.
Avoid eyeglasses that have an anti-reflective coating on the lenses that block blue lights. In general, these glasses are issued to people who spend a lot of time on their computers. If you must wear your eyeglasses for your session. Please make sure ahead of time that your eyeglasses don’t get a purple or blue glare on the lens.
Pro Tips: Whenever possible, please consider layering clothes as opposed to changing clothes. This will allow you to dress up or down, reducing the time for changing and giving you and your engagement photographer more time to get to know each other and enjoy the shoot.
~ Layering is the art of combining clothing pieces that compliment each other and look great individually are together ~
When it comes to your engagement photoshoot, hair, makeup, and nails are equally important as your location and fashion choices. Most wedding hairstylists and makeup artists will have a trial session. This is an excellent opportunity for you to experience what your wedding day makeup and hairstyle will look and feel like. By the same token, don’t forget to schedule a mani and pedi too.
Engagement preparation may require less preparation for some men. In general, some ladies will be directly involved in helping their men or women prepare for the engagement session. However, there are some things that your significant other may not be able to do for you.
For example, fresh and clean shaves and haircuts may be necessary and will go a long way in boosting your confidence and looks in your photos. So make sure you take some time getting your hair and nails done up just the way you like it.
Pro Tips: Plan extra time for traveling to your engagement session and parking. Makeup and hair can take longer than estimated, so give yourself some spare time for that.
Different photographers have their own processes. You will need to talk to your engagement photographer about what you should expect after the session.
You can expect to receive your digitally enhanced high-resolution photo files with one month from your session. Why so long? Because each of your photos goes through my signature editing process of culling, retouching, color correction, cropping, and much more.
This ensures that you receive beautiful pictures that you will love forever. I promise I will keep you informed of the progress along the way.
Your engagement pictures will be delivered via a modern online gallery. And you will be able to download all your photos, purchase prints directly from your gallery and share your photos with family and friends. When the images are ready for delivery, I will contact you to schedule a date and time for your gallery viewing.
Pack a bag with:
Q. How long will our engagement session last?
A. In general, my engagement sessions are 1.5 – 2 hours long.
Q. How many photos can we expect?
A. I typically deliver between 75 to 125 digitally enhanced high-resolution JPEG photo files to my couples.
Q. Will The Photos Be Watermarked?
A. Absolutely not!
Q. How Are The Photos Delivered?
A. Your digital photo files will be delivered via a modern online photo gallery. Unfortunately, I don’t provide photos on discs or thumb drives. The online photo gallery makes it easy to download high-resolution photo files, share with families and friends, and purchase prints and photo products.
Q. Do We Have To Buy Photos From You?
A. No, you don’t! However, when you purchase directly from your gallery, I will look over your photos and make sure they are ready for professional printing. Furthermore, your prints and photo products will be made from the finest archival photo paper, ink, and other materials.
Q. How long will it take for us to get our photos?
A. Your photos will be ready within 4 weeks. I promise I will keep you posted along the way. I will also contact you to schedule the gallery viewing approximately a week before the photos are uploaded to the gallery.
This brings us to the end of this post. I hope that you find the information valuable in preparing for your engagement photo shoot. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I am here for you regardless of who you choose to do your engagement photo shoot.
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