Whether you’re camera shy or love to strike a pose, an engagement shoot can be uncharted territory for most couples. That is why I always recommend connecting with your photographer first so you can get to know each other before the shoot. Here are some tried-and-true tips we’ve mastered at the studio over the years for preparing for a flawless engagement shoot:
Discuss a location with your photographer that you will feel really comfortable in. Whether it’s your house or a favourite spot at the beach, the location should be familiar to you so you can feel relaxed being there. I once had a couple who did their engagement shoot at their favorite jazz bar which they frequent on weekends. I love when my couples choose a location that has a special meaning to them, like their first date spot or their daily coffee shop. It instantly makes you feel relaxed and provides opportunities to tell your love story to your photographer – something that comes very handy on a wedding day. It’s also a great idea to choose a scenic location out of town. Although additional fees apply to locations outside of Greater Toronto Area, every penny is worth it as we all know that a location choice can make or break a shoot.
Time of Day:
Once you set your location, you can figure out the best time to shoot there. Whether it’s the busy downtown core or a peaceful walk along the lakeshore, different locations require different time frames in order to avoid large crowds or overly harsh sun. I often recommend taking downtown photos before 5PM so we can avoid the rush hour crowds in the background. I would recommend early mornings or late afternoons for beach engagement sessions as this is when the sun light is most flattering. Generally speaking, golden hour always look good in photos. But again, it will all depend on your location.
We love the sun but if the weather calls for rain, don’t worry! We’ll book another day for the shoot. As long as your engagement shoot is up to 4 weeks away from your wedding day, we can make any weekday evening work.
Wardrobe and Props:
Wear complimentary clothing and try to stay away from busy patterns and logos. For women, try wearing flowy clothing and soft tones. Try to stay away from bright, chunky jewelry as it might take away from your look. For men, I like it when they are dressed a little more formal than what they’re used to. A combination of a classy jacket and well-fit jeans will never go out of style. Bring some fun props to help tell your story – your cute pets, a bottle of champagne – you name it! Fun props like that give you something to do in moments when you feel camera shy and also add a personal touch to your photos.
Our biggest inspiration for your engagement shoot is you. No two couples are alike, and what works for one couple does not necessarily work for the next. We love getting to know you, what movies you watch and what music you listen to. It helps us match your photos to your personality, and make sure we suggest photos that work for you. Speaking of aesthetics, I also like when my couples send pictures of their living room. This way I know what spots to look out for, so that the final photos could look organic in your interior design when you print them. We can also match any prints and frames to your decor. We shoot for design!
Don’t overthink it:
Remember, it’s all about YOU. Your engagement photos are there so you can look back on this time in your lives when you’re old and gray and remember how your love story began. It’s not about social media likes or what other family members want. Your engagement shoot is a great time to simply focus on the two of you, to get to know your photographer and learn a thing or two about how you feel about being in front of the camera, and to produce photos of the time you were engaged before making it official. Enjoy!
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