Being a bride is many, many things, and confusing is one of them! I am a pretty low maintenance person, I like to do what some do in three steps in one. My day to day usually consists of no make up and athletic clothes, and if that doesn’t tell you enough, I’m having a destination wedding, which is pretty much the most low-maintenance wedding you can have! Something that was surprising to me was how difficult it was for me to figure out what I wanted to do for engagement photos! Who did I want them taken by? How did I want them edited? How do you keep the pictures from looking cliche/generic? Since we ended up getting engagement pictures that Derick and I absolutely loved and had such a great experience, I thought I’d share a couple things that helped me get the end result I was dreaming of for all you other brides and soon-to-be brides out there!
- Determine your style.
This is very crucial for getting results you’ll love from your engagement photos. I am no photography pro, but I knew I wanted a softer, almost vintage look to the pictures as well as lots of natural light. Some people like sharper photos, heavier editing, higher contrast, etc! Researching photographers in your area and looking at their work as well as looking at Pinterest and finding images with editing you like will help you nail down a look you and your fiancé want to go for!
- Invest in a quality photographer.
This is a very important part of the process for obvious reasons! Now when I say invest, I don’t necessarily mean spend a ridiculous amount of money. But what I do mean is that this is something that you will have for the rest of your life to look back on, it truly is an investment, and it may be worth spending a little more on a photographer you really like and having photos you’ll love than saving a few extra bucks and having regrets about how your pictures turned out. We were extremely fortunate to have my high school friend Michael of Michael Rizza Photography take our pictures, and he did a phenomenal job and gave us a great deal since he is currently in the process of building his portfolio as a photographer. We loved his work so much, we’re taking him to Mexico with us to photograph our wedding and we couldn’t be more thrilled!
- Communicate beforehand about what you are looking for.
Michael did a really great job of helping us figure out what we wanted before we even had our photos taken! He set up an iCloud folder we could share back and forth in, and both of us sent pictures from Pinterest we liked, whether it be the pose, the editing, the lighting, the setting etc… which is also where we got the idea to bring the dogs into it! Having a photographer who was open to suggestions and let us be a part of the creative process really put me at ease that the photos would turn out well!
- Don’t be afraid to reference Pinterest!
I’ve mentioned this many times above, but use Pinterest! We borrowed so many poses from pins we liked of other shoots, and Michael came with print-outs of all the pictures we liked that we could reference! We found so many Engagement shoots that included the couples pets, so we decided that way to incorporate our own which made for some really awesome images! We tried poses from pins we liked as well as putting our own spins on them, which created some unique images that didn’t look generic or stereotypical!
- Scout out your setting.
Being from Georgia, there are SO many beautiful and unique places to have photos taken. Everywhere from edgy, city areas to woods, farmland, lakes, rivers, parks, you name it! I knew I wanted it to be outdoors, and a nice in between of woods and field! We ultimately chose a field across the street from the Johns Creek Athletic Club, because it is a beautiful stretch of land that also has some beautiful old trees, which ended up looking beautiful in the shots! My sister and her now husband had their wedding photos done there, and they went to a tree farm for their engagement photos! So make a day of it with your fiancé, do a little googling for your general area and drive around to see if you can picture your photos at certain locations!
- Determine the timeframe you’d like to be photographed in.
As I mentioned previously, I absolutely loved photos with natural light in them, especially around sunset. I just feel like it gives photos such a romantic and beautiful look, and so after talking with our photographer, I found out that getting those beautiful shots requires being at the location during “Golden Hour.” Golden hour is the first or last hour or so of sunlight in a day that really has a special quality to it when it comes to photos, and of course it varies from place to place and time of year! So, if that is the kind of lighting you’re looking for, do some research for your area on what time the sunrise/sunset occurs and plan to be there a good bit before that time! We took about an hour and a half for our photos, and the last 30 minutes or so was the time when we got those beautiful sunset photos!
- Play it safe fashion-wise.
This was actually a tip my sister gave me as I was trying to pick out a dress for my more formal outfit of the two during the shoot (and boy am I grateful for it!) I was not satisfied with anything I was finding anywhere clothing-wise, convinced it was all too “blah” (the exact word I used for the dress I ended up picking) and not unique enough. I called her and she told me now was not the time to get something super trendy or unique, you want to wear something that isn’t going to go out of style within a year and photographs well. We had two outfits for the shoot, one casual and one more formal, and both of them were outfits we’d wear normally outside of a photoshoot, which I think made us both more relaxed and we knew that we weren’t making some bold fashion risk that we could regret or feel silly doing! I especially ended up loving the lace overlay on the dress that really came through with the sun behind me! The same can be said for hair and makeup as well. If it is not something you normally do, don’t be bold and wear red lipstick for the first time! Go with makeup and hair that you know looks great on you and will photograph really well!
- Have fun with it!
Let’s be honest: for many of us, it’s not always super comfortable getting in front of a camera and being posed, even for a fashion blogger haha! You’re trying to look natural and wondering if you look natural and stressing about it, and it just takes all of the fun out of the experience for you! Sure there were some times I felt a little funny trying out poses, but Derick and I just had a great time with it and some of our best pictures resulted from us just being us! Holding hands walking to the next area to take pictures at, playing with our dogs, joking with each other! One of our favorite pictures of him carrying me resulted from him just being a gentleman trying to help a girl in tall wedges not roll her ankles walking through a field, and Michael just seized the moment and got a great shot! So my last tip in a few words is to just enjoy it. Have fun. Embrace the awkward that is dancing in a field. Laugh. You will be happier for it and that will show in your pictures, which you will have for the rest of your lives to look back on!
I hope that helps out any fellow brides, as well as anyone who needs a photo shoot and doesn’t know where to start! Feel free to comment any additional tips you have/feedback! ☺️
Konnor with a K
P.S. Forgot to add that having a total hunk that’s basically a model as your fiancé really adds to your pictures, but unfortunately there’s only one of him and I ain’t sharin’ 😉.