I wrote this article after watching hundreds of engagement shoots. I noticed that there are some simple things that could turn a good shoot into a fantastic shoot. It’s not difficult and some suggestions may seem like common sense but even so it’s the common sense things that often get overlooked. I’ll follow with more tips and articles but I think this one is important and will make a real difference in your experience as well as your end result. JON BRIGGS
1. Dress Appropriately
Obviously choosing the right clothing is an important part of the photo shoot. Think about the style of pictures you want and the setting you’d like to take them in. If you want a city setting dress for a day or night out on the town just like you’d normally do. Outdoor settings open you up for even more possibilities. You can dress in outdoor style clothing or go with something more formal to give contrast to the setting. Choose colors that will pop in the environment, not blend. The environment and your clothing choices should compliment each other, not match. That goes for the two of you as well. Be careful not to match your clothing too much with your fiancé. For example, both wearing red shirts and matching Chucks. A good photographer can give you some guidance.
2. Prepare for the Setting
As I mentioned before you’ll want to choose appropriate clothing for your setting. Doing this not only includes what you’ll wear for the shoot but what you’ll wear to the shoot. If you want an outdoor shoot remember that you’ll be doing some hiking or trudging through snow to get to the best location. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve watched a poor bride hiking through the snow wearing a mini skirt and high heels or through a desert setting in delicate shoes that are ruined by the harsh environment. So what’s the solution? Wear snow boots, hiking boots, or just tennis shoes while carrying your high heels or other delicate shoes. If it’s cold wear a coat and some sweats under your skirt. When you and the photographer find the perfect spot change your shoes, take off your coat and your ready.
3. Show Up On Time
This is probably the most important advice I could give for having a great shoot. If you’re having your shoot done in a studio remember that your photographer scheduled the studio for a specific time. At the end of that time a new client or photographer will be there for their session and you’ll have to leave without getting all the pictures you hoped for. What about outdoor shoots? Remember that with great photography it’s all about the light. Your favorite shoots you’re hoping to duplicate were amazing because they were done with an excellent photographer that combined every environmental element (location, life, and light) to capture the perfect shot. We schedule your shoot to be exactly during the time of day with the best light for the shoot you want. If you’re late to the shoot then you’ll have fewer pictures done in the optimal light to get the pictures you were hoping for.
4. Have Fun!
Sounds trite, I know, but having fun will result in great pictures. Laugh and joke and be at ease. You’re there with the person you most love in all the world. Lose yourself in that other person and enjoy being there with them. The photographers job is to capture you and your fiancé doing just that…having fun and enjoying being together. Most people think they look better not smiling but it’s not true! A genuine smile brightens everything about you, your fiancé, and even the environment itself. Then when it’s time to take a few of those more serious shots your expression will convey passion and love. Trying to be serious when your not having fun looks an awful lot like anger when the pictures come back. The last reason for this is a more practical one. It will make your parents and future in laws happy. The most common response back from parents and in laws is that they wish there were more of you smiling.
5. Gloomy Groom
You don’t like to have your picture taken. You’ll make sure everyone knows that you hate it and dread it. You discuss it for weeks before how bad you look in pictures and how dumb the whole thing is. So…you wonder why you don’t look good in pictures? Think the attitude may have something to do with it? Listen, few people actually like to have their picture taken…what you do like, even love, is your fiancé. You love being together and when it’s just the two of you you’re relaxed and at ease. That’s exactly the attitude to have when you go with her to your shoot. Just be with her, enjoy her, have fun with her and do the things you know will make her smile. Her smile makes you smile and brightens your day. Focus on this and you’ll find yourself realizing the shoot is over, you had fun after all, and your fiancé just fell in love with you even more.