How to Plan for your Engagement Shoot
Congratulations on your engagement! Hopefully it didn't take your new Fiancé too long to pop the question!
If you've got your venue and date locked in, a Photographer is usually next on the list of must have vendors to book.
Some Photographers will include the engagement shoot in their package while others may not, so that's a good question to ask when you're finding the right person to do your photos.
Either way, it is a special opportunity to celebrate your love and commitment to each other while giving you great options for images to pick from for your Save the Dates and RSVP's.
Here are a few important things to consider when planning out your engagement shoot.
How soon should you take engagement pictures? You will probably want to take your engagement pictures at least 6 months before the wedding. We all know someone who will take forever to respond so you will want ample time to get your RSVP's out! Your photographer will probably want to shoot on a weekday but if the engagement shoot is in the slow season they may be open to a weekend shoot. Worst case scenario you get an extra day off of work!
Choose a location that has special meaning to you as a couple. This could be a place where you had your first date, got engaged, or just enjoy spending time together. The location will help to set the tone and theme for your photos. A location with different background options is highly recommended as well so that you will have a variety of uniquely different photos.
How long will it take? Most engagement shoots take 2 hours, but if you have multiple locations and wardrobe changes it's better to plan for 3. The collection of engagement photos I shot for this blog post took 3 hours, included locations all over Golden Gate Park, as well as a wardrobe change and a drive down to Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA.
Get your nails, hair, and makeup done professionally, or do your own hair and makeup to the best of your ability. This is an important step to ensure that you look and feel your best in the photos.
Coordinate your outfits. It's important to choose clothing that reflects your personal style and makes you feel comfortable and confident. Avoid wearing clothes with logos or large patterns, as they can be distracting in the photos. Instead, opt for solid colors and classic styles. Consider dressing in coordinating colors, rather than matching exactly. You could also bring along a few different outfit options to mix and match during the photo shoot.
Practice and ponder poses in advance. Get on Insta and Pinterest for that inspo! Share what you like with your photographer. You can even stand in front of a mirror and try out different poses to see what looks most natural and flattering. Your photographer will of course offer suggestions, prompts, and stage some of the photos for you as well.
How many photos to expect? Every photographer is different. I shoot roughly 150-200 photos per hour during almost any shoot. Afterward an engagement shoot I usually generate 15-25 final edited pictures. A wedding collection is closer to 50-75 edited photos per hour of shooting with me.
My focus and approach is quality over quantity for deliverables.
Relax and have fun! The most important thing is to be yourself and enjoy the experience! Don't worry too much about getting the perfect shot – the best photos are often the ones that capture genuine emotion and connection.