How To Prepare For Your Engagement Photos
I was a little apprehensive about our engagement photos. Dave and I have never taken professional photos together and I wanted them to be just right. We were paying a lot of money (for an amazing photographer) and I just wanted them to be perfect and display who Dave and I are as a couple. I started thinking about all the things I did before our session, to prepare for our photos. While this is not your actual wedding day, these are the pictures your family and friends will see as a representation of your engagement. Here are a few tips I came up with to prepare for your engagement photos.
1. Research a Photographer
This is possibly the most important step. Decide what your budge is, and find a photographer that fits your style within your budget. I started at the Knot and found local photographers in the Nashville area. Next, I immediately went to their Instagram (this is basically their online portfolio). I browsed a few Nashville photographers before finding Sowing Clover Photography. Chris’s photos immediately struck a cord with me and I could not shake the feeling that he had to photograph our wedding.
Dave and I set an time to meet with Chris over drinks, just to feel each other out and determine if it was a good match. You want to be comfortable with your photographer because they will capture some of your most special moments-make sure you feel comfortable and your personalities fit together. It’s almost like online dating! We knew the minute we met Chris, he would mesh well with our families and be the perfect fit for our special day. We talked a little bit about the details of what his packages included (make sure if you have any special requests to provide these up front!). This way, both parities were understanding of what was expected of each other.
Additionally, we gave Chris an idea of what the actual day would look like, what traditions we were keeping and we shared ‘our story’ or how we met/what makes us special as a couple. We exchanged contact information and eventually contacted Chris to schedule an engagement session. If you are not sure about a photographer, you can always ask for samples of their work (if they don’t provide it online) and have them shoot your engagement photos as a trial run for your wedding.
2. Coordinate Your Looks
I spent a few weeks discussing with Dave and trying to determine what I wanted the style of our looks to be. Our photographer recommended our location (which I highly recommend if they are experienced!) so we were a little unsure of what the backdrop was going to look like. I knew I wanted a few different styles for our pictures (we did some pictures with Dave in his uniform!). One style was going to be a little more causal, with both of us in jeans but slightly dressy. I found this feminine Lush blouse that I knew could be dressed up or paired well with jeans. Dave went with a white polo paired with jeans for a neutral look. We coordinated and made sure our outfits did not clash but were not too matchy-matchy as well.
3. Personal Care: Nails, Eyebrows, Whiten Teeth, etc.
Paying attention to the little details, produces big results. Engagement pictures tend to be close up and show the smaller details. Your photographer can photoshop a pimple or some wrinkles but other things need some extra attention. I started prepping a few weeks before. This means a few days before-get your nails done. A neutral color is preferable so that it looks clean and doesn’t draw too much attention (plus you want to show off that ring!). Pluck and shape your eyebrows or get them waxed (whatever you do to clean them up). You’ll have a lot of close up face shots and you will want your eyebrows to be clean and shaped.
Whiten your teeth (my favorite is Crest White Strips) for a pearly white smile! Splurge and get yourself a spray tan-you will glow a little more and feel just that much better with the final edit of your photos-your photographer cannot make you less pasty! I know, personally, I always feel a little bit more confident after a good spray tan. I use the Versa Spa Spray tan-you can check your local tanning salon to see if they have it!
4. Clean Ring
My ring holds a special place in my heart and was personally designed by Dave (such a cute story!). I love it so much, especially because he put so much time and thought into it, I knew I wanted to show it off and wanted it to look the best it could! Dave gave me a ring cleaner after he proposed and I definitely suggest investing in some (they are not expensive!). Clean your ring, make it super shiny and wear it proudly for your engagement photos!
5. Cardio, Cardio, Cardio + Diet
I shared some of my fitness goals in this post here, but I did a small prep session before our engagement photos. Increasing your cardio and cleaning up your diet a few weeks before your engagement pictures can help decrease bloat, tone up a bit and help you feel beautiful overall for your photos! I added in some extra cardio sessions and increased the amount of vegetables I was eating. I also cut down on the processed food, ice cream, and alcohol I was consuming. My jeans fit perfectly and I felt really energized and beautiful the day of our photos. It helped me focus more on the love Dave and I were capturing that day instead of any insecurities I had.
6. Makeup & Hair Trial Run
If you are not super comfortable doing your makeup or hair, this would be a time I would splurge to have a professional do it. I knew I wanted my hair to have some loose curls and felt confident in my ability to get my beach waves curls with the wand I use all the time. Additionally, the week before I did a mini trial run of my makeup to make sure I could get the exact look I was going for.
The day of the engagement photos, I gave myself plenty of time to do my hair and makeup, just in case there was an issue with eyeshadow or some other delay. I stuck with classic diamond stud earrings (again, did not want to draw too much attention to unnecessary things!). I also kept the jewelry to a minimum to focus on Dave and I as a couple instead of my outfit.
Dave ordered these shirts for the weekend he proposed and they were so fun to wear out together! We decided last minute to throw them on and get photographed with them as a fun memory for the both of us.
7. Think About Wrinkles
Remember how I mentioned the small details? Pay attention to wrinkles. These will show up in your photos and are not always able to be photoshopped out. Personally, my top wrinkled very easily so I made sure to keep it on the hanger until the very last minute. I also brought this spray for any last minute creases that might come up. Even sitting in the car for an extended period of time can wrinkle a shirt, so be sure to pay attention to this. Change at your location if possible or keep clothes on the hanger until the last possible second. Also iron your clothes before the shoot!
I’ll be sharing more of our photos on the blog in due time. Leave a comment below describing any tips you have for future brides on how to prepare for your engagement photos!