how to plan for an engagement shoot

now that it is spring, i have many couples hiring me as a photographer to take their engagement photos. when thinking of location ideas for engagement shoots, i always try to encourage my clients to bring their personality to the shoot. i have had couples dress smart, some couples coordinate outfits, and other couples taking a more casual approach. my favorite time of day to shoot is in the morning before my clients go to work, or in the afternoon. i love the warm lighting during these times of days.


before the shoot, plenty of rest, plenty of water. no exceptions! you want to be at the top of your game. some brides use their engagement shoot as the perfect occasion to schedule their hair and makeup trial appointments. this way, you can see how your “look” is going to look in photographs. whether you go with airbrush or liquid make up, most makeup artists know that bridal makeup needs to be applied a bit heavier than usual so that it shows well in photos. while mineral based makeup provides a nice natural glow, i strongly advise against using any makeup that contains a high amount of titanium dioxide as this appears ghostly in flash photography. having professional makeup done for your engagement shoot will allow you to get a feel for your makeup artist and provide a really polished look for your photos.


while many couples choose the skyline as a backdrop, i encourage everyone to think outside of the box and bring a bit of your personality into your choice of location. instead of easily having your shoot location be where everyone one else has done theirs, think about your hobbies and interests, and see if you can tie them into your engagement session. it isn’t out of the question to talk to a theater about using their venue for photos. is there a restaurant where you got engaged that would be great for some cozy photos? if you’ve always dreamed of being a fireman, why not take some photos in a cool fire station? did you meet at the gym and want to incorporate that into your photos? do you spend a lot of time in the library studying? i’m all for creative ideas for engagement shoot locations. while some locations require permits, many locations will simply let you use their facility for photos if it is during a time where they are not busy.

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