Stressed out about your upcoming engagement sessions? Don’t! We’re here to help with our 11 engagement photo tips for getting the perfect photos!
So you’re probably more amped about this day than soon-to-be-married couples! You’ve scoured videos and researched posing until your eyes fall out. Here are a few quick engagement photo tips to ease your nerves and get the day started on the right note.
Engagement Photo Tips
Planning and communication are imperative, along with just HAVING FUN! When you’re relaxed and stress-free, couples will more likely feel like they’re at ease and comfortable. So let’s start with quick engagement photo tips to ensure you get magazine-worthy engagement photos!
Communicate With the Couples
The first thing you should do before an engagement photo shoot is to make sure that you’ve answered all of their questions and that they are comfortable with what is to come.
On the DAY before the session, gather all of your gear, clear your cards and make sure that you get to know what time and where you’re meeting. Send your couple an email telling them how excited you are to meet them and to confirm the time and place.
Be sure to go over any posing techniques and if you’re having trouble remembering, take a photo of some poses on your camera (so you can scroll through them if you forget).
Brainstorm Together With Your Clients
Couples want quality engagement photos, which is why they chose to work with a photographer. While couples may want you because of your photography style, it’s also essential that you remain open to changes with the photos taken. Remember, there’s a chance that they’re also brewing their own engagement photo idea.
Much like in a real magazine, there’s an editorial board consisting of several people with different expertise. In this case, working together with the couple, wedding planner, or stylist can help you achieve the best engagement photo shoot for your clients.
Accommodate Request Shots
Ask couples if there are any MUST have shots! As a wedding photographer, you really want to communicate all of this before and have them send photos or ideas so they don’t spring them on you the day of the session! Managing expectations can go a long way, especially if you are also photographing their wedding day.
Focus most of your shots on FUN, LOVE, and EMOTION! You can’t go wrong if you capture their love story in your photos. You want to capture them as authentically as possible! They want to see THEMSELVES and their unique love in their pictures.
Set the Right Photography Pricing Package
Pricing will vary (depending on a lot of things…like location, your skill level as a photographer, etc.)! Many photographers include a complimentary engagement photoshoot when a couple books a full wedding package!
Here’s an example:
Average 60 min portrait session: $350
A stand-alone 90-minute engagement shoot: $500
A complimentary shoot with wedding package: FREE
Additionally, there are some fun things you can do to really wow your couple! Adding extra time or photos to their package is ALWAYS a big hit when trying to impress.
You can say, “as a big thank you, I wanted to add 15 minutes to your session and an extra ten photos! I’m just so in love with you two, and it’s the least I can do to celebrate such a special time for you both.” You can’t go wrong with being friendly and genuinely happy for them!
Use the Right Lenses
Regular portrait lenses are great for engagement photos style=”font-weight: 400;”>! Here are some recommendations for lenses that engagement and wedding photographers tend to love! Don’t stress if you don’t have these lenses other photographers have (kit lenses also work great)! You can work with what you have!
Choose the Appropriate Camera Settings
Getting dreamy or bold engagement photos can be done in camera with the right settings. For those dreamy shots full of compression and bokeh, try opening your aperture! Maybe focus on the ring or the bride/groom’s face, while letting the rest blur into perfection.
Be aware of your focal planes if you want to capture the entire photo in focus (so f/4.0+). You’ll want to use a few different lenses for different shots. For example, a 24mm or 35mm will allow for those pulled back shots, while the 135mm will get you up close and personal!
It’s ok to play around with new photography techniques if time permits. The great thing about engagement photos is that the sessions tend to last a little longer than a normal hour-long session.
Manage Your Time
An engagement shoot tends to last from 90 minutes to two hours. The reason for this is outfit changes and location changes. This will also play into your pricing, as travel may also be a factor. Make sure to determine time and outfit changes BEFORE the shoot, so you can properly manage your time (and the light)!
Partner With a Professional Hair and Makeup Artist
There are times when couples would ask the wedding photographer what they should do about their appearance. While you can suggest ideas, it would be better if you can partner with a professional stylist, especially if the couple has a theme in mind.
Having the client get their hair and makeup done is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, it allows women to get glammed up and pampered for a day. Second, these are great photos to have in your portfolio, because the couple went the extra mile to look amazing!
What’s more, stylists get to know how heavy the makeup needs to be so that your subjects won’t look washed out immediately. In this way, couples won’t feel like they’re too anxious and keep on checking their makeup every time they need to face the camera.
Pick a Location
Does the couple have a favorite spot? Maybe one of the couples would like to bring their partner to a surprise location. Perhaps they want a romantic afternoon stroll by the beach or a laidback shoot at their new home.
Part of the planning stage is choosing the best location that can help produce your clients’ dream engagement photos. It’s important to consider whether you can bring props to enhance the setup and how long you need to stay there to finish everything from preparation to packing up.
If your client wants several locations, plan how you can maximize your time in each spot, without pressuring the couple or sacrificing ideas.
Plan Comfortable Outfits
Some couples may not have an idea of what to wear, which is why planning outfits is one of the most crucial aspects of engagement photography. Ask them what kinds of clothes make them feel the most confident.
If they want a themed shoot, make sure the clothes don’t restrict their movement to the point that they can’t pose properly. Moreover, ensure that the couples look good together and that the style, pattern, and color of their outfits don’t clash.
There are clients who would ask the photographer to edit out wrinkles or change the color of their clothes. While this is possible, it would be best if you remind them to de-wrinkle their outfits before the shoot and pick colors they really want.
Suggest to the bride and groom before the session bringing along a special memento to be photographed with, like a memento from their engagement day (like a movie ticket or a favorite item they plan to use on their wedding day).
If you want to impress the couple, bring one for them as a gift! Like an embroidered handkerchief or a fun engagement photo album! As a side note, don’t forget to work it into your CODB so it doesn’t eat up your profit!
Guide Your Couples
As a photographer, you should know that not all people can pose confidently in front of a camera. It’s even possible that this is going to be their first time doing a professional shoot.
It’s normal for some people to feel nervous or shy at first. For that reason, it’s important that you talk to them to break the silence or help them loosen up.
Part of the job of a photographer is to guide subjects on what to do. Reassure them that they’re doing a good job and give affirmations to boost their confidence. The goal is to provide them with the best pre-wedding photography experience.
Focus on the Present and Enjoy the Moment
This is one of the most practical engagement photo tips you need to learn as a photographer. Even if you have a shot list to follow, let your couples savor the experience.
Encourage them to focus on what’s in front of them — their partners and the intimacy of the moment. Allot time where they can do whatever they want as you take photo after photo.
Don’t pressure your couples with too many technicalities. Give them the freedom to be themselves, and have fun. In this way, you can capture endearing behaviors or facial expressions, and consequently, achieve a genuine romantic photo session.
Sneak peeks are important with engagement sessions! Newly engaged couples are DYING to see their photos of such an exciting time in their lives. This is a great place to use an organic reach approach on Facebook too.
You can offer a FREE print if the couple gets “100 likes!” Encourage them to share with their family and friends so they can receive their gift)!
Give a Gift!
Consider sending a few prints to the newly engaged couple! They’ll LOVE you, and you’re making it easy for them to show their family and friends! Making sure to add value to your client’s experience is what is going to get you more clients… so it’s worth the few extra bucks to impress!
Engagement photo sessions can really be a fun way to connect with your couple, especially if you have been contracted for their wedding as well. The main point of these tips is to impress that if your goal is to serve your client from your heart, you really can’t go wrong! Take it easy, prepare, and ensure that the day is stress-free and full of fun with these tips!
Set Gallery Delivery and Delivery Times
Pixieset and Shootproof are both excellent options to deliver your images! As for delivery times, this will vary depending on your time and workload. You always want to under promise and OVER deliver.
So that means if you say you’ll turn the photos around in three weeks, send them in two! There is nothing better than a surprise in your inbox WAY before you expect it.
While handling an engagement shoot can be demanding, there are several tips for you to pull off a stress-free and fulfilling day. These engagement photo tips can help you create beautiful photos to make you and your clients happy.