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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Engagement Photo Session Ideas

I love meeting a couple for the first time, spend a couple of hours taking some great and creative shots to celebrate their love for each other. Its also great to hear their story and get to know them a little better. Its also a great way for them to get to know me as their potential wedding photographer. So, its a great win-win.

As I read up on ways to enhance my photography, and my business I come across a lot of average and even poor articles. However, this article I found was GREAT and I would like to share it with you. The link for the entire article is right at the end.


August T. Michel Photography
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Why Take Engagement Photos?

If you are engaged or getting ready to be engaged, you should prepare yourself for all of the things that you now are 'supposed' to do now that you are on a direct path for marriage. One of these things that will most likely come up quickly is getting your engagement photos taken. Engagement photos might not seem like that big of deal, but after going through this entire engagement picture-taking process I now realize that some of the decisions that were made before we even took a single shot were some of the most important ones that were made.

Whether you realize this yet or not, your engagement photos are going to be more important than you probably realize and thinking through the process will help you end up with pictures that best reflect both the couple and their love for one another. Also, the pictures that you get taken during your engagement photo shoot most likely aren't going to be cheap and they are going to be used in other things such as your save the date mailing, wedding program, guest book and reception decoration so you need to make sure that you have your stuff together before you're standing there in front of the camera,

The rest of this guide will help you make some of these important decisions once you get ready to have your engagement photos taken so that you'll end up with the type of creative and unique pictures that will reflect the awesome relationship that you have with your future husband or wife.

Be sure to find a photographer that really fits your style as a couple.
See all 35 photos
Be sure to find a photographer that really fits your style as a couple.
Finding A Photographer That Fits Your Style

One of the most important things that I have learned now that I have had my unique engagement photos taken is that you need to find a photographer that fits your style. I really can't stress this enough. There are a lot of photographers out there that tend to forget that this is your wedding and not just another addition to their portfolio, so as you begin to look for photographers for your engagement photos please try to find one that you know will match your personality as a couple and who will really listen to your thoughts and ideas.

When you first meet with photographers, here are a few questions that you might want to bring up with them when they are showing you their portfolio (which I hope they have!):

* Why did you choose these different locations for the photos that you're showing me and what did they have to do with the couple? (this will show their interest for the couples as opposed to the art)
* How many different locations do you allow us to shoot at and how open are you for some brainstorming before we go out and start shooting? (this will show their willingness to be flexible so that you can learn each other's style)
* How do you normally find your clients? Are they referred? (this will tell you how satisfied their clients have been -- more referrals = more satisfaction)
* How many of your engagement photo clients end up asking you to shoot their wedding as well? (more engagements that turn into wedding shoots means more happy clients)
* Can I speak to one of your recent satisfied clients? (it's always good to check a reference or two)

Also, I've found that it's also good to meet the photographer in a restaurant for dinner or coffee shop for a drink so that you can really get a good feel for who they are and what type of photographer they are. This might seem like a lot of work for just getting engagement photos, but if you're spending the money and taking the time to get them, then you should do it right the first time.

For Better...
For Better...
or For Worse
or For Worse
Getting Creative

After you have found the right photographer to take your engagement photos, you can then move on to the part that stumps most couples -- how to make the photos really fun, creative and memorable. This can be done several ways, but before making any decisions you should decide, as a couple, how you want the final overall look and feel of the photos to end up after everything is said and done. This is going to be different for every couple, but it's definitely a decision that you need to make before you can begin to think about anything else. Also, you don't need to have one set theme for all of the photos, but you need to have a plan for what each of the themes are going to be.

For example, before our engagement photo-shoot my fiancee and I decided that we wanted a 'For Better or For Worse' theme to string through all of our sets of pictures that has taken. So, no matter what location we were at, what we were wearing or how we were posing we always knew that we had to get two specific photos -- one that ha d a 'For Better' theme (us getting along as a couple) and one that had a 'For Worse' theme (us not getting along as a couple). We're a pretty crazy and fun couple, so this was easy to weave into our photo shoot and it really kept us thinking during our day-long shoot. This was our way to have some fun and add in a little of our own personality along the way. We also ended up using the For Better or For Worse theme and engagagement photo poses for our save the date invites, which really worked out great.

This yellow field was an unplanned stop and turned out to be one of our favorite locations.
This yellow field was an unplanned stop and turned out to be one of our favorite locations.
Choosing The Right Locations

The next thing you need to decide are the locations where you would like to have your engagement photos taken. These locations are places that would either look really cool i your pictures or places that are special to you as a couple for one reason or another. By choosing different locations that have some type of connection to your relationship you'll be able to be much more genuine during your shoot and you're almost guaranteed to appreciate them more in the long run.

Some great places that could potentially make your list of locations are:

* Where you first met
* Where you had your first date
* A restaurant, coffee shop or any other location that you frequent as a couple
* A really cool looking landscape or skyline that's near by
* A location with lots or bright and vibrant colors (see my graffiti wall pic below)
* A location that would be the last place that you would think of getting your engagement photos taken, like an abandoned warehouse or old junkyard

Once you select your locations, don't be scared to get outside of your comfort zone a little bit when you're getting your photos taken. Have fun and explore the spaces -- you're only going to have one chance, so don't leave anything out that you'll regret not getting once you're finished. As a side note me and my fiancee actually took our beach engagement photos (see below) in freezing cold water, although you can't really tell. It was ridiculously cold when we did it, but now that we have the shots we're so glad that we sucked it up!

Also, while you're traveling to your different locations, don't be afraid to make an impromptu stop if you feel the need to take advantage of a new place or background. Some of the best shots that we we took were at locations that we didn't plan on stopping at (like the yellow field above).

This pose wasn't planned, but it still turned out really well. She really loves Pugs!
This pose wasn't planned, but it still turned out really well. She really loves Pugs!
Clothing Options And Ideas For Poses

The final engagement photo ideas that you should know about before getting your engagement photos taken are...

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