It is an easy thing to not take engagement pictures With everything that is going on with the wedding and if you are already sent out your save the dates "Why even take engagement pictures?"
Engagement pictures can be fun especially if you find the right photographer. It is the one way to really capture that feeling you get when you get to introduce them as "Your Finance" - it passes faster than you think and what better time to spend then capturing the two of you in your favorite place(s). So regardless if you have already sent out your save the dates take the time to get your engagement pictures taken I promise you won't regret it. If anything it gives you a great opportunity to work with your photographer and get warmed up for your big day.
1. Pick a location that means something to you
Just because the wedding is in Indianapolis doesn't mean that you have to take pictures there. Some of my favorite spots was picking a place that actually was significant to the couple. I have been lucky enough to work with couples who embraced this idea and we traveled across the country to take pictures where they met - at COLLEGE! We went around their dorms, the stairs they use to meet at, and of course the football stadium! Another couple I worked with we went to downtown Chicago which to this day might have been the most exciting shoot to date. Not only did we travel around the ENTIRE city hitting all of the fun places, I knew that since they wouldn't be staying long that this would be their one way of remembering how much they loved this place.
2. Bring an outfit change
Sometimes this can be challenging depending on the location that you choose because it may not be easy to change your outfit but by doing this it can give you a completely different look and feel to your pictures. I typically tell my couples it is nice to have both a formal look and a more casual look. Nothing that is too matchy- matchy but something that represents the two of in your element. Most photographers are absolutely fine working this into the schedule for that day so don't be afraid to ask!
3. More is actually less!
Girls this one is for you! Both for your wedding day and also for your engagement pictures going more dramatic for your hair and make-up is the best way to go. For many of us it feels like it is too much, but on camera it doesn't look nearly as dramatic. If there is ever a time to try fake hair, eye lashes, etc, now is the time! So glam it up girls and if you have the chance (or the budget) splurge and get your hair and make-up done if you can. Some brides I have worked with will even use this as a trial run with the same hair/make-up artist they plan to use for their big day. That way they can actually see what everything will look like on camera and not just in the mirror.
4. Don't POSE!
Again this is why I encourage my brides to take advantage of doing engagements. It is weird to think that someone is going to follow you around taking pictures of you without forcing a pose or a smile, but I promise you by the end of the session you will feel differently. The first thing I tell all of my couples is that if it feels awkward it is going to look awkward on film. The best advice I give my couples is that when you almost forget that I am even there, I promise you will love the photos even more. These moments when it is real and just the two of you in your element turn out to be the best pictures you will get.
5. Think outside the box (or time frame)
Typically a shoot for engagements last up to 2 hours but sometimes pushing the boundaries of time or even locations can really give you more out of your photoshoot. I had one couple that wanted to capture every "special" place to them around San Diego so we literally spent more time in the car than take pictures but in the end they had a WONDERFUL story to tell.
The couple I worked with here actually were set on getting some night shots around Chicago. We took about an hour break between shooting and went back out when the sun had set. Not only did this make for some incredible pictures it gave us some more time together so that I could really get to know them.
The bottom line is that take the time to invest in your engagement pictures. Have fun with the session and use this time to really get the photos you want. Don't feel restricted when choosing your location either. I promise you won't regret it!