5 Tips for Better Engagement Photos

Engagements are often overlooked, but there really is something so magical about them. It's such a brief period in your relationship and lives where you're actively planning your forever promise to one another. You can always renew your vows, but never again will you celebrate this milestone.

Although engagement sessions are popular, there tends to be something missing about them. In this post, I discuss the meaning of engagement sessions and how couples can make them about so much more than just a photo shoot.

Tip 1: Treat your engagement session as a celebration

Although engagements are truly once-in-a-lifetime milestones, all the focus tends to stay with the actual wedding. Not many people consider the idea that they just promised each other their lives. Engagements hold a deeper meaning then just a time to plan a wedding; an engagement is a time where you are so excited about each other, and that in itself is a milestone to celebrate.

Many couples think their engagement session is just an extension of their wedding planning. They spend hundreds, or in some case thousands, of dollars on photos they circulate a few times on social media before getting lost in cyberspace.

These couples are left remembering their engagement session only as a checked box for their wedding planning. When they look at their photos, they're left thinking "we got these photos taken for a save the date."

The problem with this is that there is a missed opportunity to celebrate your engagement, then document that celebration. You hire a photographer to capture your marriage celebration, why not your engagement celebration?

Tip 2: Make time for your session

Your engagement photos don't have to be taken before or after a long day at work. In all honesty, when couples do this they usually end up feeling rushed or forced. Plus, more often than not, at least one person ends up feeling tired or just isn't that into it.

Rather than squeezing it into your schedule, make a day out of your engagement session! You'll feel so much better knowing the entire day is yours, and you'll have the time to plan something really incredible and different. By making a day of it, you won't feel so bad about getting your hair or makeup done, traveling to a further location, or spending a little extra time with your photographer.

Tip 3: Plan your engagement session around an experience

By planning your engagement session around an experience, you're investing your time and money into a memory, not into photos.

Choose something to do that you both love, like a spa or camping weekend. You could find a really interesting hotel or Airbnb to stay at, or a place with hiking trails to explore for a weekend. If you're into trying new things, you could explore a new brewery or test your adrenaline with an adventurous activity. Discover something new together and enjoy this day as though a photographer wasn't there.

Tip 4: Choose your location carefully

Wherever you choose, make sure it means something to you. Whenever you look at your photos, you should be taken right back to that moment, that place. If the location you've chosen doesn't mean anything to you, the memories attached to your photos won't be as strong.

Even photos at the most beautiful location in the world could fall flat because that location doesn't hold any weight in your heart. Your photos will mean so much more if they were taken somewhere you care about.

  • Don't just go to a nearby park or field. Instead, make your engagement session special by choosing a location that offers meaning and purpose.
  • Go somewhere that excites you. Hike a favorite path, explore a new waterfall, or travel to a distant place you're never been before. Book some plane tickets to somewhere incredible and plan a trip to celebrate your engagement.
  • Prefer to stay at home? You could spend your evening ordering in pizza and building a pillow fort in your living room, or a morning sipping on coffee and cooking pancakes.
  • Re-enact a favorite date or experience. If you and your partner have a favorite date or activity, bringing along your photographer can ensure it's meaning will be forever preserved.

Tip 5: Remember why you hired a photographer in the first place

It's true when they say a photo is worth a thousand words. But more than words, photos can be worth a thousand feelings. Remember the reason you want these photos at all and the emotions they will embody.

If you plan your engagement session just for a post on social media, then that's all you're going to leave your engagement session with. However, if you give things a little more thought and consideration, you'll in a memory that you can cherish for the rest of your lives.

Bonus tip: hire me as your engagement photographer!

Rather than making an engagement session all about perfect photos, I prefer to work with my couples to plan an experience. To achieve this, I like to set up a phone call with my couples before they even book. During this call, we will get to know each other better and discuss their vision for the perfect celebration. We'll talk about their favorite memories together, places they both dream of visiting, and how they wish to remember their engagement once it becomes only a memory. Together, we plan an experience that allows the two of them to connect and celebrate.

My biggest piece of advice for couples planning an engagement session is to first find a way to celebrate your engagement, then invite a photographer to join you.

By approaching your engagement session with an experience at the forefront, your photos will carry so much more value. When you later look at your photos, you'll remember the experience as a way you celebrated this milestone.

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