Tips & Tricks- Engagement Shoot

Engagement shoots have been around for several years now and they are so important for so many reasons in the run up to your wedding.They are a great way to spend some quality time together before the big day; they help you and your photographer get to know each other and talk about the final plans for your wedding; they allow you to get some stunning images of you both as a couple saying goodbye to one stage of your relationship before you become Mr & Mrs; but most importantly they allow you to ‘practice’ in front of the camera before your big day meaning you will be sure to get rid of any nerves!
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So how do you make it fun, personal and get the most out of it as a couple? Here are my top tips!

1.BE CLOSE : This entire shoot will take place in a general area whether it’s a beach, farm or yacht it’s not the location r the photographer that will make the shoot unique. . What makes it unique and special is the fact that you are willing to be close. DON’T OVER THINK IT! These are pictures of you two as a couple, in love. The place to start – act in love!
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2. BE ACTIVE : What makes a GREAT photo isn’t the fact that the photographer can tell you where to put your hands or how to hold your chin. What makes a truly beautiful engagement shot is for you to feel free to have fun and just hang out! That being said there’s a few rules yes, (keep your back arched, keep your eyes either into each other or low, keep your hands busy, keep your feet deliberate, bla bla bla) but in reality even though I give you a million little rules to cloud up your mind on a shoot the goal is simple.
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3. BE STYLISH : Probably the place every couple starts for their shoot is what they’re going to wear. TOTALLY BACKWARDS. What matters first is where are you going to shoot? What do you want this shoot to look like? THEN you can put together outfits that feel good in that place. That doesn’t mean you need to match your backgrounds.Don’t stress about your colors, or patterns, or what some grumpy old photographer told your family at their last photoshoot on the beach. Don’t consult pinterest for hours and try to mimic the outfits you see. Instead take the chance to run out together to a boutique and find yourself something new that you feel super confident in! Once you find the perfect little summer dress, (or whatever), style him too! What makes the styling of ANY engagement shoot is the groom. (WHAT?!?!) No seriously, a sharp dressed guy pulls the look together.
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4. BE HAPPY: The less stressed you are about how you look the more capable you are to FEEL. My least favorite thing I hear photographers tell their clients is to “laugh”. The fake laugh is the back pocket trick of a photographer who isn’t engaged in their sessions WITH their clients. Instead what matters is catching the REAL emotion that’s happening on the shoot. Regardless what ties together a GREAT shoot is a couple who’s up for some fun together.
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5. BE WILLING : How then do you get beautiful shots in pretty fields with great light? You suck it up. You walk in soggy grass in 4 inch pumps. You shiver a bit in the spring and sweat a bit in the summer. After you live through it – you get great photos! Remember that any photographer that does this full time is very used to helping you through these obstacles. Even though this is their job, nothing spoils it more than a couple who wants the perfect product but isn’t willing. SO – make it fun! Laugh about the walk, make him give you a piggy back, or just relax and enjoy a shoot that ideally comes around once in a lifetime!
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6.BE CUTE : We’ve all seen a few shots like this one. Romantic didn’t even begin to describe it. This shot is just as cute. I get it, not ALL couples can just tackle these types of shots. But if you don’t try – you don’t know!
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7. BACK HIM UP: Most grooms act like they don’t care about photos. Most grooms also act like they don’t have an opinion about a lot of the wedding planning. BUT most grooms would totally change their tone about a lot of that if they knew that it mattered! SO do yourself a huge favor and involve him! Expect for him to look on google for about 5 minutes, find something super cheesy, and want it. SO – on your shoot. COMPLIMENT each other! HELP each other pose and help each other relax

8. BE HAPPY : I KNOW I KNOW that was number 4! This isn’t about being happy with each other, it’s about being happy with your pictures! Just a few years ago before the invention of Pinterest and photoshop couples would have been thrilled to get 5 or 6 great shots of them together! Now we’re in a race to give 40,50,100 engagement photos all with different ideas and concepts at a million locations with 3 or 4 outfits. Keep in mind what the shots are for! A few GREAT shots of you together to remember this part of your life is SO much more important than a 300 photo album on facebook that nobody except for your closest friends will actually look ALL the way through! SO – jump in with your photographer and help make as many GREAT shots as you can and then just be really excited that you have them! In 2013-14 you should be able to EXPECT great photos from a pro photographer. But what’s different now isn’t just the quality of the photo, it’s the experience of getting the photos taken! SO soak up a day in the sun together having fun taking pictures and making those memories. THEN when you get the photos try to love them! If you don’t love them, contact your photographer and just chat it through with them!

Regardless of whether you’re photographer coaches every detail, or let’s you make it your own these tips should get you started. Bottom line – “DON’T OVER THINK IT.” Just have fun with it!
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