5 tips for insta-worthy engagement and wedding photos.
Recently, the internet has been enthralled with a newly-married couple’s wedding photos. These pictures are intimate, full of happy-tears and close-up shots of true love. Perfection!
I’m engaged and I keep thinking about how badly I want my wedding pictures to turn out this nice.
So, I’ve compiled all my best tips from my own engagement shoot, other photo sessions, and even advice from my favorite photographers to make sure you (and I) can have viral-worthy couple photos.
Check out photos from the same venue
A great way to prepare for your session is to look up past photos from the location you’ll be taking pictures. Whether it’s your wedding or an engagement shoot, you’re probably not the first one to take pictures there.
Look up photos online, find what looks best to you, and share them with your photographer. You might get some good lighting ideas or find some great backdrops.
If you’re still picking out a venue, this is a great way to narrow down locations. Maybe a couple took “okay” pictures in the garden at one place but another couple took super cute pictures on a swing set at different locations.
It will help give you ideas and narrow your choices.
Come prepared with poses
An engagement shoot might be you and your beau’s first time taking professional photos together and it can be a little awkward to have someone take pics of you being cuddly.
If you have some poses in your back pocket, you might feel more comfortable.
With that being said, of course, your photographer will have pose ideas, but you still want to come to your session well-educated. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for a great shot.
Look on Pinterest for some good ideas for poses. While you’re there you might get ideas for themes or even props you’ll want in the picture. A sign with your wedding date? Great! A picnic basket and blanket? Perfect!
And beyond the ideas online, you’ll want to pick something all your own. If he always kisses you on the forehead, tell your photographer you really want to get some shots of that. It’ll be personal and special to you later, and it will feel natural.
During my engagement shoot on the beach, the photographer asked if there were any poses we wanted to do. We ended up leaning against a large rock— only because it felt natural to us. Those ended up being some of our cutest photos because (as silly as it sounds) it was so “us.”
We never look the way we do in most of the pictures (of course—the pics make us look better) but it was nice to have a few photos of us “in our natural state.”
Take pictures in the outfit beforehand
You already know you shouldn’t wear large brands or bold patterns (or anything that takes away from you.) But even if you think you’ve found the perfect engagement session outfit, you’ll want to take it for a test run.
I’ve worn dresses that I thought looked great, only to find they looked horrible in pictures. A dry run is important because photos will pick out details you might not catch— you would hate it if your bra strap were showing through the back of your shirt the whole time, or if your skirt billowed out too much.
Take pictures in a few outfits before your session. And if you can, take those pics at the location you picked. Move around, take candids, try to do everything you will do on the shoot day.
This is helpful if you’re choosing between outfits, too. You can see what colors look good with the background, and narrow down your choices.
While you might not want to take your wedding dress to the location to take pictures, it’s smart to take photos from every angle in the dress you want. Even when you’re picking a dress, have someone take candids of you, so you can see how it looks on camera.
Tell your photographer how you want to look
Your photographer isn’t a mind reader, but she does want you to be happy. Any feedback you can give will make both of your experiences better. Showing her photos of couples beforehand is great, but remember to use your words during the shoot too.
If the photographer keeps telling you to pose a way you don’t like, tell her that. Maybe you don’t like that angle, or you aren’t crazy about lifting poses. Also, if you want the shoot to be more funny than romantic, say that. If you are aiming for soft looks and poses, with a lot of close ups, let her know.
Also, if you’re comfortable with it, tell the photographer you want to do candid shots. It’s fun to take some time to walk around and talk to your significant other and let the photographer click away. Get comfortable and act the way you would normally. Those are the best shots.
Ask if it’s possible to see a couple of shots on the camera screen during the shoot, just to make sure you look the way you want.
I hate this one curl in my hair that always pops out, so before I take pictures, I bobby-pin that sucker down. But outside, in the middle of a shoot, my hair might move, and I would hate to have that one curl sticking out in all my pictures. Sure, things can be changed with Photoshop, but it’s important to feel confidant during the shoot too.
You should also bring a bag with a mirror, some tissues, and maybe a little bit of make up. If you’re a crier, you always want to be prepared. And if you do see a problem, you’ll want to fix it ASAP.
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