Did you recently just get engaged and you're trying to plan ahead? Or maybe you've been engaged for a while and you're ready to find the perfect photographer to capture your amazing day and take some epic engagement photos to wow your guests with on your save the dates and guest book? If either of these apply to you, you've come to the right spot! Read on for some awesome tips from San Francisco Bay Area photographer Jenn Maesen of Jennifer Maesen Photography to help you rock your engagement session!!!
1. Location, location, location!!!
When it comes to your engagement shoot, it's so important to find an amazing location to take them at! But how do you choose?! I always talk with my wedding clients to see what their interests are, where they met and if they have any ideas in mind. Many times, just talking with the couple and finding out about them helps to narrow down a spot. For instance, one of my couples loves to be active outdoors. They were hoping to find a woodsy area for their shoot. I gave them a few options and they fell in love with the area you see in the photo below. Don't be afraid to share spots you're interested in with your photographer....even if it's at a coffee shop or a bookstore that you both always go to together. You can even go to a few spots that are close by each other so you can incorporate more of your interests into your shoot. The location should always reflect a part of your personality as a couple!
2. What to wear?!
Ok, now that you have a location in mind, the next step is planning your outfits! This is a daunting task for some couples because there's a lot of work that goes into looking good for your photos! But have no fear!! It is easier than you think! I always recommend that my clients bring 2 different outfit changes (one more casual, like jeans and a nice shirt and one that is dressy), plus a few different jackets or sweaters to layer with and achieve different looks. I make sure to know exactly what outfits my clients are planning to wear, from their hair accessories all the way down to their socks and shoes. We discuss the importance of coordinating clothing choices through color, accent pieces like scarves, or jewelry that make it pop. All of my clients receive style guides which show just how easy it is to piece together a great outfit and how to have your partner's outfits complement them.
3. Pamper yourself before the session!
Your engagement session is happening soon....what should you do to prepare yourself and your significant other? Get pampered! It's not everyday that you take engagement photos, so you need to make sure you look your best when you do! Ladies, it's a great idea to get a manicure before your shoot. Why, you ask? Well, we want to show off that beautiful engagement ring in your photos and if your hands are looking fabulous, your ring will look even better! If you can get to a salon before the shoot for hair and makeup (or do your trial run with your hair and makeup artist or even recruit your bestie to start her MOH duties early) do it!! For a shoot like this, you want your hair and makeup to be on point because having your hair done and the proper makeup application will make you more confident and will make your photos even more amazing. And don't forget about your significant other!! He might need a haircut or a trim to his beard so he looks cleaned up and polished...and why not treat him to a manicure when you get yours? He might kick and scream beforehand, but deep down, he will really love it. Plus, you can make it a fun date!
4. Props or no props?
Some photographers love incorporating props, others can't stand it. With the simplicity of finding something cute on Etsy or getting crafty on Pinterest, most couples want to bring something with them to use at their engagement session, whether it's a save the date sign, a favorite blanket to snuggle in or something that showcases an interest they both share. And that's totally fine because they're your photos and if it makes you love them more, then go for it! But, you also need to trust your photographer to do their artistic thing and pose you and your significant other and give you direction to do things which will create amazing photos that tell your love story. When it comes down to it, you can have some photos with props for your save the dates, but what you'll treasure for years to come are the photos of those intimate looks and special moments that you shared together while walking along the beach hand in hand, reminiscing on your first date or giggling with one another at how goofy and playful you both are as you snuggle in each other's arms and tickle each other. Creating those memories of what makes you an amazing couple is the goal!
5. Have FUN!!!
The MOST important way to have an amazing engagement session is to have fun! I know it's hard to take photos with a photographer you might have met once or just talked to on the phone, but trust me, they want you to love your photos as much as you want to love them! If you don't want to smile or get goofy, it's going to show in your photos. So, you need to put aside your inhibitions and fears of taking photos and get ready to be silly, laugh and enjoy being with your partner! Not all of your photos have to be super smiley. Some of the more serious looks are awesome and create beautiful and epic shots. But you also need to show that you like each other and can be playful and have fun with one another! And if you feel more comfortable with suggesting some of your favorite photos and poses you found on Pinterest to your photographer, do it! I always create a Pinterest board with my brides to get a feel for what kind of photos they like and how adventurous they are! It will help you ease into your session and relax in front of the camera. Then, after your nerves have been calmed, you can really get into it and enjoy yourselves! Maybe even splash around in the waves at the beach or jump into your fiance's arms!! Enjoy all the little moments with your partner; whisper something naughty in their ear, call them by their pet name that you've given them or shower them with extra special kisses! Show how much you love each other and how amazing you feel to be with each other and the rest will fall into place.
Like what you've read? Are you looking for a fun and experienced photographer to take beautiful and memorable photos of your engagement session and wedding that you will treasure for generations to come? Contact Jenn Maesen by filling out the form below! Mention this guide to receive a free engagement session AND $300 off of your wedding collection! I look forward to hearing from you soon!!