Planning a wedding is enough to worry about, so planning an engagement shoot can be totally out of the question for many couples. I am lucky enough to have amazing friends in the industry who insisted we spend an afternoon for an engagement shoot and I'm so grateful we did! My talented friend Christian Oth wouldn't allow us to avoid this and his amazing photos from that day are now some of my absolute favorites. Jackie from Merci New York was so amazing to work with and I can't thank her enough for choosing a wardrobe for the shoot with details that felt authentic and true to our own style. After working with Christian and Jackie, I wanted to share a short list of helpful hints I gathered from them and from my experience so you can feel extra prepared for your own fabulous and stylish engagement shoot.
- Choose locations and backdrops that are relevant and meaningful. Spend time at your favorite beach, walking in your own neighborhood, your local farmer's market and any other location you both actually enjoy together. Avoid places that look random and have nothing to do with your history as a couple.
- Remember to look for locations with visual interest. A park with great landmarks or public sculpture would be perfect or a farm with existing barns, great wooden fences and stone walls, etc. Consider the environment as your set for the day and the architecture or natural environment as your props for the shoot. Avoid too many props—they will quickly turn your shoot into a costume or dress-up story.
- Be authentic and true to your own style! If you aren't working with a fabulous stylist like Jackie go shopping with a good friend and put together one or two main looks that can be transformed throughout the shoot with great accessories such as scarves, pocket squares, bags, jewelry, etc.
- Always mix in some of your favorite pieces from your existing wardrobe. I wore my favorite pair of Prada boots for the shoot and that made all the difference in feeling comfortable and true to myself.
- Your photographer will be so very happy if you can remember to move and act natural. Expressive poses are great and remember to mix it up with your facial expressions. Sometimes a hand on your hip, casually holding a bag or a bouquet of market flowers is all you need to add a little drama to the scene.
- This is a great opportunity to take photos with your pets if you are worried about the wedding day being too stressful for your furry friends. They will also add some fun to the engagement shoot.
- Bring along water and snacks as you don't want to feel dehydrated and starving as you are trying to look happy and stylish!
- Follow-up your fabulous shoot with a wonderful, romantic dinner together! You will enjoy laughing over some of the the crazy moments you just lived through to get that amazing shot.
Here we are with Ollie and Bruno (poodles). I love the fence that Christian spotted as the backdrop for this shot.
This shot with the garden shed is a great example of using existing architecture to frame your shot and tell a personal story. We pick up our vegetables from this farm every weekend.
Christian caught the perfect moment with the beautiful horses in the background.