Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens
The Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens is one of my favorite portrait locations in Toronto. This site holds up all year round. Even when the actual gardens aren’t available. Most of my city couples enjoy this location out of sheer convenience. Its easily accessible by car, bus, and subway. However, it’s not every day I a couple from the Yukon territories come down to Toronto for an engagement shoot. These two were definitely better equipped for cold weather than I was. I was freezing this day but you would never guess it looking at the photos of these two.
I never met this couple in advance. They were referred by the sister of a bride whose wedding I’ll be photographing this spring. The only real information I had was that it would be two ladies. And one of them would be wearing purple pants. Before they arrived, there were already a lot of couples roaming around. However, those purple pants did stand out.
How to Prepare
What to wear?
This is the biggest question I get from couples planning their engagement shoot. What to wear? There is no real rhyme or reason. Wear clothes that make you feel like you. You’ll look like a bride and groom on your wedding day. So for the engagement shoot, go for comfort and something that flatters your body type. If you book extra time, include an outfit change to show off a casual and semi-formal look.
You don’t need to match but coordination does help. So choose colors that go with the season you’re working with. Fall/Winter is better with jewel tones. Spring/summer works better with pastels. That doesn’t mean you have to make your man wear pink. However, pick something that works for both of you. Play around with accessories. For guys, this could be a tie, pocket square, or a nice watch. For girls, it could be jewelry, shoes, or a nice purse. Opt for classic looks over fashion trends. You’ll look back on these photos for years so the idea is timeless.
Use Pinterest to your advantage. It’s a great inspiration source when selecting outfits and figuring out your style preference with photos. Copying another photographer’s editing style isn’t proper etiquette. However, if there is a pose or concept you’d like to try, this is the time to experiment. It’s a great way to learn about your photographer, and how they shoot. For us, it’s how we learn about your dynamic and what makes you laugh. We learn what angles are flattering and work around your insecurities. If you are self-conscious about your nose and avoid profile shots, tell us.
I normally recommend my couples to time their engagement photos around the same time of day they plan on doing their wedding portraits. While most want sunset photos, the reality is you’ll be doing your wedding portraits earlier in the day. The signature sunset photos are more of a quick escape during cocktail hour.