Family Engagement Shoot
I am so excited about sharing this engagement shoot/family session. It’s so much fun photographing my friends when their wedding comes around. I always wonder if people truly enjoy being part of the bridal party. Obviously it’s an honor to be considered such a significant part of a person’s life, but do people really want the responsibility? There’s a lot of work behind it. Speeches, engagement parties, bachelor parties, bridal showers, purchasing a custom outfit… the list goes on. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but as a professional who sees weddings on a regular basis, it seems to be almost torture. It’s why I enjoy being selected to photograph a friend’s wedding instead of actually being in it.
I get full access to all the events of the day with both the bride and groom. During the ceremony, I have the best view. Then there’s limo access, primary food serving during the reception, open bar, first-knowledge of all surprises, and to a certain extent I actually get control over how the day will play out. Plus I still get to attend the other engagement events as a simple party goer. It’s perfect. Needless to say I’m always a fan when one of my friends gets engaged. I’ve known David for over a decade now and can’t wait to photograph his wedding. This engagement shoot was simply a way for me to get to know Holly a little better and meet the rest of the family. So glad everyone was able to take part.
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.