Scarborough Bluffs is one of my favorite portrait sites. Why? No permits required. Yet it still offers beautiful beaches, rock levees, and cliffsides. Its only drawback is access during the off-season. While most of its photo op locations are available year-round, the best spots become inaccessible after heavy rain or snowfalls. So, normally when the weather report calls for rain, I’ll reschedule an engagement shoot. This was the first one where the couple was like, meh… let’s just do it and see what we get. Luckily, the storm clouds didn’t come in until the very end. So, they’re more available for dramatic effect over the Scarborough Bluffs. Luckily their wedding day didn’t have any issues with rain.
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. 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. That way, you’ll get more variety.
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. 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.