If you’re anything like me (and seemingly my entire Facebook and Instagram feed), you’re excited for fall. The smells, the tastes, the colors, the textures, autumn in Maryland is a sensory experience like no other. The crisp, cool days of fall are a welcome respite to the relentless summer sun where it’s either so muggy you feel like you’re walking through an actual cloud or it’s storming and your’re just wondering if it’s going to be a tornado or hail today. Add to all that the pandemic raging across the globe with people across the country cooped up in their homes since March, it’s fair to assume that we’re all ready to get out and actually enjoy being outdoors, rather than just waiting to get back in to the air conditioning!
If you’re engaged and wondering whether engagement photos are worth the hassle, and if so, when is the best time to get them done? Let me make this easy for you, YES, and NOW! Fall in Maryland in the perfect time to capture romantic, personal, and stunning engagement and pre-wedding portraits. It is my absolute favorite time of year to shoot and I recommend that all my couple at least consider an autumn engagement photography session.
Why? You may be asking. I’m not even sure that we need engagement photos. Are they really worth the hassle and cost? Yes, and here’s why: While your wedding day photos are all about the beauty and magic of the big day itself and all the wonderful emotions surrounding it, your engagement photos show off a totally different aspect of your relationship. It’s just you and your sweetie. There is no expensive dress, no flashy suit, no entourage of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Just you, your spouse-to-be, and a camera. This is your time to tell (in pictures) your unique story as a couple.
For many Prismatic clients, their engagement sessions are a time to get to kn0w their photographer and become more comfortable in front of the camera. That way, on their wedding day, there’s none of that awkward, getting to know each other phase. As for question of whether it’s worth the added cost, YES! Good photography is ALWAYS worth the investment. That being said, it’s far too easy to get stuck with a photographer who cares more about their time and money than telling your story, in which case, you’re getting ripped off. We think that is just wrong. Your love story is beautiful, and you deserve a wedding photographer who honors that. At Prismatic, every couple gets a full engagement photography session at no extra charge.
When you’re ready to get those epic engagement photos taken, here are my top 5 tips to getting fabulous engagement photography.
1. Don’t Put it Off!
Your engagement will simultaneously feel like the longest and shortest wait of your lives. So much has to be planned and coordinated and on one hand you feel like you have all the time in the world and in fact ohmygosh the day of can’t come soon enough! And on the other hand, one moment you have months (maybe even years!) until the planned date, then you blink/take a breath/get slightly distracted and *poof*! It’s a month-and-a-half until your wedding and what do mean we still need to approve the invitations and we still need to line up an engagement shoot??!!
Getting your engagement photos taken should be one of the first things you do. It takes little-to-no planning (in terms of how it will impact the wedding itself), and once it’s done you will have those photos ready for your save the date cards, your wedding website, or your invitations.
So, do yourself a favor, make getting engagement photos a top priority, the caterer can wait and your future self (and spouse) will thank you!
2. Plan Ahead!
Remember, what I just said about little-to-no planning? This is the little part. Before you talk to your photographer, sit down, look at the calendar and decide what days work for you. Think about where you’d like to do it (this factors in to telling your story which I will cover in just a bit). Get on Pinterest and see what others are doing. The more ideas you go to your photographer with, the better they can help you capture awesome, memorable, authentic photos.
3. Talk with Your Fiance(or Fiancee as the case may be)
Now this should go without saying, but I am saying it anyway: TALK TO YOUR FIANCEE! Find out what they want, get them involved in so much as they would like to be. Remember, your engagement photos are about the both of you; make sure that you get him or her involved.
4. Tell Your Story
Like I said before, your engagement photos should tell a unique story. In many ways, they are more “real” than your wedding photos. Unless you wear a wedding dress to work every day…
Really though, sit down with your photographer and your fiance, and talk about your story. How did you meet? What were the two of you wearing? Was there a first kiss? What about your courtship? Was it love at first sight or did you take a long time before getting engaged?
What about your personalities? Are you serious or goofy? Right-brained or left brained? Traditional or non-conformists? What is your idea of a perfect date, a candlelit dinner for two at a 5 star French restaurant or watching the sun set from the top of a mountain next to a campfire sipping mugs of herbal tea? Whichever the case, these photos portray your love and commitment to each other in a unique and special way.
All photos tell a story, so be intentional about the story yours tell!
5. Have Fun!
This is probably the most important. No, not probably, it is the most important. It is so obvious when looking at a photo whether or not the person was having a good time. If you are nervous, uneasy, or uncomfortable, that will absolutely show in the final images.
One easy way to avoid that? Meet with your photographer. Why? It’s all about rapport. Rapport is basically the level of comfort and trust that you have with each other. Get together with your photographer and talk. Talk about yourselves, talk about each other, talk about your favorite movies, talk about how you met, talk about this blog post! Just talk. Having a high level of rapport means that on the day of your engagement shoot, you’re not being photographed by a “highly trained professional photographer with a very expensive camera and I better not screw this up oh I hope I am not making a stupid face…”. You’re being photographed by “a really nice person who my fiance and I met with last week. He’s funny and he told us this really funny story about a crazy mom at a wedding he once photographed..oh wait did we start already?”
Another great way to introduce fun into your photo is through the use of props. Having something in your hands to play around with (a bowler hat, a cane, fake mustaches, flowers, an empty picture frame) gives you something to focus on besides the camera. And if your photographer knows their stuff, they’ll help by using a few fun and easy “ice breakers”; little games you can play to get more comfortable in front of the lens.
As a matter of fact, at Prismatic Photography, all engagement shoots include a mandatory and FREE face-to-face get together with your photographer to not only discuss logistics, but also to just talk, get to know each other and to build rapport. We also bring props for you to play with at the shoot, just to mix things up!
Remember, your engagement photos are the first chapter in your I DO story, so tell a story that you will look back on years from now with fondness and warm thoughts. Thanks for checking out the Prismatic Photography blog. Be sure to subscribe so as not to miss out on any new content!