"Ok, get in front of the camera and look like a PERFECT model couple!" For many people, this is what they think engagement sessions will sound like. Their pits start to sweat as they think about being in front of the camera, and they fear just simply looking awkward. There can sometimes be this subtle pressure to look amazing and natural, as if you are totally used to having a professional camera pointed at you!
If you feel this way, I have some good news for you. I almost always here from couples that taking engagement photos is not nearly as awkward as they thought it might be, and it actually is a TON of fun! Even if you aren't nervous for taking photos but would be interested in some tips from a photographers perspective, here are some helpful dos and don'ts when it comes to looking you best, naturally!
1. Take a deep breath, and really just be yourselves.
I could end this blog here :) You know yourselves best! Even your best friends might not know how the two of you interact in "romantic" or "cute" ways when it's just the two of you! Walk how you normally would, talk how you normally would, and really just take a deep breathe :)
If you guys are goofy and silly usually, don't feel the need to suppress your silliness! Making each other laugh is much better than me telling you to laugh ;) But if you guys aren't naturally goofing around all the time, it's OK to have more subtle smiles in photos, or more romantinc-look-off-in-the-distance poses. It all comes down to being yourself and not worrying about the camera. Yep, just pretend I'm not there! It's OK, you'll get used to a big lens in your face ;)
2. Plan it like a date!
One way to feel more natural is to be doing an activity! This can be something you really like doing together on a fun date, or something you've always wanted to try but haven't had an excuse to! Example: Romantic canoe ride, tandem bicycles, wearing an epic red dress in a field...
3. Try to always have some parts of you touching!
This might sounds a little riskqué, but visually a couple looks much more comfortable and in love when you are touching in the most simple ways! Hands, hips, arms, feet, and lips ;). It all draws the eye to show you guys love each other!
4. Pay attention to your photos you already have that you love.
- Look at photos and selfies of the two of you. Look at your favorite ones (Profile pictures are a good place to look!) and take note of what you like about them! Mention those things to your photographer at the time of photos to capture similar types of photos!
Example: "Can we get one where he kisses my cheek?" or "I love photos of us walking and holding hands!"
5. Just go with it, and make it your own!
This is another big one! Similar to tip #1, no one knows you guys more than you. If your photographer suggests a post that you guys don't normally do, just go with it and make it your own! Chances are it looks way less awkward than it feels, and it might even be more about the moments after the pose instruction.
What not to do in engagement Photos
- Don't do duck lips
Sure, we all do duck lips from time to time when asking for a cute peck ;) But when it comes to photos, duck lips are one of the first killers of a romantic photo!
- Don't have the dead hand
This one is mainly for the fellas. When your kissing your lady, and your hand in front is just hanging there, it looks pretty "uninterested!" Instead, just be mindful to bring it in and touch her arm, her waist, or hair!
- Don't squish your noses
Pretty straightforward - just give yourselves a teeny bit of space, or turn your head slightly so your noses aren't squished down! You'll thank me later ;)
- Don't be silent.
For you and your fiance, being silent can be pretty awkward. Pretend you are on a date! Going back to tip number one, BE YOURSELVES. Whisper something actually cute or funny in her ear when I tell you too, keep complimenting each other, or heck even talk about where you want to go to dessert after dinner! AND, be vocal about what you are thinking with your photographer! We can't read minds ;) So if you aren't really vibing with a certain area or pose, it's ok to say so! Also, if you have another idea in the moment, I'd love to hear it!
You'll do great!
Engagement photos are a GREAT way to have a more relaxed and casual set of photos in addition to your wedding photography! Contact me below to schedule a session. I can't wait to hear from you!
- Stacey Pitman
Plaid Poppy Co - Owner and Photographer