Here are some of my best engagement photo tips to help set you both up for the best and most fun engagement session. Let’s be honest and real here, having your photo taken can be AWKWARD! It’s totally normal to feel a bit nervous. especially if you’ve never had a photo session before. The key to feeling not awkward and confident at your photo session is feeling like yourselves!
When you think of your engagement photos what do you see?
What feeling are you going for?
What memories do you want to capture about this beautiful season of being engaged to your best friend?
Is there a place that’s meaningful and special to you both?
Let’s run around the city and visit all the locations of your first date, where the proposal happened, or your first apartment. Maybe you both love wine and just chilling..so let’s plan a cozy picnic with some wine glasses for you two to enjoy! Maybe you’re the outdoorsy type and love to be active and explore new places together!
If you choose a place and activity that’s special to you both, your photos will have so much more meaning to them.
If you have no idea, that’s okay! I got you! I can help you find a place that fits you both. But don’t worry tooo much about this part. The location only provides a background and feeling, YOU and your love are the subject of these photos.
If you have pets or something else meaningful you want to include, I love it! Let’s do it! Lets create something awesome together that showcases your love and you both as you are!
First of all, don’t feel like you need to go on a crazy total wardrobe overhaul shopping spree! Also, don’t feel like you have to dress in a super fancy gown and suit …especially if you hate wearing those things (But if you do, you’re way more stylish than me and I love it so let’s do it! ) My goal is for you to feel comfortable, beautiful and confident. I want you to connect with your photos. If you’re jeans and a T-shirt kind of people, go for it! If you both love any excuse to dress in your snazziest outfits, please do! The point of it all is to BE YOURSELVES.
I’ve had clients worry up until the moment the shoot started about if what they were wearing was “good enough” and it broke my heart! I want you to feel comfortable, feel HOT and confident, and to wear what you love! It doesn’t matter what I think. Trust me, it will show if you are uncomfortable in your outfit choices.
Most couples bring two options. Something dressier, like a long dress and button ups and something casual (jeans and a T-shirt or similar) The more looks you have, the more variety in your photos, just keep in mind changing time can also take up shooting time! But don’t worry you won’t have to change behind a tree, I always bring along this changing tent for you!
As a photographer who LOVESSS natural light, timing really is everything for your session. I don’t just pick a random time or force you to get up at the crack of dawn to be a psycho 😉 The time I schedule is intentionally based on the location we’re shooting in and when the light looks best there. I usually plan for 1-2 hours before golden hour- i.e sunset, to ensure we have plenty of time aren’t aren’t rushing. Because hurry is the thief of joy and connection! I promise, photos at golden hour or sunrise look a MILLION times better than photos at high noon. Harsh weird shadows on the face are no bueno! I mean, talk about awkward engagement photos! If you’re dreaming of sunset photos overlooking the city but have other nearby locations in mind, TELL ME! That way I can prioritize and make sure we time everything to when the light is PERFECT in that perfect spot.
Which is why being on time is so important, I can’t change when the sun goes down, so if we start late it means less light, less photos. I really don’t want you to feel rushed or stressed about the light during your session either, that’s MY job. I want you to feel relaxed and connected to each other.
Bottom line: Timing is SO important!
When you book a session with me, you’re trusting me to know the best poses, lighting, locations, prompts and so much more to set the scene and vibe of your photos. I care so much about giving you the absolute best experience. I want to showcase your love story and your personalities in the best LIGHT ( get it? haha) possible. Believe or not, a fancy camera can’t do all that.
It’s my job to make you look good and to capture you two in a way that reflects your relationship. It’s quite literally what you hired me for 😉 So you can show up to your session relaxed and ready to have fun. This is a time to connect with your lover and remind yourselves all over again what you love about each other. You don’t have to worry about where to put your hands or when to smile or when to look at the camera. In fact, the less you look at me and the more you focus on each other the more you will be comfortable. I guarantee it! I will be directing you and letting those natural sweet moments happen naturally but the more you trust me and let go of your worries about how you look the better your photos will be. So take a deep breath, and let go and just be present in the sweet moments with your love. The more you let go, the more natural, real and like yourselves your photos will look.
Sometimes planning your engagement session can be super stressful, especially when wedding planning and other life things weighing you down. And sometimes that stress can transfer over into stress about having the PERFECT engagement photos. I want to remind you to slow down, fully rest and enjoy this beautiful season you’re in. It only happens once! The excitement, the anticipation the “I cant wait to marry my best friend!” feeling.
The more you have in mind that this is just a weird date with a 3rd wheel and ready for adventure with your best friend you are on our shoot, the better it will be! Don’t think of it as a photo shoot, i’m just tagging along while you two play, dance, watch the sunset and just enjoy being with each other!
Hannah Pascual is a California based elopement and intimate wedding photographer serving laid back, fun loving, and adventurous couples who want candid, warm and joy-filled photos.