Prepping for an engagement shoot can be nerve-wracking. For most couples, it’s their first time working with a professional photographer. It can feel also feel like a challenge to strike a pose and act natural at the same time. That’s why we consulted Melissa Lacouture—co-owner of M. Studios in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with Marisa Bettencourt—about the best ways to get ready (and zap nerves) during your engagement shoot.
Plan to dress in layers. This is an easy way to add texture and interest to your photos. You don’t need to put on a blazer or a jacket (although that’s OK!). A scarf or a necklace is enough. It’s all about the accessories that will bring the pictures to life.
Don’t dress matchy-matchy. White shirts and jeans are no more. Your best plan is to consider the color wheel and choose colors that compliment each other, but don’t necessarily match. Also, stay away from loud patterns unless you have a statement dress that you love.
Bring an outfit change. Most engagement sessions allow you to change clothes halfway through. Plan for two looks: One that’s casual and one that’s dressy.
Don’t forget about props. Finding a way to tie in something from your wedding theme can be nice way to enhance your engagement shoot. That said, you don’t have to go overboard. The main focus should be the two of you and the fact that you’re getting married and taking photos to celebrate this time.
Location matters. For an engagement shoot, we recommend choosing a location that’s the opposite of your wedding venue. For example, if you’re getting married at the beach, you might want to consider doing city photos. Or if you’re getting married in the fall, take engagement photos that feel summery. This will give you some variety and make the experience feel unique.
Think of the shoot as wedding day training. This is your chance to build a relationship with your photographer before your wedding. Even though it can feel intimidating when it’s just you and the camera, try to focus on the fun. Also, think of your engagement shoot as practice. When you see the pics, you can say, “I made that face and I didn’t love it,” or “I don’t like that pose.” Then, on your wedding day, you’ll be good to go.