9 Tips for the Best Engagement Shoot! | Toronto Wedding Photographer, Halifax Wedding Photographer

Hooray! Now you're engaged and about to enter this season of life that is unlike any other! You must be brimming with joy and excitement! Next step is to tackle your engagement photos - I often hear my couples tell me how they're awkward and anxious about being in front of the camera for their engagement shoot. It's so lovely to have the opportunity to have photos done for this time in your life - so here are some tips on how to make the best out of your engagement shoot. I hope they are useful to you! Do not worry - you are not alone!

*Disclaimer - These tips are all of my own and based off of my experiences photographing couples and their engagement photos. I photograph in a documentary, hands-off way and have found that these tips are useful for my couples during their engagement sessions. Your photographer may have different ways of approaching engagement shoots so definitely reach out to them if you need any extra tips or questions! If you have any further questions for me, I'm all ears - contact me here :)

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1. Relax!

Engagement shoots should be fun and exciting. In fact, they should be considered practice for your wedding day. It's not every day that you have a camera following you around and it does definitely takes some getting used to. Just enjoy yourselves, each other's company, get hand-sy and don't worry too much about the little things. Focus on connecting with each other so that your real selves can shine through in the photos.

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2. Take the time to connect with your photographer!

 As mentioned above, an engagement session is great practice for being in front of the camera but it is also great practice for getting used to your photographer. Remember, on a wedding day, your photographer is with you all day - sometimes even more so than your future spouse! The more you get know them, the more comfortable you are together, the more natural your photos will turn out. You can find out more about me here :)

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3. Schedule for sunset/sunrise

Most photographers will suggest this any way but time your engagement photos to happen around sunset. This time is called the 'golden hour' and is basically your photographer's best friend. It is the time of day with the best, flattering light! Everything has a golden, warm glow - perfect to add a bit of romance! Another tip is if you can't plan a time for sunset because of scheduling, etc. - sunrise works just as well! Sometimes the colours during sunrise can be even more dramatic. Another plus side is that the streets are empty and there will be no one else around! Here is a cottage lakeside engagement session done at sunrise! 

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4. Forget about 'posing'

Avoid being too consumed with Pinterest and poses! Remember these engagement photos should be a reflection of how you two are as a couple - not to emulate another couple! Your photographer will have ways to make you relax and put you in comfortable environments so that you can be yourselves. I personally love directing my couples into different positions and letting them interact and talk rather than being particular about hand/head placements! 

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5. Choose your location wisely - Be in your element!

This is so key! If you're not an outdoorsy person or don't frequently spend time outdoors - maybe consider doing your engagement photos indoors or in the city! You want to collectively decide on a location that is comfortable (or even meaningful) for you two and representative of who you two are. If as a couple, you really enjoy and cherish indoor couch snuggling time or even just cringe at the idea of any PDA, consider doing an at-home engagement session! You don't have to leave the comforts of your home and maybe even your pjs if you want ;) Click here are some more examples of at-home photoshoots. 

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6. Dress comfortably.

As much as it's important to be in a space that is comfortable for you, make sure you are wearing clothes that are comfortable! If you never wear dresses, or heels - perhaps skip those for the photoshoot! Again, remember these photos should be a true representation of you, in this season of life - not you pretending to be someone else! Layering your clothes can be a good idea too in case it gets too hot or too cold outdoors! I always encourage my couples to bring another outfit if they can't decide or want a fancier look and a more casual look. Click here for my pinterest board for some outfit suggestions! 

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7. Free up those hands for each other!

Forget about the purse, the phone and the wallet! Your hands should be focused on being each other and not holding a phone or a purse! Ever seen a guy with their huge phone in their pockets? It's not a good sight! If possible, leave your personal belongings at home or in the car! Think of the engagement shoot as an adventure If you need a coffee mid-shoot - it's on me, don't worry!! My camera bag can only carry so much - I can of course carry your keys! ;)

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8. Have fun!

Be real with what it's like to spend time with your best friend! Don't be afraid to let your emotions show, whether it's laughing until your bellies hurt or being quiet and cuddling. If you two are the giggly type - don't feel like you have to! If something one person says makes you want to cry a happy tear - let that tear flow! I'm all about the real emotions and capturing all aspects of what you allow to show :)

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9. Trust the process

And...Trust your photographer! You must have hired them for a reason and let them show you how they work! I often tell my couples to stand in weird alleys or spiky bushes but I promise I'm not telling you to do that for no reason! Trust the process and our vision, that way we can create art and capture the moments for you as organically as possible! You can learn more about my style and approach to how I photograph here

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Do you have any more tips that have been useful for you? I'd love to hear them! Comment below or send me a message here