For those of us who aren't models, or don't plan on just using duck lips for every picture, photo sessions can be a little stressful. Perhaps you are excited, but don't want to mess it up. Or maybe you are only doing it because you know you need to have some semblance of a couples' photo shoot to post on your wedding website. No matter what the cause of your impeding fear is, we are here to tell you that it can be an amazing experience and something both of you should look forward to!
So what are some things you should do to help you and your fiance feel more at ease about the whole in front of the camera thing? For starters… TALK about it! Talk with each other about your concerns and expectations, and talk with your photographer about as much as possible to help ease the burden of the unexpected.
Once you have discussed some of the things you were worried about, here are just a few things we suggest going over before your engagement session gets too close!
1. IN SUCH APPAREL
This could be a fun time to play dress up... just saying!
When it comes to outfits, most couples will go with two; one being casual and one being dressy. It is best to try to coordinate your outfits instead of actually matching (Hey if that's your thing though, go for it!). You can visit Pinterest for some outfit inspiration, but remember to think about your location and how it will relate to your outfits (your photographer should be able to help with this). The groom should avoid wearing things with writing unless it is purposeful or an inside joke between the two of you.
Certain accessories can enhance the photography as well. Bold jewelry, bright colored shoes, a nice watch, scarf, etc. No matter your outfits of choice, you should make sure you look great and are comfortable enough to make it through the session!
2. READY THE GROOM!
Yes, he does have to come! Yes, he does have to wear that! And yes, he does have to show a little PDA!
It is very common for the guys to be a little less "enthusiastic" about getting their picture taken, but alas, it's that time! So pay very close attention brides, because you know your man better than anyone else, and chances are he needs your help! Prep him by first explaining why you want and need the engagement session (we are assuming at this point you do actually want one). Let him see and feel your excitement about it; that should help start easing him into it. Fill him in on what's going to take place. Make sure he knows what is expected of him and show him a few engagement photos from your photographer to help him get an idea of what you are looking for from him. Do you want him to be sweet and romantic, sexy and suave, funny and lighthearted, a mix of all of the above? Fill him in ladies! The more he knows, the less eye-rolling you'll get during the session!
We have never had real complaints from our guys, and most of them say it wasn't nearly as bad as they thought and that they even had a great time... But, if guys were aware of what was going to happen, it might not take the photographer as long to get them comfortable during the shoot!
3. LEAVE IT TO THE PROS!
I'm not a photographer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!
Your photographer is not expecting both of you to come in and be models, so relax! Everyone wants to look their best and have great pictures, but remember it's the professional's job to make that happen. For most couples, it takes about 20 minutes to really warm up and be themselves in front of the camera, so don't fret if you aren't feeling super fluid with each other right from the get go. A good photographer will get you loosened up and cozy pretty quickly... So try not to be too nervous going into it; you'll do just fine!
4. WHERE TO, MISS?
Location Location Location; it's all about the real estate!
This will depend greatly on where you live unless you plan on traveling to do your engagement session. Here in Pensacola on the Gulf Coast, we get a lot of people who want one of their stops to be the beach... but that's obviously going to be different if you live elsewhere, like near the mountains or something along those lines. You'll also want to think about what time of year you want your pictures done, as certain locations/facilities only open or may close during specific times throughout the year. A lot of times couples want to shoot at a place that's special to them; maybe it's where they met or had their first date. If that's something you want to do, just keep in mind that while it may be nostalgic for you guys, depending on the location it may or may not make for the prettiest pictures.
Be on time! That should speak for itself; if only to keep you and your significant other from feeling rushed and stressed out before you even get there.
Don't overthink the session. Don't try to plan and envision the whole thing, just think about where you want to go and what you want to wear, and let the creativity of the photographer guide the rest. That's what you hired them for!!
Don't be afraid to say YES... And NO! Yes, we would love to sneak over behind that closed off area for some awesome shots... No, we don't want to hold out fingers in the shape of a heart in front of our faces. Hey, It's your session!