Engagement Photos – The Ultimate Guide

Engagement photos are a fantastic way to capture a couple in some portrait photos before the wedding.
Some photographers refer to it as an e-shoot , e-session, pre wedding images or couple photography. Most wedding photographers also offer to create services as engagement photographers to provide engagement photography.
The most important thing for you to really understand is what all the benefits are? So why should you want to do an engagement shoot? Let’s go into all the reasons right now!
Why Engagement Photos?
1 ) The best way for you to experience how fun and stress free your wedding day photos can be with a talented experienced photographer is to take a test drive in the form of engagement photos.
2 ) Great photography is really about having a great time throughout the shoot and having photographs created that express personality and expression such as fun, relaxed, romantic, quirky, elegant, sophistication and bubbliness.
The first thing a couple should understand about their photography is that their expressions should be natural and interesting. This is achieved by having a photographer that is highly experienced as well as having enough time to get the expressions and perfection in the images that you deserve.
3 ) The engagement photos can be used to confirm the decision to hire the right wedding photographer. If you love the images and have a great experience you can have piece of mind for your wedding day. If there are issues with the photographs and you do not look like you feel comfortable in the photographs consider approaching a more experienced photographer.
4 ) Posing is a dirty word for many people, yet most professional photographers understand the reality and importance of posing. Most couples are worried that posing can make them look “posed’ and “unnatural”.
What is important to understand is that most people kind of go a bit stiff when they are being photographed by a professional. A talented experienced wedding photographer will usually take candid photographer throughout the day, yet at certain times of the day will actually give direction that is usually designed to make people look natural rather than posed.
The sad truth is that when hiring a less experienced / talented photographer you will often end up looking less natural or even awkward because inexperienced photographers have not developed the skills and experience to make you look how you should in a professional image which can often take photographers many years to do well ( possibly 5 to 10 years ).
At our studio we believe a photographer should have 5 years of full-time experience as a portrait/wedding photographer as well as professional photography eduction to really have the best chance to get professional quality images. With regards to engagement images it’s important to understand that this is a very important chance to get a glimpse of how
good the fit is with the photographer and to experience how they direct or pose you in the images.
For the photographer it is a chance to identify how you are as a couple infront of the camera that can help in preparing for the wedding day. A chance to give the couple some tips for the wedding day.
5 ) It gives you the couple a chance to see how the different image styles will look from that particular photographer, such as black and white photography and to know how that would look with the wedding pictures. All wedding photographers have different editing styles and equipment and so it can be great to see what look the professional pictures will have especially for your photographs.
6 ) Engagement photos are a great way to create couple photography that can be used on social media to get guests excited about the wedding and to show in guest books and engagement photo albums that guest can write well wishes throughout the engagement album. Think about it this way…. If you were to send low quality photographs of yourselves that have no mood may be a missed opportunity to make a good impression on your guests about what is coming up at the wedding. First impressions can be really important.
7 )  During the pre wedding photography session, you will have an opportunity to see the engagement photography ideas that your photographer comes up with. How creative are they and does the style fit your personalities?
8 ) It could be a great idea to use the photography as an engagement gift and to show at the engagement party and on the engagement inviitations. It can be a lot more personal to have a great engagement photo displayed at your party and on your invites.
9 ) Your wedding photos will reflect how you feel on the day. If you have spent some fun time before the wedding with the photographer it is absolutely guaranteed that you will feel more comfortable on the wedding day through the confidence and the connection that you got from the engagement photos.
 
10 ) Many photographers offer the engagement session as inclusive of the wedding photography and there is often no obligation to order any prints or photographs from the session. So there is really nothing to lose!
OK so you now understand why you should do an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer. So let’s now go into the engagement photography location ideas. Where should you have the engagement pictures taken?
Engagement Photo Locations
Often the photography studio may want to do the photography in a location that is not too far from the location of the studio. Yet also it is quite common venture into the city, out into the country or to the beach.
Usually a city centre has a lot of interesting backdrops for engagement photography and on the other extreme the country and the beach give a a very different feel. At our studio we usually suggest to take the photos close to the CBD, especially places like teneriffe, new farm, southbank, eagle street, Brisbane botanical gardens etc etc.
We are however very open to almost any location even a few hours drive from Brisbane if we feel that the creative feel of the images are exactly what the couple are looking for. A great option for the engagement photography is also where you first met if it is not too far from the photography studio.
What kind of clothing should we wear for our engagement photos?
The clothes for an engagement session should be something that feels like you. It’s important to talk to your photographer about the ideas you have as the clothing will affect the mood and style of the shoot.
Whether you feel happy wearing jean and a t-shirt, a full suit and evening gown or something a little bit funky, it should reflect your personality and you should feel very comfortable in what you are wearing. There are a few basic rules that apply that will be discussed. Let’s dive into engagement photos what to wear….
Make sure you wear something that hugs your waste. wear something that flows like a dress that can flow in the wind. It is also a good idea to wear neutral colours such as pastels… yet if your personality screams for some brighter colours that can work too.
A great photographer might figure out your personalities before the shoot and decided to bring out your story as being a fun and energetic couple or might as another example decide that you are more sophisticated and laid back.
In the case of a fun shoot it could be suggested the shoot be done in the afternoon wearing casual or smart casual clothes. Generally the clothes should not have any logos or writing on them or be really busy with some kind of design on them.
Five ways to get the best wedding photography
In the case of a more sophisticated shoot it could be done by wearing an evening gown and a suit or very smart dress clothes. Think about how you see yourselves as a couple and talk with the photographer on capturing your real story in terms of personality. Bringing a change of clothes could be a great idea.
A small suitcase with a few different outfits could give many more options in terms of colour palettes matching between your clothing and the background and it would usually allow for better images by being able to make subtle improvements to the clothing if necessary. More variety translates into more creative options if you are wanting to get the most from the session. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and reflects who you are
What is a great idea is to have one outfit change with the shoot starting in the late afternoon, usually 2 hours before sunset. This way you can have some casual fun images during the last 2 hours of daylight, do a quick wardrobe change into something more formal such and an evening gown and a suit to then get a more sophisticated set of images that are more formal yet still stylish and creative.
Engagement Photo tips
1 ) Don’t miss out on engagement photos as it creates a better wedding day experience and better wedding photos to connect and feel comfortable with being photographed before the wedding day.
2 ) Have the make up trial for the wedding done on the same day as the engagement session. Or at least have your hair and makeup done professionally for the engagement session during your lunch break or straight after work. This way you will see how your bridal style hair and makeup will look on camera and will also look amazing in the engagement phtoographs.
3 ) Let the photographer experiment a little on the engagement shoot so that the photographer understands what works for you and what creative imagery you are most happy with.
4 ) Enquire with the photographer if you can help choose the locations to be somewhere that have some sort of meaning to you as a couple.
5 ) Look around at engagement photographs google image search and think about having a creative concept for the shoot and also what sort of mood you might like? Fun / casual / sophisticated / romantic?
6 ) Integrate an event or something you might do that reflects your personality. For example, going to a market together, ordering ice cream, going to your favourite cafe, going shopping, cooking together in the home, playing a sport or a hobby, playing some music togehor… never underestimate the power of capturing the real you and storytelling with the images that you can tell people your story as a couple.
7 ) It’s often best to photograph in the last hour or two of light of the day. So expect the photographer to suggest a late afternoon time unless it is an evening shoot.
8 ) If you are looking for a fun energetic shoot think about having it in the afternoon whereas if you would like a more romantic sophisticated shoot an evening shoot could work very well for that
9 ) Ask the photographer about bringing engagement props such as tandem bikes, balloons, cupcakes, chalkboard tablets, books, signs, a picnic set, a guitar, ice-cream etc etc
10) The images can be used for Save the Date cards, wedding invitations, a wedding guest book or a reception slideshow as well as having some beautiful images to hang on your wall or display in a portrait album on your coffee table, to start your family album collection, or to give away to family and friends before or after the wedding.
11 ) An engagement shoot should be anticipated as fun and relaxed and seven as an opportunity for you to explore how you best  love to be photographed
12 ) Wear something comfortable that reflects who you are.
13 ) Create a pinterest board of inspiration for engagement photos. Only give these to your photographer for inspiration. Asking a quality photographer to copy images would mostly likely take away from the creativity, spontaneity and organic flow of the shoot. Only ever see this as inspiration yet not a checklist as the photographer will create the best work following the light, locations and inspiration from you and the environment in the moment which will often be very different to what you might see in a particular image online.
14 ) Talk to your photographer about any worries you have. This is very common that couples have concerns about being photographed… the reality is that talented experienced professionals can overcome most of these issues to a degree that they cease to be an issue for you.
15 ) Create a theme for your engagement shoot. A good example could be to base it on one of your favourite movies.
Engagement shoot locations in Brisbane , the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
There are many location options for an engagement photography session in Brisbane.
Some of the top locations for engagement pictures in Brisbane are Newfarm Park and the Powerhouse where there is lot’s of space to move around and a large variety of backdrops which becomes important when designing engagement photo albums.
The Brisbane Botanical Gardens, Southbank , Eagle street and around RNA showgrounds are also very good locations to consider. Not only is variety of engagement poses that look natural important to create variety yet also having a variety of backdrops and colours are needed to create visual diversity.
Having a place where there are lot’s of different backgrounds really helps with creating engagement photo ideas.  Another important thing to consider for engagement photo shoot ideas is that you want to reflect your personality.
So what do you like to do together? So having an ice-cream or a coffee together, or including your pets and your hobbies should also be considered when choosing location. When combining these hobbies ideas and themes with locations the possibilities for engagement shoot ideas start to become infinite.