Your ENGAGED!!!!!! Congrats! Now it’s time for the Engagement Photos.  Why do you need engagement photos?  Well, why wouldn’t you?  Seriously though, engagement photos can be used for several things.  You can use the photos to announce your engagement, have them as part of your wedding day décor, give framed prints to family members as gifts, use them on your ‘Save the Dates’, and so much more!  Keep reading to learn the engagement photo basics…

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Don’t Be Late

When is the best time to take engagement photos?  It really depends on you and your fiancé; as well as, what you plan on using the photos for.  The list below will give you an idea of when your photos should be taken.  Remember to choose whatever works best for you and your fiancé.

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  • First or Second Day: You just got engaged! What a great time to take a picture of yourselves to commemorate the moment.
  • First Month: Schedule a photo shoot early in your engagement if you plan to submit a formal engagement announcement with a photo to your local paper.
  • When you set the Wedding Date: Have a photo taken for your wedding website or save-the-date! Many couples incorporate photos of themselves into the designs.
  • Six or more months before: You can also take engagement pictures once you’ve booked your wedding photographer or when you’re narrowing down your final choices. This will give you another chance to make sure you like the photographer; as well as, get used to them photographing you. (Many photographers will include a free engagement session in their wedding packages)
  • Three months before: If you plan to submit a shot with your newspaper wedding announcement, check their guidelines for specifics and schedule a picture-taking session at least three months before the wedding. Larger newspapers ask to receive wedding submissions up to six weeks before the event, and you’ll want to factor in four to six weeks before that deadline to see your proofs and make prints.
  • Up to one month before: Planning to feature your photos on the wedding program, the favors, or other wedding day décor? Schedule pictures in plenty of time to see proofs, select your favorites, and get everything you need printed and shipped.
  • After the Wedding: It’s a little too late for engagement photos, you’re MARRIED now!! The rest of the pictures you take as a couple will now be as Mr. & Mrs.

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Location, Location, Location

Before you decide on a photographer, have a talk with your fiancé to discuss what kind of engagement photos you both would like.  Make sure you decide what your most comfortable with; posed or candid, casual or formal, inside or outside?  Take into consideration what and where these photos will be used for.

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  • The Outdoors: Visit to a nearby arboretum or botanical garden, or hit your favorite downtown landmark. Your photographer may be able to suggest local sites that make great backdrops for pictures too. Talk about locations you like when you make your appointment. (Don’t forget to do your research! Some locations charge for photos to be taken)
  • Home Sweet Home: If your home is your comfort zone, then take the photos where you’re comfortable, you’ll look better on camera if you’re comfortable. Choose a more scenic area like your living room or front stoop. If you both love cooking, the kitchen could even be a great backdrop!
  • Back in Time: Revisiting nearby sites that are significant to the two of you would make a creative and meaningful backdrop. The restaurant where you had your first date, the ice cream shop you frequent on Sundays, the bus stop where you shared an umbrella, etc.
  • All Lovey-Dovey: You probably don’t need to be persuaded to get close to your fiancé, but do plan to get a few affectionate close-up pictures. This could include a hug, holding hands, slinging your arm around his shoulders, etc. You’re in love, show it off!

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Dress to Impress?

Engagement photos do not require you and your fiancé to match!  However, you do want to make sure you are not wearing anything that will clash.  If you are worried about colors, go with something neutral and pick a couple coordinating color tones.

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  • Guys:  It’s best to stick to solids, but not the same color from head to toe!
  • Ladies:  keep your jewelry simple.  Avoid anything you will have to constantly adjust.  DO NOT forget your engagement ring!

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Don’t Break the Bank

If an engagement session is not included in your wedding photography package, consider an ‘a la carte’ option.  You can ask the same photographer or a different one.  If you really can’t afford that option, find someone you know and can trust behind the camera to capture them for you at a lower price.

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Smile BIG and enjoy not only your engagement photo session but your engagement!  Before you know it you are going to be MARRIED!!! Yay!!!!

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-SLW Lady JH