Engagement Shoot 101: How to Ace Your Engagement Photo Shoot

In case you missed the big reveal on Insta this week, I’M ENGAGED!

Engagement Proposal Photo Shoot Ideas
Engagement Photography Tips
Engagement Photo Shoot LA
LA Engagement Photo Shoot

It happened awhile ago, but we didn’t do any social media about it for the first few weeks. I’m still not going to go crazy posting about being engaged and planning a wedding, but of course will share some of the highlights. Especially when it comes to picking a dress! But for now I want to give you guys a few tips on one of my areas of expertise - photo shoots! Since I’ve been in fashion marketing in my day job and have been a blogger for years, I have a lot of experience planning them and being in front of the camera. Stay tuned for everything you need to know to nail your engagement session!

Engagement Shoot Photography Tips

Choosing the Right Photographer for The Engagement Photo Shoot

The first and most important decision you need to make is who is going to do the shoot! A lot of wedding photographers offer an engagement session as part of their package for wedding day coverage. If you are doing both your engagement shoot and wedding in the same city, and you already have a clear idea of the style you want for your wedding then a bundle is great! It will help you save money and ensure a consistent look and feel for your engagement and wedding photography.

SInce we live in LA but aren’t getting married here that wasn’t an option for us. We ended up using a photographer that I had previously worked with on blog content instead. I liked that it was someone I knew and already had a relationship with, however since she didn’t specialize in engagements, we ended up having some challenges. Initially I thought photographers may just overcharge for engagement photos because everything when it comes to weddings has elevated prices. But it really is a challenge shooting a couple and making sure there are plenty of images where both people look great. We actually had to redo our engagement shoot because the first round of photos really didn’t have that many shots that were flattering to us both! Second time was a charm and we were both way happier with the final content.

One of my friends who is getting married decided to just have one of the bridesmaids take the pics on her personal camera. It is definitely a feasible option, especially if you know someone who has a geat camera and you want to save money. Plus it makes it more fun and natural, just like you and your fiance hanging out with friends.

If you decide to go the pro route, I suggest working with someone that does have experience with engagements, weddings, or even family portraits. Anything that can show they are well versed in shooting groups of people, not just individuals. And allow yourself an hour to an hour and a half session, maybe even 2 hours if you are both new to being on camera!

What to Wear for Your Engagement Shoot

The second most important decision is what to wear for your engagement shoot! You and your fiance need to decide if you want a relaxed easy going vibe, or something more formal. We decided to go a little more dressy since that was reflective of both our styles and the tone we wanted to set for our wedding. Just make sure you will feel comfortable in whatever you are wearing and that the fit is flattering. While you don’t need to be matchy matchy (unless that is your preference) at least be sure your looks make sense together! You can’t be in a formal dress and him in shorts and t-shirt! Or if he wants to wear a suit instead of a casual look, then you need to step your game up so the images tell a consistent story. And if you are wearing heels definitely bring a pair of flats! You might find yourself walking around a bit looking for the perfect location, so you may want to have a pair of flats handy if you need to change shoes.

Start planning your looks a few weeks before the shoot, and give yourself time in case you run into shipping delays, fit issues or need to get things altered. And don’t forget to accessorize! I love the dresses I wore, but felt like the added accessories really brought the looks home. I also recommend keeping your makeup more classic. Now is not the time to try any crazy new trends!

Establish a Shot List and Share with Your Photographer

It’s pretty common to create a shot list for creative campaigns and weddings, so having one for your engagement shoot will only make things run smoother. This lets your photographer know every image you expect to be delivered so you won’t feel like things are missing at the end. Think about images that are important for you to have as memories, and also what you need from a practical standpoint. If you are doing a wedding website, check if there are recomended dimensions for the imagery and any other technical info the photographer would need. Since I don’t post my fiance on social media, I wanted to good selection of solo shots or ones where his face wasn’t visible. Think about what is important to you and use the below sample shot list for reference!

Engagement Shoot.png

Choosing a Location for Your Engagement Shoot

The location is the final factor, and just as important! Think about the kind of scenery you want and the story you want to tell. Maybe it’s a place that has significance for you as a couple, but it can also just be somewhere you think looks pretty and will work logistically speaking. We knew that we wanted something with an LA vibe, but not on the beach since we would be wearing formalwear. We originally tried to do Malibu for sunset, but the images didn’t work out. We ended up reshooting in Beverly Hills and the iconic palm tree scenery was just perfect. Wherever you decide to shoot, make sure you consider how traffic will be in the area and plan accordingly! I typically do most of my shoots early in the morning, when light is softer and streets are less crowded.

Also, have your photographer check any permit requirements that may be in place. A lot of places we thought about shooting required permits and threatened fines, and that is the last thing you want to deal with on an engagement shoot!

Hope these tips help! Pin this for future reference and if you want to see what I wore in our engagement shoot, shop the looks below!