Say Cheese: Engagement Photos

My friend, who is a Bride-to-be, had some questions about getting her engagement photos taken.  Engagement photos are nice to have if you want to take them or have the time, but I don’t feel they are a necessity.  Planning a wedding consumes a lot of time, so don’t feel as though it is absolutely necessary to try and squeeze every “to-do” before your special day.

When do I want to take the photos?
Most often people use their engagement photos for their  save-the-date announcements.  Plan on taking your photos at least 9 months before the wedding.  You want to give yourself enough time to schedule the photo-shoot, allow your photographer to send the proofs and final retouched photos back to you. 
This will leave you plenty of time to get your save-the-dates out the door which is typically 6 months prior to your wedding.

Where do I take the photos?
This is completely up to you.  Couples typically will take photos at iconic locations in the city they live in (in front of monuments and famous landmarks).  You can also choose locations that reflect your relationship such as:  Location where you met, went on your first date, where the proposal took place, etc.  I like the idea of taking cozy photos at home (pictured above).    It’s not something you see often, but the right photographer can create a very intimate and “lack-of-cheese” setting.

What is “Lack-of-Cheese”?
“Lack of Cheese”- without having a corny and overly cheesy, mushy, gushy, factor.

What do I wear?
It’s always best to dress up a little- a good rule of thumb is “Sunday Brunch”.  I like to think of it as refined casual. 
For the Men: 
One word… collars.  Please wear a button up, polo, or pull over that has a collar. It just looks nicer.

Do I need hair and makeup?
Makeup:  You will need to wear makeup in order for your facial features to stand out. You  don’t want them washed out by the camera and flash. 
Hair:  Your hairdo is totally up to you. Up or down doesn’t matter.  Hair typically is decided after you pick out your outfit(s).   You don’t need to have a formal due, but make sure you don’t have that “rolled out of bed look”.  Like your wedding photos, make sure you groom doesn’t cut his hair right before taking the photos.  The general rule of thumb is to get your hair cut 2-3 weeks prior to the wedding.  It looks more natural that way.

Public Displays of Affection (PDA):
I have a slightly stronger opinion on this subject. Because engagement photos are “staged”, meaning the purpose is to display your love, I find that it’s better to tone down the PDA.  Head on the shoulder- check, holding hands- check, arms wrapped around eachother-check… full blown makeout session- no thanks.

I know photographers want to capture your passionate love-nest, but I, along with your grandparents, don’t need to see that.  And simply put, it looks friggin’ awkward, so please don’t.  Some awesomely bad engagement photos...

Have fun with your photos, they are another keepsake to remember this special time.  Keep them simple, unique to your personality, and enjoy!

Coming Soon!  We'll be featuring Kristina Sherk Photography and have another Q&A info session.