This post is a long time coming. I shot my first engagement shoot January 2009 and since then I’ve had many. I try my very best to shoot them for all of my wedding clients. In fact now I refer to them as “Practice Shoots” because that is objective number one! We’ll come away with pretty photos, but more than anything you’ll breathe a sigh of relief ::trust me:: that you have photographic proof of how good you two look in pictures.
So here are some things to consider and helpful visual inspiration of what a Practice Shoot looks like.
Well doesn’t that sound obvious? But worth noting. If you’re not a model, then don’t worry – there’s no need to try. Unless you are one, then work it! I sometimes say that these practice shoots are like a date and I’m the weird “third wheel”. So believe me I’ll come to the shoot more nervous that you. We shake off those nerves pretty quickly. I’ll say something awkward or attempt a joke and fail.
My goal is for your friends and family to look at your photos and say, “That is soooo them.” And then hit LIKE a million times on facebook.
Location, Location, Location!
Just like your wedding venue, where we shoot your practice shoot can say a lot about you. Pick my brain for ideas, but I love to go places I’ve never been before. It’ll be an adventure!!
What do you like to do as a couple? What do you do on the weekends? On a snowday? On a date night?
Again, I like to keep things interesting and have a reason to say, “I’ve never done that before, sounds awesome!”
What to Wear?
I’m no fashionista (although I do LOVE Project Runway & Tim Gunn!) but I know a good outfit when I see one. All of these photos above & below were great practice shoot outfits.
- Your clothes should compliment you. No constant tugging or pulling to keep your outfit on straight
- You two should compliment each other. No matchy – matchy! Just look like you’re going to the same place.
- Dress for the weather. Dress for the occasion. Dress for the possibility of running, jumping, dancing, etc….
- Bright colors always photograph well!
Sometimes, but not always couples will bring two looks. Go from dressy to dressed down. The one logistical note is that you’ll need a place to change halfway through and we won’t want to lug around a bag of clothes with us while we shoot. With some planning we can make it work!
Bring Your Pet
Would you just love it if your dog, cat, snake, turtle could join us for the shoot? Let’s figure out how to make that happen.
Be Prepared for Anything!
Impromptu dancing, riding ducks & laying on the ground: these are the things you can’t plan on that will be our favorite moments. If you’re open to the unexpected we’ll have a great shoot!
Props & Personality
“Props” can sound phony….. right?
Okay, so maybe they’re not “props” but just these little things that say a little about you as a couple. Gardening, sports teams, slushy beverages, your sweet ride, etc…. Again these are photos that should say something about you two.
Use Your Photos
Turn your photos into a Save the Date or use them in your wedding day decor, a photo guestbook. I can help you with any of these things.
Sun, Snow, Rain, Clouds
I’m a planner and the one thing we can’t plan is WEATHER! So I embrace it all.
The bottom right photo is from an engagement session that turned into a rainy day ceremony on the Atlantic Coast in Rockport, MA
The rain made it better!!
Anna Sawin says
Steph! Most awesome post EVER! (And I thought that before I got to your engagement session!) Your clients will LOVE this and they will already be so comfortable even before their practice shoot. Hoooray!