I love engagement shoots. No, really, I LOVE engagement shoots. They’re taken during such a fleeting window of time between the proposal and the wedding — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture a couple as they are then. Some of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken have been during engagement sessions! And my most favorite thing of all is when couples use this opportunity to do something or go somewhere that is personal and unique to them. If you are planning your engagement session, I would highly suggest that you customize your shoot to reflect who you are. Not only will the shoot be more fun for you if you feel like it has a connection to your relationship, it will also produce photos that are much more meaningful to you in the years to come!
In my attempt to help my clients create an engagement shoot that is reflective of them, I always ask them to fill out a questionnaire that helps me get to know them better. It often leaves us with a number of creative ideas that are unique and fun.
If you are engaged and planning on taking engagement photos, I have three suggestions to make your images just as personal as they are pretty!
1 — Location
Time for a little brainstorming session! Where do you and your fiancé like to go together? Where have you been together? Where did you meet or have your first date? Do you have access to a location that is special or unique? Often just thinking through these questions and jotting down your answers will help you think of a cool location that hadn’t even occurred to you! In the photos below, Murphy & Alexis chose Sedona for their engagement session because it was the site of one of their most memorable and important dates. Blake & Dominique met when they were students at the University of Arizona, so the campus holds a very special meaning for them. And Alex and Katie chose to hold their engagement shoot in locations around New York City, including the rooftop of the building where Alex grew up.
2 — Activity
What do you like to do together? Do you have hobbies or activities that you share? Sometimes when I ask this, people think it has to be some adventurous or unusual activity in order to qualify. Not true! The ways you choose to spend time together are usually a big part of why you “click” as a couple. So no matter what they are, bringing those pastimes into your engagement shoot is a perfect way to make it more personal. This can be something as simple as cooking or riding bikes together. Or it can be something as noteworthy as piloting a plane.
3 — Pets
I’m a firm believer that pets are part of the family, and you can’t get much more personal than that! Oodles of my clients agree, and it’s almost MORE common for me to shoot an engagement session that includes a dog than one that doesn’t. I love the fact that these photos not only document the couple, but also the beloved pets that are such a huge part of their lives! Below are only a few of the engagement shoots I’ve photographed that have been made more personal and special by the inclusion of pets in a portion of the shoot.
I hope that I’ve helped you to think of some simple ways to turn your engagement session into a fun, personal photo shoot. Your wedding will be here before you know it, and then you’ll be married for the rest of your lives. Enjoy your engagement, and make the most of your engagement photos! You won’t regret it!
——> If you are thinking about engagement photography, you should probably also be thinking about wedding photography! The engagement shoot is the perfect time to get comfortable with your wedding photographer! Click here to download a FREE checklist of 12 important questions you should be asking any potential wedding photographers you meet with! We’ve created a convenient form for you to print and take along as you talk with photographers. Make this big decision a little easier! Download your copy today!