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How to Have Natural Engagement Photos

February 29, 2020

Let’s all face it! We all want natural engagement photos. Gone are the days of stiffness and goodbye prom pose! Most couples want to look back at their engagement session, and even their wedding, and feel like themselves! The whole reason I became a photographer is to encourage people to be themselves and find confidence in doing so. This time in your life is when you should really show off who you and your fiance are, goofiness and all! So I understand how important natural engagement photos can be. Take a look at these 8 tips on how to look more natural for your engagement session and wedding day!

 

Don’t be Afraid to Act Silly! When my couples go through their galleries some of their favorite photos are when they are acting goofy. And you want to know why? It’s because in those goofy moments the couple gets to be unapologetically themselves and just have fun with it. Those smiles are real, those laughs are real, and those moments and emotions are real. So don’t be afraid to get weird! If you feel like you are doing it wrong and are awkward then chances are you are actually doing it right and look super cute!

boho engaged couple at Joshua Tree

Choose an Outfit you feel Confident in! Picking what to wear for your engagement session is always a struggle. You want to find the perfect outfit! Not to mention you have to dress your fiance as well! Make sure it is something you dont have to fuss about. The last thing you need is to have to worry about something falling out. Just be yourself and pick something you could actually see yourself in. A lot of times couples feel like they have to be fancy. But if you aren’t fancy then don’t be! Or you could even have one casual outfit and then change into a nicer one so you get the best of both worlds. Basically pick something out of your closet or something you feel AH-MAZING in and then during your session you will exude confidence.

Connect with your photographer. NOW THIS IS A BIG ONE! I cannot stress how important it is to meet your photographer before your session. Engagement sessions are a little nerveracking to begin with because you don’t know what to expect. Take a look at these two scenarios. #1: You have only spoken a few times with your photographer over email. You show up to your engagement session, text your photographer to find out where they are, find them, and then do some small talk to get to know one another. You are a little nervous and are also trying to get to know this person who is pointing a camera at your face. You feel fine, but really hope your photographer captures who you really are. Switch to scenario #2: A week before your engagement session you meet your photographer at your favorite restaurant and grab a cocktail. You get to know one another and laugh about all the ridiculous things you have in common. You get to talk about the session a little bit so you are able to ease some nerves. You leave with a new friendship. Then you show up at your session give your photographer a hug and immediately get into the session. You don’t feel any awkwardness because you feel like you are just hanging out with a friend who totally gets you! Sounds like a way better scenario right?!

engaged couple sitting on yacht

Touch & Focus on One Another. This may seem like common sense, but I can’t tell you how often I look at my couples and say “Act like you like each other”. During a session it is common that you feel like you have to be told what to do. But often times that can make a moment feel robotic or even fake. Instead do what you normally would do until the photographer directs you to do something in particular. Kiss your fiance, hold their hand, snuggle up to their chest. A lot of time “candid” moments happen when you are just being yourselves and all lovey dovey. I would rather you do what feels natural and then I can coach you into a different position if need be. These natural moments look so great on camera and then when you look back at your photos it will feel like something you would actually do!

Movement. I love to make my couples move around. If you are focusing on the movement then you stop focusing on how you are feeling and you can just have fun with it. Doing an activity or moving around takes some of the pressure off. A lot of times when you are just staring at the camera you can feel very vulnerable, but if you are moving around you have more freedom to just have fun. Some examples of movement would be walking, bumping hips, and dancing. If you choose to work with me I have a long list of fun movement type shots 🙂

engaged couple drinking at bar in Huntington Beach

Treat it Like a Date. Take your engagement photos while doing something you love. I mean the session is about WHO you guys are! I have been incorporating this into my sessions lately and absolutely love it! This allows the couple to showcase off their personality even more. Some examples are sharing a beer at a brewery, going rock climbing, riding fair rides, cooking, and more! No idea is too crazy!! If you would love to do a unconventional shoot I would so love to be a part of it. I am still looking for someone to go to the fair/amusement park with me! If you are down CONTACT ME NOW! (I’ll include a special rate for who reaches out first!)

engaged couple popping a bottle of champagne

Include Props (If it makes sense). Much like movement if you have something to hold on to or have something to do then you focus less on what is happening with the camera. Some examples of this could be using a surfboard at the beach or having cotton candy or popcorn at the fair. Popping champagne is also always a fun idea! But just make sure it makes sense to your location. You don’t want to over do it with props and create a overwhelming experience trying to incorporate them, but if you are at a location where a prop would enhance the shoot then please bring it! I can also help when deciding on what you should and shouldn’t bring!

bride and groom drinking at cocktail hour at sands hotel Palm Springs wedding

Book Enough Hours. This one is geared more towards the wedding day, but it is an important one. On your wedding day you don’t want to feel pressured to squeeze every shot into a timeline. Instead you want to have enough time to breathe and enjoy the moment. This is why It is crucial to involve your photographer in creating your timeline. It is important to create buffers during your timeline which is why it is important to trust your photographers when they say a certain amount of time is allocated for getting ready, family portraits, etc. Because here’s the thing… THINGS HAPPEN! I have had scenarios where the hair and makeup artists where running behind, but because the bride buffed the timeline we remained on schedule and never felt rushed during the whole day. Your wedding day is gong to go by so fast. It is important that you get to enjoy it and spend time with your future spouse, friends, and family. I don’t want you worried the whole day because you are running behind and aren’t enjoying your day. So make sure you speak to your photographer about creating the perfect timeline!

 

Hope these tips helped! Make sure to reach out to schedule a session that feels like you!

 

comments +

  1. Elizabth says:

    Love this! And BEAUTIFUL photos!

  2. Maria says:

    These are great tips!! Love that you mention choosing an outfit you feel comfortable and good in. That makes such a difference!!

  3. Jenn says:

    Such great ideas for all couples! Love it!

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