How to plan an Engagement Shoot

4 Easy Steps To Plan + Prepare For Your Engagement Shoot

So… you have decided to have an engagement shoot. Here come a ton of questions. What will we wear? Where do we have it? What is the best time to shoot? Does my bum look good in this dress? Don’t stress, I’ve got you.

An engagement shoot can be daunting and a little bit scary. Kind of like going to the doctor or dentist. Not everybody likes to have a tooth pulled out, be stabbed with a needle, or have their photo taken. Don’t worry, that’s totally normal, 95% of my couples feel the same way. However, if you’re able to plan and prepare yourself for the shoot it can be super fun. I’m here to give you the tools and tips to nail it and make this an awesome experience!

Engagement sessions come in all shapes and sizes. Some couples prefer to visit several locations with multiple outfit changes. We are not here to discuss those. I prefer the small, intimate sessions that are focused on the fun, weird and crazy love you share with each other. Ok, let’s do this!!!

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What to wear?

Wear something comfortable. Being comfortable and having fun is way more important than looking 'perfect'. Pick something that you can move around in and makes you feel confident. I suggest picking an outfit that compliments with your partners. If one is wearing a pattern have the other wear a solid. Neutral colours are less distracting. Gentlemen, don't wear giant logos. Ladies, I recommend choosing a piece that flows nicely as you move, especially if you’re doing your photos outdoors. I have a Pinterest Board with a lot of great example outfits.

Picking a location

Ask yourself this question - What is my favourite spot to visit on the weekend or a memorable location we have visited during our relationship? Easy. My job here is done… Ok, not everybody has a favourite or memorable location. Maybe you enjoy drinking coffee at home, snuggling on the couch watching Netflix or chilling with your fur babies. Or perhaps an outdoor session would suit? Sit down with your partner and brainstorm a list of locations. This list can include places you like to visit on your weekend, a favourite swimming hole, or maybe you’d like to revisit the place he proposed.

Make it a date

Incorporating personal elements into your shoot will make it more unique. Have you got a dog or cat, matching band t-shirts, a pickup truck or do you enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer? Seriously… what kind of question is that!? Feel free to bring something that is significant to your relationship.

Making it a date not only gives you plenty of time for photos without feeling rushed, it helps calm the nerves. Without jumping straight into photos you can take the time to eat cheese and drink wine as Jodie + Geoff did for their picnic engagement session. Or you can celebrate at the end of a session by grabbing your swimmers and jumping into a favourite swimming hole, similar to Ryan + Jeralyn. Need help with styling or food to make the perfect date? Check out The Collective Co. Shae-An provides luxurious grazing tables and platters filled with only the best, locally sourced produce. 

Deciding on a time

Do you have a preference on a morning or evening shoot? Soft low light is what we are going for, so plan to start either 1 hour before sunset, or 15 minutes before sunrise. We are after that Golden hour, which is a beautiful time of day before the sun sets and creates sweet golden light.

Extra Tips

The day has arrived! However, everything is now just a blur… you feel anxious and the nerves begin to kick in. Ok… let’s breathe. I’ve got a few more tips to share with you for when the day arrives.

1) Don’t panic. I’m not looking for the perfectly posed photo. I don’t need you to worry where your hand goes. If anything looks awkward I’ll help. I’m going to give you actions to do that will get you moving and interacting with each other.

2) Do what feels normal. We are not here to stand and smile at the camera like our mum taught us. Melt into each other, play with her hair, or grab his bum. The session is all about your connection and what you love about each other.

3) Keep Moving. Hold, tickle, touch, sway, kiss each other… you get the point.

4) Don’t stress if I’m not telling you what to do. Guess what. You guys are nailing it! I’ve gone quiet because you are doing exactly what I want.

5) Have fun! Getting photos taken doesn’t have to suck.

If you found this blog post helpful I’d love to hear your feedback! Or if you have had an engagement and have your own cool tip or trick I’d love to know about it :)

~ Jas