Guide to Michigan Engagement Photos
Engagement shoots are a super fun part of the wedding experience! They help you practice for your wedding day while also allowing you to get more comfortable with me and my camera. Easing into the photo process will relax your nerves tremendously! Getting a feel for the process and seeing your final images will help you build trust in me. There is an ease in knowing that I’ll do things exactly how you like them on your wedding day. I built this engagement photo guide for that reason, to provide you some insight into taking your engagement photos with less stress!
Your engagement session is a great opportunity to get some beautiful photos of you and your fiance. You can be in a casual setting, wear your normal attire, and go to places that are meaningful to you. Not to mention you can use those photos for your save the dates, in your wedding shower decor, for a guest book, or even on your wedding website.
Engagement Photo Locations
The number one question I get from couples is, “Can you suggest somewhere to take them?” The simple answer is yes, I know a ton of places that look great photographically. However, It’s best to start with things that are meaningful to you as a couple and build upon that. Here are a few ideas.
- Do your favorite hobbies and activities. There’s a visible comfort that exudes from couples while they’re doing activities that they’re passionate about. Its best to start with what you both love. Whether you like kayaking, playing sports, watching movies, picnicking, gaming, or making dinners together in your new home. All of these things are very personal and will create memories for you and your future family to look back on fondly.
- Take them where He or She proposed. You began your engagement in this spot, so it was probably chosen for a reason. What better place to take (at least a portion of) your photos?! You will want to remember this place forever.
- Photograph where you met. The place that you met will always be sentimental to you. Starting where your love began can be the perfect location to document your love. Not only is it meaningful, but it will invite your future generations to ask you questions and tell stories about how you met.
- Create an artistic theme. I left this is very general for a reason. Some couples like to get creative with their photos and do something completely crazy or out of the ordinary, or theme it to something they love. I’ve seen couples do a zombie themes, movie theaters, camping, a carnival, music themes, vintage cars, any cool theme you want to I am totally ok with! I love collaborating on artistic ideas.
- A pretty place. If you’re still totally lost on what to do, this is where I can provide some insight! I’m sure by this point you’ve saved 50,000 images on Pinterest and Instagram and love EVERY SINGLE ONE, right? Now I would ask you, “how do you envision your photos?” Do you like cityscapes? Can you see yourself in a small town with a lot of brick buildings? Are you envisioning a colorful park in the fall? Do you see your photos light and airy on a beach or in sand dunes? There are a plethora of environments to take photos in and none of them are wrong. If you can give me a general idea of what look you’re going for I can find a location for you!
“Trendy is the last stage before Tacky.”
What to Wear During Your Engagement Shoot
I’m an avid believer in wearing something you love and feel confident in, no matter what it may be. The outdoorsy type is probably going to feel very awkward in cocktail attire. If you’re a woman who doesn’t wear makeup you’re not going to want to go crazy with bright eyeshadows and bold lip color. If you’re comfortable and confident in how you look, your personality is going to shine through!
That being said, there are a few ‘rules’ to abide by when choosing your outfits. Don’t ever feel like you must do these things. I’ve seen many of these rule broken and the photos still work out beautifully! However, they are good guidelines to begin your wardrobe planning.
1) Wear clothes that make you feel confident. I’ve already touched on this above, but wear something that’s in your comfort zone. You don’t want to feel awkward or worry about how you’re looking in your photos.
2) Wear the right tone. Generally, neutral or muted tones look the best, they’re more timeless and don’t distract from your faces. However, you can alter this based on your location. Bright reds attract your eye quickly and are often too much for photos. If you’re photographing in the winter, however, and want a bold color it can be stunning. If you’re photographing in the fall choose tones that mimic your surroundings like ivory, dark browns, burgundy, dark yellow, army green, etc.
3) Complement your colors as a couple, but don’t match. Matching the same prints is a big no-no. Matching exact colors (if there is too much of it) is also not a good idea. I suggest looking at the two outfits hanging up next to one another and just visualize them together. If you can see yourselves wearing these and walking together you’re probably good! But if you hang them up and think, “Wow, that’s a lot of maroon” swap something out for a neutral tone and go from there.
4) Wear accessories. Add a scarf, necklace, statement earrings, or even a jacket. It will switch up the look subtly. Accessories finish off your look and make you appear more polished.
5) Textures are your friend. This is one of my favorite ‘rules.’ Mixing textures adds depth to your photos. A denim shirt, leather pants or skirt, silk blouses, linen, faux fur, wool jackets, all of these things give a feeling of depth to your photos. You can feel textures in a photo and it makes everything come alive.
6) Go with timeless over trendy. I love this rule also. Just because floral maxi dresses are in style right now may not mean that they will be in 20 years. Look back at photos from your past, your parents past, and your grandparents. Look for things that have stood the test of time and don’t make you laugh. If you don’t want your kids to make fun of you in 20 years, and if you don’t want to have to hide your embarrassing photos, I’d refrain from the trendy stuff 🙂
7) Two outfits are best. Having a second outfit option is great, you’ll get much more variety in your photos. However, if you have too many options you end up spending too much time changing when we could be photographing.
8) Flatter your body type. Luckily, couples are beginning to realize that you don’t have to be a size 2 or super buff to look and feel good! Whatever your size may be, flatter yourself. Wear something that highlights what you love the most about your body!
9) Rent your outfits. Do you want to wear something from a very expensive designer? Now they have sites like Rent The Runway. You can find the cutest, most overpriced, dresses and outfits imaginable but rent them instead of buying. It’s genius!