Although I certainly don’t believe every couple needs to take special photos celebrating their engagement, if you choose to do so, have fun with it. It’s easy to get swept away by all of the elaborate engagement photo shoots and save the date announcements circulating on the web, but the experience should be fun not stressful. Skip all the elaborate hype and consider the following before you begin.
1. DO embrace your personal style. DON’T try to mimic what’s on Pinterest. Whether you’re crafty, outdoorsy, minimalist, or geeky, your engagement photos should reflect something about the two of you as a couple. Your photos shouldn’t seem like they were taken on the set of a major motion picture staring two people your friends barely recognize or torn from the pages of an incredibly twee home magazine. A rustic barn with baby lambs nuzzling in the background seems inauthentic for a couple that lives in New York City.
2. DO keep it casual. DON’T wear tracksuits. The wedding is the main event, so your engagement photos should be much less formal. Unless you have an elaborate themed photoshoot arranged involving costumes, you will look ridiculous sitting on a park bench in a full ballgown. Still, even when going casual, look like your put some effort in. Tracksuits — seriously, I’ve seen this — are only appropriate if you’re purposefully being funny (perhaps a “Jersey Shore”-themed photoshoot, I dunno). Seriously, why spend all that time and money taking engagement photos if you’re just going to wear sweats?
3. DO wear complementary colors. DON’T wear matching outfits. Think about where your photos will be taken and what colors will add a nice contrast. If you’re taking photos in the park, avoid green as you will just blend into the scenery, etcetera. Try yellows, oranges, pinks, purples, and bright shades of blue. While your outfits should compliment each other, for the love of God, don’t match. Matching outfits are only cute for children under the age of six and Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears circa 1999.
4. DO use props. DON’T go overboard. Find props that reflect your interests and style. Set up a picnic in the park, ride your bikes, hang a handcrafted banner, or include your pet — all of these situations and props add interest to your photos. But don’t over do it. Too many props just take away from the true subject of your photos … you know, the couple — you and your fiance.
5. DO take lots of photographs. DON’T post every photo taken. The more photos you take, the more options you’ll have. Share a few of your favorites and use them to decorate your wedding website and save the date announcements. But don’t post every photo taken to your social networks. They’re not only annoying for friends to click through, but chances are 50 percent of the photos are not worth showing off.