For our second guest blogger we have some tips from Melissa Dunstan of Tangled Lilac Photography giving us some tips on engagement photography. Thanks Melissa!
One piece of advice I always give my wedding couples is to
do an engagement session.There are a
few reasons:it’s a great way to get to
know your photographer before your big day, a way to get used to being in front
of the camera and most importantly, can be a fun experience and lessen a lot of
the anxiety for the wedding day.It also
can provide the couple with some great images for their wedding Save the Date
cards and their reception.
But, before you schedule the session, there are a few things
Most photographers will offer a choice of locations and be
up for most anything you can image.Whatever location you choose, make sure it’s meaningful to you and your
fiancé.Think of where you first met,
where he proposed, your favorite places to travel together, and what activates
you do together.
One of my favorite engagement sessions involved hiking out
on the Arizona Trail, just north of Flagstaff,
AZ, where the couple would spend
days of mountain biking together.Essentially, this is where they fell in love.The location was extremely sentimental to
both of them, and you could tell from the photos just how relaxed they were and
how much they loved this special place.
Another favorite engagement session was a session in a
downtown, more urban area.This couple
had met at a popular bar downtown and wanted to reflect that location somehow
in their photographs.So, a $20 tip
later to the doorman, we found ourselves up on the rooftop of the fabulous
Monte Vista.I think this will be a
photo they’ll love forever.
Can’t decide on one location?Most photographers will offer two locations
for your session as well.Most of my
couples tend to gravitate towards a combination of a natural landscape and a
more urban area for their photos, each lending to different opportunities for
final moods for the photos.
The right time of
I usually have my engagement sessions start about 90 minutes
before sunset.The best light, in my
opinion, is the beautiful glow right before the sun dips beyond the
horizon.Everyone looks fabulous in this
light!Of course, if you’re going to be
working in an urban environment, scout out the area you want to use first and
see where the shadows are falling.You’ll want your whole body to be in the shade, or to have the sun at
your back.Backlight is one of my
favorite lights and I use that as often as I can in photo sessions!
In the case of a snow engagement session, you can usually do
your photos anytime.This is, of course,
a little trickier to predict, but the effect cam be amazing.During a snow storm, the sky is filled with
constant clouds that cast a nice diffused light on everyone’s skin.It’s like having a giant soft box traveling
with you on location!
What to wear
At our studio, we get asked this one a lot…“What should we
wear?”We always tell our couples to
bring a couple of outfits for each location, one a bit dressier than the
other.It’s best to compliment each
other’s outfits, but don’t try and match the colors you’re wearing
exactly!That goes for white and black
shirts too.I have never, ever seen two
white shirts that match up perfectly.In
addition, a white shirt can compete with a person’s teeth coloration and the
whites of their eyes, making them look dingy and off white.
Think about the environment as well.If you know you’re going to be in the forest,
stay away from anything the same color as the grasses and trees to avoid
blending in with the environment.
Can can be a fun way for you to show a little bit of your
personality in your photo session.Bring
a favorite cowboy hat, a funny scarf, or simply a card with your date of your
wedding on it.And, if your dogs are
family, bring them along as well!Look
around the environment and pick a pretty wildflower, that can easily become a
cute prop.Some of my clients go as far
as bringing an old car along!Also,
don’t forget that your engagement ring is the ultimate prop!
As super cheesy as this sounds, just remember to have
fun!The time between the engagement
and the wedding goes SO fast, so breathe it in and enjoy!Congratulations to each one of you reading!!
Beautiful images! Thanks again Melissa! Hope everyone enjoyed a day or two off this Holiday weekend!