How to get the most out of your engagement photography session

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Engagement photos are one of the most exciting, non-stressful parts of being engaged but they aren’t something that should be rushed through or taken lightly! I have been married for three years and I still have my engagement photos on my wall. You want to make sure the final outcome of your engagement photos is something you would be proud to have printed and hung on your wall. They should be works of art! Ensuring that the final result is exceptional is the responsibility of you and your photographer. It’s a team effort. 

Getting the most out of your engagement photo session is also about the process. You only get to do this once and like I said, it shouldn’t be stressful. In fact, it should be a blast. If you’re not smiling like crazy and feeling more in love with your fiance than ever after the session is over, then I didn’t do my job. Your photos should spark that same feeling for years to come as you pass by them on the walls of your home. 

Here’s how you and your husband-to-be can get the full engagement photography experience: 

Choose a photographer only if their style matches yours. This is the most important point. If you want your photos to be natural, candid, and fun, choose a photographer whose portfolio is natural, candid, and fun. If you want classic and romantic, make sure their portfolio reflects that. The worst thing you could do is choose a photographer and either a) try to meld them into your style or b) be unhappy that the final result is not what you wanted. The best thing to do is pick someone who is on the same page as you from the start. 

Think about the time of year you want your photos to be taken. In Amarillo, Texas we definitely get to experience ALL of the seasons. Your engagement photos could be taken with the spring blossoms, in the heat of summer surrounded by greenery and flowers, in the fall among the bright colors, or amidst a snowy backdrop. Every location in Amarillo looks radically different during each season. Of course, you must also consider what you want to use your photos for. If you want to send them out in save the dates, you will need to have them completed well in advance. If you are using them as decorations on your wedding day, 2 or 3 months in advance should suffice. 

Think about themes. Themes aren’t for everyone but they can be very cool if done right. Maybe a 1920s tandem bicycle sort of thing. Maybe a cozy, plaid campfire setting. Maybe you go crazy and get a hot air balloon! Now that would be cool. 

Choose a location based on more than what’s expected...make it personal! There are a lot of typical places to take photos in West Texas...but I like to go beyond the typical. Even if we are going to Palo Duro Canyon, it’s so much fun to go off the beaten path and find spots that you wouldn’t notice. Also, try picking a location that’s special to the two of you. Maybe it’s a coffee shop that you fell in love in or maybe it’s a place that the two of you worked at together. 

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Pick a couple of different outfits - one casual and one dressy. Start with the casual outfit. During a session with me, I like to start out fun to get you to loosen up. I like for the two of you to be happy and playful. We’ll take a lot of natural, candid shots. Once you are comfortable and about halfway through the session, I’ll have you change your outfits. During the remainder of the session (and as the sun is filling the sky with golden light) we will get a bit more serious and romantic. A dressy outfit is perfect for this. Overall, both of your outfits should be something you would normally wear...comfortable and classic. 

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Have your hair and makeup done by a professional. This is crucial! First of all, it’s fun to be pampered and feel relaxed before your session...it will totally increase your confidence. Also, there are things a pro can do that mere mortals like us simply can’t. They know what looks good on camera, too. This is a great time to do a trial run of your wedding day makeup so take advantage of it. 

Trust your photographer, let go, and just enjoy the moment! You hired your photographer for their expertise and style, so allow them to give you a great experience. They will know what is best as far as lighting and posing goes. Of course, if you have any ideas, feel free to speak up! Most of all, be sure to soak up the moments you are spending with your future husband. This is a once and lifetime experience that you’ll want to be present for. 

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