An engagement shoot is one of the rare times that you get to plan your shots and really get the couple all to yourself. I think both Jarod and I learned a lot from our own engagement shoot. Our relationship with our photographer was a little awkward and she didn’t connect with us to help us feel comfortable. Sadly, our photos turned out awkward and staged. I can speak for myself and say that I never want a couple to feel the way we did when we were taking photos. We always keep that in mind and really work with the couple to make sure their engagement shoot shows off the best of the couple. The photographer really does need to get to know the couple before the shoot, to ask lots of questions, so that they can get a feel for the couple. It is amazing how if the couple is comfortable with their surroundings, they will relax and the background will fade away. You can get the most amazing photos in places you wouldn’t expect. I posted a photo of Rex and Heather that was taken in Jarod’s old apartment in Tulsa. This is an example where the background isn’t important, because Rex and Heather are the focus of your attention. They are comfortable, having a great time, and showing off their personalities even if you can only see their eyes. Another reason I chose this photo is because of the personal touch, Heather is an avid Harry Potter fan and Rex loves comic books…err I mean graphic novels, and I think the use of the two books really brings out a little bit of the couple. I really believe that any place can be beautiful because the couple is what is important. If you love sports, a goal net on a soccer field or a dugout could be the place to get great photos that show off the couples love of sports. If you love coffee, we can go to a coffee shop and get amazing pictures of the couple in an everyday situation. The most mundane things, the most simplistic things can really make your engagment photos shine and make them yours. So, when you are meeting with the photographer, be willing to share your favorite things, how you met, or just places you like to go and hang out. The photographer always wants to capture the couple when they are comfortable and having a great time.
I also wanted to give a little advice into what to keep in mind when preparing for your engagement shoot:
1.) Always make sure your ring is cleaned, it is amazing how many of us (me included) forgot to make sure it was sparkly. Those special guys spent a lot of time and energy working on getting the perfect ring, so we always try to show it off in the a few of the photos. A little windex and q-tips can do amazing things if you can’t make it to the jewelry store.
2.) We always try to have a blanket on hand incase the couple needs to be on the ground and doesn’t want to get dirty, but if you have a blanket that cordinates with you outfits, bring it along.
3.) Props are welcome: bring your guitar, paint brushes, favorite book, records, a picture of your parents, or your favorite pet. We want to make the couple have the most unique photo possible, so if you have an idea let us know and we will try to incorporate that.
4.) We are always willing to do night photography. Jarod loves getting the technical night shots that are hard to execute. If you meet for an engagement shoot during the day and would like some night photograph, let us know and we are more than willing to get some night shots with you.
5.) If you see a photo that you love, bring it with you and we will make sure to recreate it for you.
6.) If you have a lot of ideas or shots that you would like to have, write down a list so you don’t miss any. Once the engagement shoot gets underway, we can get on a role and we don’t want to miss any photo that you would love to have.
7.) We typically do charge for travel, but you have a place that is special to you, let us know. We are willing to make exceptions to get great shots for you.
8.) Most of all have fun. The best thing you can do is laugh and just enjoy each other and we will do the rest.