How to prepare for your engagement shoot

If you’ve read my post why have an engagement shoot, then you’ll know that I’m a BIG fan of an engagement photo session! Not only does it give us time to get to know each other better, but also if you’re in any way camera-shy or often feel a bit awkward in front of the camera, then it can give you some practice and help you overcome any photo nerves before your wedding day. You might even find that you have a bit of fun! 😉

Once we’ve got your engagement shoot date in the diary, here are my top 5 tips to help you prepare so you both look and feel great in your photos.

1. Get in the mood

Starting a Pinterest board can be a great place to look for and gather images you love. (If you want some inspiration to get you started, do have a look at my engagement photo Pinterest board.)

Before you pin an image to your board, I encourage you not to just think about whether or not you like the photo, but to consider if the pose is one you’d be comfortable with. Not every couple likes public displays of affection, so you may not be comfortable if I ask you to ‘rest your foreheads together’ or for your fiancé to ‘drop a gentle kiss on your cheek’ and that’s totally fine. So have a chat between you and share your board with me. That way, we can be sure that we’re on the same page and that we have a fun and enjoyable experience.

Are you both into this shoot, or is one of you more excited than the other? If the latter, then sitting down together and showing your fiancé(e) some of your favourite engagement photos and explaining what it is you love about them can really help spark their interest. It will also help them understand why this shoot is so important to you.

2. Hair and makeup

Some brides like to have their hair and makeup trial done right before their engagement session. I highly recommend this. Knowing you look great, you’ll likely feel great too, and therefore be your most relaxed and confident self in front of the camera. It’s also a great idea to see what your makeup will look like in photos before your wedding day.

If you want to do your own makeup, I’d recommend applying your eye makeup a little more heavily than normal, and wear a matte lipstick so as not to take attention away from your beautiful sparkling eyes.

And if (like me) you don’t usually wear makeup and it’s just not your style, then that’s totally fine too!

3. What to wear

  • Block/solid colours ideally without any patterns that are likely to interfere with the background of your chosen location
  • Coloured tops which enhance your complexion and make your eyes ‘pop’
  • An outfit which reflects your own style and personality
  • Something that will co-ordinate with your fiancé(e)
  • And most importantly, something you love, that is comfortable and makes you feel great!

4. What to avoid wearing

  • Bright yellows and oranges — these colours don’t tend to look good in photos
  • Clothing displaying logos, slogans, or other distractions
  • Bold stripes, large designs and polka dots — these stand out and tend to draw attention away from your lovely faces!

5. What do you love doing together?

Having a picnic? Browsing round a food market and picking up some tasty treats? Getting your hiking boots on and going for a walk in the country? Reading in the park? Salsa dancing? Cooking dinner together at home? Strolling through your favourite art gallery or museum? Playing board games? Do let me know if there’s a particular activity you’d like to include in your shoot to make it really personal to you.

I hope that helps, but if you have any questions or want to have a chat about your own engagement shoot, please send me an email or give me a call on +44 (0)7871 275 179.


lorna richerby with green leaf background

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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