There is something so refreshing and exciting about stepping in front of the camera confidently with your significant other for engagement photos. Being playful, trying your best of rid camera shyness, all the while ensuring that your hair isn’t completely blocking your face due to windy days, that your clothes are lying properly against your body and the pressure of having a good time doing it all can seem daunting. While I have stepped in front of the camera here and there for styled looks, taking engagement photographs is a whole other thing!
On a not so sunny Sunday, John and I drove down Highway 1 to meet with California native photographer Shefali Parekh to achieve whimsical imagery that would capture the essence of our love in a natural state- which ironic enough, is somewhat nerve racking! The situation is simple, you are both meeting the photographer (usually) for the very first time and the expectation is to completely be silly and loving in front of this person- which can be harder than it sounds. Thankfully with the upbeat and encouraging personality Shefali encompasses, after a few minutes we felt ready to embrace the photoshoot, toes in the sand and all. Since we have taken engagement photos prior to this shoot, we put the things we learned the first time around to test, and the results turned out beautifully.
1. Be Open To Ideas
You hired a photographer for a reason, and while it many be challenging at the start, trust what your photographer suggests! You will absolutely feel silly running hand in hand with your partner on a crowded beach, but do it anyways! The results will be worth it, and in thirty years you won’t remember how embarrassed you felt at the time. Photographers with great experience and even better ideas know what they are talking about, so when he/she suggests poses, be open to them. Does the photographer want you to whisper something silly and sweet into your significant other’s ear to produce a natural and romantic shot? Then be sure to let your guard down and try your hardest. Even better? Direction from photographers is part of the whole experience which will help your camera shyness will disappear!
2. Give Yourself Enough Time
Plan to start getting ready 3 hours before your photoshoot to ensure you have enough time. This might sound crazy, but you will likely be traveling to the shoot location and we all know how unpredictable traffic can be at times. Last minute wardrobe change or clothing mishap? Yes, you’ll want that extra time! If having a glass of wine prior to the photoshoot will loosen the two of you up, then by all means go for it! All in all, no one ever regrets being ready early, only late.
3. Clothing Choice
This is a big deal, and will have one of the great impacts on the results of the images. For this shoot, I knew I wanted to go with a free flowing dress which would allow me more flexibility for different types of shots than simply portraits. By wearing something that was not form fitting, I was able to move around with ease, so when the photographer suggested we run towards the waves or that John should pick me up and spin me around- I was able to! Though many of us like to show our curves every now and then, shots like this would have been impossible in a tight dress. Definitely figure out what style images you want and then decide what clothing pieces will allow the photographer to capture it!
4. Don’t Hesitate To Suggest
As a blogger and photographer, I have a pretty good eye when it comes to getting the type of photograph I want. Because the photographer and myself discussed what type of images we wanted to create prior, I was able to suggest things such as climbing up a hill barefoot covered in ice plants to get the perfect shot or even suggest locations that would lend itself well to our vision. While your photographer will absolutely give you all the ideas you need, they get excited if you suggest ideas too…and we all know creative collaboration produces the best content!
5. Inform Your Significant Other
Helping your signifiant other get comfortable in front of the camera before hand can help a lot. Fortunately, John has been an excellent sport during our few photoshoots and makes me feel absolutely beautiful in his arms which allows confidence to flow like water. With that said, many men tend to be more shy when it comes time to take these types of photographs, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible by communicating the expectations can make or break a photoshoot. Explain to him/her the basics such as where the shoot is going to take place, what the weather is going to be like, and how long the shoot is going to last. Allow him/her to preview the photographer’s past work, and help them to imagine the shots and poses that you want to get by showing them examples online.
What are your go to ways to stay comfortable in front of the camera during photoshoots? If you are currently engaged and are looking for wedding stationary, Minted has a great selection of invites, save the dates and other wedding goodies that may be worth printing those great images on!
Until Next Wedding Wednesday…
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Photography by Shefali Parekh