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By: Emily Howald Sefton | Posted: 10/28/2013
Your engagement photos are one of the first things you'll do with your soon-to-be bride or groom, so there's a tendency to fret (unnecessarily) about what to wear, where to shoot, and how the pictures will turn out. Here's my advice on prepping for your big shutterbug moment . . .
1. The first step in perfecting your engagement pictures is your photographer. Speak with him or her about your vision for the pictures (no to frolicking in the fields, yes to fun loving pictures where you seem at ease). View these shots as a test run for your wedding; you're both feeling each other out. He or she determines from these pictures what your tendencies are when you're in front of the camera, so he or she knows what to expect on your big day. Even if you don't plan to use engagement pictures for anything more than a stamp on your RSVP envelope, I still encourage couples to take them. They go a long way in making your wedding pictures even more perfect.
2. Bring pictures that you like to your photographer. Keep in mind, however, the style of the photographer that you hired. If you're looking for a photojournalistic approach and you hired a photographer that likes posed pictures, you may want to rethink the relationship.
3. Plan outfits that coordinate, but don't match. You want your pictures to say, "yeah, we look good together, but we're not cheesy," and outfits that are too perfectly coordinated a) often don't look like something one or the other of you would ordinarily wear and b) look like you're trying too hard. These pictures are supposed to look natural, so try to find colors that coordinate.
4. Be flexible. I went into our engagement photos with a clear plan of where I thought we should have our pictures taken, but then our photographer's creativity took over and we ended up in various places around town. Some locations where we ended up that I love are:
-Outside the I Like You store in Northeast
-The yellow room at the Guthrie
-By Red Stag Supper Club, there's a mural that says "Greetings from Minneapolis"
-There's a small bridge off of West River Parkway, just south of Plymouth Avenue.
-Any place of importance to you and your beau
5. Trust your photographer's vision. For some reason, our photographer desperately wanted me to wear a winter hat, so I threw one on at the end and I loved how it turned out. The fewer expectations you have, the better.
6. Try to forget about the camera. I'm a pretty smiley person and so is my husband, but the pictures I love best are when our photographer was able to capture a completely natural moment between the two of us. The sooner you forget that you're a subject, the better your images will be.
7. You can never kiss too often. It may feel awkward, but these are your engagement pictures . . . you guys are in love! Just go with it.
8. Remember, have fun! Even if the day feels long and exhausting, you will look back on these pictures for years to come and remember how happy and excited you were at this time in your life, so enjoy it.
Emily Howald Sefton is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s deputy features editor and Mpls.St.Paul Weddings’ editor. See bio
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