Wednesdays on Bridal Musings are all about wedding planning.
Talented wedding industry experts will be stopping by each week to share their top tips on everything from ‘the budget’ to choosing your wedding dress.
And I’m so excited to introduce you to our resident photography expert – the lovely Katherine of Katherine Ashdown Photography who will be sharing her top tips to help you get the most from your wedding photography.
I absolutely adore Katherine’s bright, beautiful and timeless photography style so it’s such a treat to be able to share her gorgeous photos alongside her super helpful tips!
Expert Engagement Shoot Tips
Engagement shoots have been around for several years now and they are so important for so many reasons in the run up to your wedding.
They are a great way to spend some quality time together before the big day; they help you and your photographer get to know each other and talk about the final plans for your wedding; they allow you to get some stunning images of you both as a couple saying goodbye to one stage of your relationship before you become Mr & Mrs; but most importantly they allow you to ‘practice’ in front of the camera before your big day meaning you will be sure to get rid of any nerves!
So how do you make it fun, personal and get the most out of it as a couple? Here are my top tips!
Think about your location, it is lovely to go somewhere that is meaningful to you as a couple but also has a variety of backdrops to make things more exciting and give you real variety in the images. City centres, villages, fields, beaches, farms, lakes, rivers all make fabulous backdrops so think of somewhere unique to you!
It is a good idea also to think seasonally, if your shoot is in the autumn why not take advantage of the amazing red and orange trees, winter could you do your shoot in the snow, spring in the daffodils or rape seed fields or, in the summer, the lavender fields or beach?
Villages and towns can provide some great quirky backgrounds, eclectic or antique shops, colourful doorways and old brickwork look great. If you have an amazing home or perhaps are hiring a really special bridal suite this can make a great place for some more intimate shots. Of course the beach is always fantastic especially if there is variety ie: old groins, colourful beach huts and long grasses in the dunes.
It is also a good idea to think about your history as a couple…if you met in Starbucks start the shoot there over a cup of coffee!
Activities are fabulous in engagement shoots, they give you something fun and natural to do while making the shoot individual and interesting.
You could hire a rowing boat on a local lake, do you have a horse and could go horse riding, does your dad have a vintage car you could borrow for a country drive or how about a vintage camper, you could visit an antique market, hire a tandem bike, or how about a picnic or trip strawberry picking?
Fruit fields look fabulous and strawberry picking is a great activity that is fun and looks very cute in the images. Take a picnic to the woods or beach for some really romantic shots. Ice creams are very English and again any experience you can be seen sharing makes the images really romantic.
#3 Hobbies & Pets
Incorporating hobbies is another way to make your shoot personal to you as a couple. Obviously Zumba and squash might not work but both in cute golf outfits out on the course, boating or perhaps cycling (think vintage bikes with baskets) are great ideas.
If you have a pet this is something we could incorporate too they are after all part of your little family. Bringing your dog along will be sure to make it a fun experience!
#4 Hair & Make Up
You really want look and feel your very best on your engagement shoot.
If you are a bit of a makeup / hair novice why not arrange to have them done professionally. Pop into your local salon or head to a blow dry bar. Perhaps you could even arrange your wedding hair and / or make up trials for the morning of your shoot?
If you’re doing your hair and make up yourself take a little extra time, perhaps buy some new items to make you feel great and remember to wear a little more makeup than usual while still keeping it fairly natural as makeup doesn’t show up as much on the photos.
Choose colours that go together and keep the same colour palette as this will unify you together in the shots. I also think it is important to wear colour rather than blacks and whites which can look harsh as colour really lifts your photographs.
Think about where we are shooting and choose appropriate clothes ie: if we are in the fields in winter wellies hats and scarves or on the beach in summer think sun dress and flip flops.
Think classic, no big motifs or wording on your clothes and nothing too fashionable as this will date your images quickly.
If we are going to an appropriate location why not dress up a bit, a dress and heels looks fabulous or jeans, a shirt and suit jacket for the guys you will feel amazing and in turn look amazing.
Style it up – this really makes your photos sing. You could dress in a cute vintage way (not fancy dress!) perhaps a 40′s style dress and jeans and a waistcoat for your guy.
If it’s a winter shoot in the park don’t just pop your jeans, trainers and winter coat on…tights and a little skirt or tweed shorts, a chunky knit cardigan with a belt, hat scarf, gloves and cute knee high boots and wellies are far more stylish.
Think about the kind of props that might go with the shoot you have chosen. Perhaps you have decided on a woodland picnic in which case you could bring a beautiful picnic blanket, hamper, pretty plates, and gorgeous looking food like strawberries, cupcakes, olives. You could bring a vintage tea-pot or a posh bottle of lemonade and glasses with fun straws.
If you are going strawberry picking bring a pretty basket, a woodland winter walk maybe a knitted blanket to hang round your shoulders and a flask of hot chocolate, even a bunch of flowers looks great as it looks like you are on a ‘date’.
If you do decide to bring props make them stylish, sandwiches in a carrier bag do not a picnic make!
I could go on forever about props as they can really ‘make’ a photo, they are also fun and make your images unique to you.
I also have to say an extra great big thank you to Katherine for being so kind and understanding as I had to move this lovely post back a couple of weeks due to my redesign! (Honestly, she’s a gem.)
Do you have any questions about your engagement shoot? Looking for location or prop ideas?
Share your thoughts below and Katherine and I will be happy to help!