Let’s face it, most of us are not models by profession and the idea of being in front of a camera for an hour or two brings the worry wart right out of you. Fear not, this exciting part of your engagement can remain exciting with a few of our favourite tips.
Whilst most prefer being natural in front of the camera, being prepared behind the scenes in the weeks leading up is the best advice we can give you. It always makes a photographer's job a lot easier and allows you to shake any pre-shoot nerves. Having some insight into what you can expect goes a long way. Choose your location, have your hair and make up booked, outfit/s chosen, rings cleaned and nails prepped. And yes, that includes you too grooms-to-be! If you look good you feel good too and let’s face it, no one wants to be running around the day before. Stress and tension has a way of showing up on your face and lets rather try to avoid this at all costs.
Choose a location that speaks to the both of you and consider all elements. If possible, scout the venue with your photographer a few weeks before the time to determine the perfect lighting and time of day you should do your shoot. Having your shoot location chosen means you still have plenty of time to get permits or special allowances should you require it. This is also an ideal time for you to scout your surroundings which makes choosing your preferred gear easy as pie. If you are out on a rocky mountain, it is perhaps best not to opt for sky high stilettos as moving around will be a lot more challenging. Once you have agreed on a perfect location, it will be easier to determine the look, feel and theme around your shoot.
The all-important outfit choice for your engagement shoot is the perfect time to really spoil yourself. After all, you are investing in a professional photographer so do yourself the favour and purchase something fabulous. Ensure what you are wearing is practical and allows you to move around freely. Restricting clothes will make you feel uncomfortable and it may show up on your images. This is such a special time for you as a couple so make it count. Start looking for your outfit a few weeks before the time. Gone are the days of matchy-matchy; keep coordinated and ensure your chosen outfits compliment one another. Keeping this formula in mind when shopping will make this job easy as pie.
The day is finally here! All of your preparation is complete and now it is time to enjoy your engagement shoot. Our best advice is to relax, have fun and enjoy the moment. Yes we know, it is easier said than done and the first few moments will be a little uncomfortable but you will quickly get used to the idea and your inner model will be unleashed. Focus on the moment and listen to the guidance and advice of your photographer. They are the professional and they have seen and heard it all before. Be yourself and enjoy every single second of it. This is great way to get used to your photographer and is the perfect practice for your wedding day. Whisper sweet nothing in one another’s ears, share Eskimo kisses, focus on the perfect way his lips curl and stare deeply into one another’s eyes. Don’t overthink it, you’ll do great!
This fail proof advice is guaranteed to make your engagement shoot a success! Browse our engagement stories to get some photoshoot inspiration.
Riaan West is a Cape Town based international fine art wedding photographer who travels for local and International weddings.
“I’m so moved with how each wedding has its own heartbeat , and I get to be part of that beat”
I am a fun and creative photographer based in Gauteng, South Africa.
Wedding photographer specializing in capturing timeless memories that will stand the test of time.
We are an utterly passionate husband and wife team, who's had the privilege of working together since 2010, capturing beautiful, natural and real moments as they take place.
I'm all about the REAL moments from the heart. Raw and unplanned. I capture the messy moments, the loud moments, quiet moments, silly laughs and ugly crys.