*all the photos in this post were taken by Janet Wheeland of Wheeland Photography (@wheelandphoto / wheelandphotography.com)
We got our engagement photos back from our photographer over a month ago but I’m still obsessed! I think I scroll through them at least once a day.
With that being said, I was SO nervous about the photoshoot during the weeks leading up to it. Soooo nervous - like to the point where I broke out in a stress-induced rash 😂. Anyone else get those? No? Just me? Okay, cool. Luckily it cleared up before the photoshoot lol.
ANYWAYS, once we actually got to the beach, met up with our amazing wedding photographer, and started shooting…everything came so naturally, and I think that really shows in the photos!
Blake and I are kinda camera shy and we are by no means ‘naturals’ in front of the camera, so the whole idea of a 2 hour photoshoot was kind of daunting.
I pulled together some tips and tricks that made our engagement photoshoot easier, more natural, and (in my opinion) a total success!
1. Location: Choose a location with significance. Maybe it’s your favorite spot in your hometown, where you had your first date, where you met, etc. Or maybe you just really love the beach, so you want to have it at the beach! Also, make sure you’re familiar with the location. If you’re choosing a spot solely because its really pretty, go scout it out beforehand so you’re familiar and more comfortable in your surroundings. We took our photos at Crystal Cove State Beach. Blake is a lifeguard there, but we also just love the beach!
2. Photographer: It’s never too early to find a wedding photographer! And there are actually a lot of pro’s to having the same photographer for your wedding AND your engagement photos. First of all, most photographers offer a bundled service that includes your wedding photos, as well as an engagement photoshoot; you could end up saving money by using the same photographer! Secondly, if you use the same photographer for your engagement photos, you have the opportunity to spend more time with him/her and they get to know you and your relationship better, which in turn makes you more comfortable with each other on the wedding day - making for better, more natural photos! Thirdly, having the same photog for engagement photos and wedding photos means they’ll be edited in the same style. I don’t know about you, but I’m already picturing our engagement photos and wedding photos allllll over the walls of our home. Photos with a cohesive photographic/editing style will look great together in gallery walls, scrapbooks, side-by-side frames, etc. Our photographer is Janet Wheeland of Wheeland Photography and she is such a gem! We love her :) @wheelandphoto
3. Outfits: Make the most out of your time and wear a couple different outfits if you can! Chat with your photog and see whats feasible for the location, time allotment, etc. We had 2 outfits - one more casual (ripped jeans and cute top for me, casual shorts and button down for Blake) and one more fancy (long dress for me, pants and button down for Blake). Above all else, make sure you’re COMFORTABLE in what you’re wearing and dress to your own personal style. The jeans I wore are the jeans I wear alll the time, they’re my go-to’s. Although I did splurge on a new dress, it still was totally me. You don’t want your outfits to be too matchy-matchy, but you do want them to complement each other. For example, my lighter-wash denim jeans and white top coordinated well with Blakes navy blue and white outfit, and the shades of blue he wore for our fancier outfit matched some colors in my floral print maxi dress. Speaking of floral, don’t be afraid to incorporate patterns and color into your outfit, but do avoid patterns like stripes because they can look weird and kinda warped in photos.
4. Hair + Makeup: Kill two birds with one stone and schedule your hair and makeup trial on the same day as your engagement photos! Not only will you look totally polished and camera-ready, but having a professional handle your beauty needs that day is sooo nice - it’s one less thing to stress about. And I don’t know about you, but my hair NEVER cooperates when I actually need it to lol, which is why I call in the big guns for important things like this. We’ve used Flawless Faces for all 3 of my sisters weddings and we have them booked for my wedding too! They do a great job :) Look up hair and makeup inspiration beforehand so you can bring examples to show your hair and makeup artist!
5. Get a drink before (or during) your shoot: Nothing like a little booze to get you loosened up for the camera! We were doing really well on time so we decided to pop into the Beachcomber’s bar to wet our whistles during the shoot. What started as a fun little break actually ended up yielding some cute moments (and close-ups of the rock 😉).
6. Focus on EACH OTHER, not on your poses: Don’t try to be too posey; it’ll come off forced and unnatural in the photos. Your photographer will give you plenty of direction (“okay now kiss her cheek” or “look to your left” or “put your hand on his shoulder”) so don’t worry about any of that. Sure, it’s kind of an odd idea - taking romantic photos in public for a couple hours - but if you decide to just have fun with it, it’s a blast! Be yourselves! Be goofy, be flirty, make each other laugh, and when in doubt - just smooch! Some of my favorite photos are the candid moments and giggles.
7. Communicate with your photographer: Ask questions, brainstorm together, even tell them your insecurities. If you’re a little camera shy (🙋🏻♀️) talk to your photographer so they know how to better direct you. If you tell your photographer that you tend to slouch in photos, they can be more aware of that and let you know when to straighten up :) Blake and I told Janet that we needed a LOT of direction, and she was amazing. The photos and poses never felt awkward or forced.
Hopefully this is helpful to fellow engaged couples! How did your engagement photos go? What tips would you add to this list? :)