First Look Wedding Photography: Take two on Wedding Traditions

About: Anthony Mickeal is a wedding Photographer based out of Northern NJ.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back in time, and capture the moment that the couple first meets on a very first date? It’s something to consider on your wedding day as a "first look". Wedding traditions and ceremonies can become quite routine in nature, without much variation from....

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Planning your engagement shoot with a photographer

About: Anthony is a NJ & NY Wedding Photographer with a passion for story telling imagery in a contemporary editorial style.

Congratulations! you've found your soulmate! It is great that you are all deservedly excited about it, but what’s next? Now, it is time to get to the next milestone, which is to plan your engagement shoot. You are definitely going to need a professional and experienced wedding photographer to bring out the best in you. While, you may think that you are already comfortable being photographed, not all professionals have the same style and method of taking photos. So, you may need a little coaching, prodding and coaxing.

Taking Photos

  Doing an engagement photo shoot gives us a sneak peek into what to expect from our clients on that special day. We get to know our clients better prior to the actual wedding. It is an amazing opportunity for us to translate your personality and story into a photo collection. Over the years, we have been given the honor of photographing many clients like you and we have been able to perfect the preparation and planning process. So, we would like to share some pieces of advice about what is involved in planning your engagement photo shoot. Let’s explore that now.

Quest for Focus

Before planning your photo shoot, we ask you several questions. This allows us to agree on a focus for the shoot. Some of these brief questions include:

·        Where do you feel most comfortable?

·        What kind of stories do you want to depict in your photos?

·        Which personalities do you want to prominently put on display that define you both individually and as a couple?

Making an Example

For a better understanding, let’s look at an example:

We were able to plan Jerry and Oksana’s engagement photo shoot in Brooklyn, NY last summer. After asking the questions above, this is what they told us below.

“We love to do things together and we pay attention to everything around us for a chance to enjoy every moment with each other and every aspect of the outdoors especially the beach. We also like views of the city but want it to be from a unique perspective. We think it would be so cool if you could capture this kind of essence in our engagement photos. We both love sunsets so much. It was a breathtaking and a memorable experience. We would certainly love to let others see our zest for life. That story would tell what we saw in each other.”

Location is Key

After we got the answers back from Jerry and Oksana, we began to research locations similar to what they had in mind so we could incorporate the components of the story and their personalities into the photos. We had to plan in advance because there weren’t many options. Setting the stage at this location was paramount in creating the story. One of the location ideas that we thought of is a small hidden away beach in Brooklyn, NY. So, that is what we set out to do so that our client’s personalities would shine.

The Right Clothing

After we choose the location, we had to now consider planning for the wardrobe. We always try to give initial suggestions to our clients as it relates to style and color for the desired location that was chosen. For the same example, we used natural hues that complemented nature and the client’s outfits. You don't have to wear matching colors, just keep it complimentary. Examples of complimentary colors are Blue and Orange or Red + Green, this is an example of autumn and why the colors are so pleasing to the eyes.

Bring a Memento

You could always bring along something that reminds you of your story as a couple. It could be anything from a jersey you wore on that day you met at a game or your favorite thing to do even if it's a scrabble board.

Makeup and Hairdo

Ladies you don't have to do your own hair and makeup. It can be professionally done for a flawless photo shoot. I always recommend keeping it natural looking and simple. Explain to your hairstylists and makeup artists that you are doing a photo shoot and let her know the type of wardrobe you have selected. In so doing, she will be able to do the best job to engage the camera. Make sure you go to your hair and makeup appointment ahead of time so you can be done in time to get to the photo shoot.

brooklyn ny wedding photographer planning engagement shoot 5428

Relax, be yourselves and let the photographer worry about the rest

Although posing is handled by the photographer I try to find the right balance between poses and candid shots. Many times during a photo shoot I give the couple a break to just sit down and talk to each other. I'll be far off shooting with a zoom grabbing the most beautiful pictures with ought any need to instruct them. As a photographer you get to capture in a photojournalistic manner wonderful smiles and laughter that are completely natural. All you have to do is be yourselves and relax....you need not even look at the camera just pretend to be alone and have fun.

Right Timing

We work with clients according to their schedules. For that reason, if a timeline is agreed on, we take extra steps to get to the location in advance and scout out the area. We expect our clients to get there on time so that the photo shoot is not rushed. As for weather its always good to check in advance but be prepared for rain or snow if its that kind of season, you'd be surprised how romantic and unique it can look having a couple cuddled under an umbrella and not caring for the rain.

Right Lighting = Time of day

Lighting is another essential element for a good engagement photo shoot. Usually, photo shoot sessions are scheduled for either sunset or sunrise known as the golden hour (not during the midday) because we want to capture stunning photos with the right lighting.

In summarizing, the location will tell your story. The outfit, hair and makeup will incorporate the story. The glow of a beautiful sunrise or sunset brings the photo alive. This is one of the most important elements for planning an amazing engagement photo shoot.

If you'd like to inquire about an engagement shoot and want to see yourselves portrayed in a creative photographic style be sure to Contact us. I like clients to have something to see firsthand before they book for the big day.