Advance warning: this is going to be a rather self-indulgent post photos-wise! ;)
I view engagement session as a practice run for the big day itself. It's the perfect opportunity for you to get used to being photographed, figure out what works for you, and perhaps most importantly, build a relationship with your photographer. Afterall, you don't want to be directed by a complete stranger when you're already out of your comfort zone on your wedding day!
When it comes to planning and styling your engagement shoot, I think really there's only one question you need to ask yourself (repeatedly) - "Will I still like [x] in 30 years' time?"
When Mr ling yeung b popped the question and I said “of course”, the first thing that came to my mind was an L.A. engagement shoot. Since we already had plans to go to L.A. that summer, and I'd been in love with the family photos Marianne shot for my cousin, I just knew it was going to be perfect.
I think the location for your engagement shoot should reflect you as a couple. Maybe a sentimental location like where you had your first date, or a place that reflects your common hobbies like the mountains if you're hiking enthusiasts. For us, we love to travel and explore new places together, so it seemed fitting that we chose a city we had not visited together before.
This is exactly where "will I still like [x] in 30 years' time?" comes in. Call me boring, but I'll choose classic and timeless over trendy any day. Decide on the look you want to go for - casual vs formal, modern vs vintage, etc. Also consider things like texture (is the material too shiny or bulky?), movement (floaty dresses are oh-so-romantic!), weather and how it fits in with the backdrop.
Props may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but sometimes personal touches really do make the photos! We chose the Tiffany’s key necklace which was my first Christmas gift from Jimmy, and some cute macaron trinkets as I’m a bit of a baker. And the balloons… well… everyone loves balloons, right?
If you're unsure about using props, then one tip I have is ask your photographer to take similar shots with and without them. That way, if you decide in 10 years’ time that your props are no longer cool, you can always swap the images in your album!
I think this is actually the hardest part (unless you're a super model)! I'm not a huge fan of the typical place-your-hand-awkwardly-here-to-show-off-your-bling shot, but to "look natural" is not easy. So my tip here really is to just go with the flow! Don't overthink things, crack some jokes, do something silly, tickle each other, do whatever that makes you (and each other) laugh and smile. Also don't be afraid to ask your photographer for direction. If in doubt, hug and kiss (also the forehead and eskimo varieties)!
If you need more inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to look! And if you have any tips to share, I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a message on Twitter or Facebook!
Happy planning! =)
Photography: Marianne-Sabado Fine Art Photography