One of the most nerve-wracking things that comes along with being engaged? Taking your engagement photos! The pressure can be intense to capture the essence of your life as a couple in one beautiful, flattering image, but the process doesn't have to be rocket science. Here are five expert-approved suggestions for creating a natural engagement photo.
1. Engage in an Activity
The best way to ensure a natural photo? Choosing a low-pressure activity for the shoot according to Lauren Saldutti and Michael Kelley of A Guy and A Girl Photography. "In our experience, most non-professional models are a little uncomfortable being photographed. They are often unsure of what to do with their hands...so give them something to do!" Saldutti suggests.
2. Get to Know Your Photographer
Set aside some bonding time to get to know your photographer, recommends Saldutti. "We always try to take a 10 minute breather with our couples. Getting to know each other better is always good for the wedding day — and the second half of the engagement shoot," Saldutti advises.
3. Stage Stolen Moments
"I try not to pose my subjects, but rather set up scenes where they can relax and express themselves," explains New York-based photographer Agaton Strom. "[Couples] work together with me to create genuine moments that I can capture. I want the subjects to feel free to express and represent themselves. Sometimes that means putting on a tux and dancing the tango in the middle of Grand Central or drinking moonshine in a honky-tonk bar."
4. Tell Your Love Story
Photographer Angela Cappetta encourages couples to choose a location or activity that mirrors their relationship. "Did you meet at a park, a party, the dog run? We can shoot your engagement session in a way that relates to your story," Cappetta states. "Shoot in a café you frequent or a fun brick alley in your neighborhood that you both like. Is there a walk you like to take? If so, shoot that."
5. Embrace the Great Outdoors
"Pictures in natural daylight of you two together can be the loveliest, most intimate kind of pictures," Capetta states. "Lens flare is gorgeous. Don't be afraid to let your photographer do something unexpected with the sun."