The First Look
It’s seeing each other before you actually get married, just the two of you first!
First Look isn’t for everyone, and it’s not the “traditional” thing to do. But if photography is important to you, then you should seriously consider a First Look. Some of the absolute best wedding photos I have seen have been when the bride and groom have a First Look. It’s romantic, sweet, never again repeated.
- • Locations
While photographers are great at suggesting locations it is always helpful when the bride and groom have a few good ideas in mind. Make sure to scout out location ideas before your engagement session. It would be good to have multiple locations that are different but are within a close proximity of the other. This helps to eliminate dealing with traffic or worrying about losing lighting as you bounce from one location to the next. Depending on the amount of time your photographer allows you should be able to do 30 minute per location (2 hours – 3 to 4 locations) take a drive a week before and during the time that your photographer has scheduled you for. Find places that have equally as much sunlight as they do shaded spots! Keep an eye out for unique textures and backgrounds that can allow for diversity!
- • Outfits
Outfits that are unique and showcase your personality are best! A lot of couples claim to be “laid back”. However, that does not mean your clothing selection should be boring *yawn* It is always safe to have one casual (laid back) outfit…and then two others….one fancy outfit and one fun outfit. Three total! Avoid: logo or graphic t shirts and tops, too many patterns and bulky clothing.
- • Timing
The timing of a engagement session is a really important piece. Typically there is a specific window of of time during the day that is ideal lighting for the photographer. So be on time!
- • Props
You can’t go wrong with a few good props for your engagement photos. Etsy is full of amazing and unique hand crafted items! Not to mention… a great vintage piece could do just the trick. When looking for props think of your style, the locations you are being photographed at and what you are planning to wear. It should all blend nicely! Your photographer will appreciate your creativity!
- • Show your love
Your photographers job is to photograph you “in love”…so relax and have a good time. Laugh, smile, jump, dance etc…digital cameras are great because they can delete any “bloopers”! Let loose and enjoy yourself. Dont’ take yourselves too seriously! When the moment feels right kiss without the photographer asking you to…crack jokes, flirt with one another!
- • Posing
It is a given that you will feel a tad awkward when you first start your photo session…don’t be surprised if it takes a few minutes to warm up! Typically a good photographer will help “pose” you. However…it shouldn’t feel “posed”…they should be able to walk you through the motions and give you some guidelines before you begin which will enable you to relax and let the chemistry flow naturally between you and your fiance. If in doubt…laugh at one another (smile) or kiss! Don’t be afraid to let the photographer know when you are feeling uncomfortable or would like more direction!
- • Makeup, Hair and Nails
Unless you are able to do your own makeup, hair and nails…it is a good idea to outsource these things and go to a salon to get them done beforehand or have a friend who is skilled in this area help you out. This is a great way to give yourself that boost of confidence before the engagement session! It also helps the photographer speed up post processing time (you may get your photos faster)!
- • Take a risk
Realize that to get “unique” and different photos…you might need to step outside of the box and try something new! Prepare to sit down on the ground…yes even on a not so clean patch of grass or sidewalk! You may need to act goofy…be silly…and do something a tad…childish! The more fun and outgoing you can be will allow the photographer to dig down deep into their creative ideas (trust me they usually have a lot stored up)!
- • Inspiration
Pinterest is a wonderful place to find inspiration for your engagement photos! Look at some of the poses other couples have done and then practice them! It is also a good idea to grab inspiration from the actual photographer you will be working with. Check out their work to make sure you understand their style and some of the consistent poses they have used with couples in the past. Talk to your friends who have already had engagement photos taken and ask them about what they wish they would have done differently or would suggest doing! Tap in to your resources!
Bay Area Wedding Venues
Bently Reserve, San Francisco – www.bentlyreserve.com
Bridge golf club – www.thebridgesgolf.com
Casa real Winery – www.casarealevents.com
Crystal Spring golf club – www.playcrystalsprings.com
Cypress hotel, Palo Alto – www.thecypresshotel.com
Diablo Ranch – www.diabloranch.com
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco – www.fairmont.com/san-francisco
Foreign Cinema, San Francisco – www.foreigncinema.com
Marriott Hotel, San Francisco – www.marriott.com
Nestldown, Los Gatos – www.nestldown.com
Palm event center – www.palmeventcenter.com
Westin St Francis Hotel, San Francisco – www.westinstfrancis.com
S&J Photo Creation Crew