Engagement photo sessions have become massively popular among Irish brides and grooms in recent years, with many couples using them as a way to get to know their photographer better before the big day.
It’s easy to see why the Americans love their engagement shoots so much. Not only does it mean you get a real feel for your photographer’s style, and them for yours, but because Irish couples don’t tend to go for an intensive photo session the day of their wedding (hospitality being part of our heritage!), it’s a great way to get great photos of you without the pressure of having guests to tend to or cakes to cut. And if you’re the type who hates getting their photo taken, they are a good way to get some practise in before the wedding!
These photo sessions can be hugely productive as well as fun. If you fancy something more personal for your save the dates, or your thank you cards, you could take some photos to use as cards or invites, and there’s part of your stationery sorted! You could also combine them with the day of your hair and make-up trial, so that you get an idea of how your look will come across in photos.
The following are some cute ideas for your engagement shoot:
Photography by Anjuli
Props like balloons, chalkboards and signs are great to use in engagement photos because they give depth to photos and add an extra fun factor. If you are a bit nervous about being in front of a camera, grab one of these, a guitar, a book or maybe a vintage frame to use in your photos, it will give you something to concentrate on while the photographer does their thing! Signs and chalkboards are perfect if you want to create your thank you cards or photos for your guestbook table. Just let your photographer know what you’re thinking of doing with the shots afterwards!
City of Love
If you are getting married abroad, or have a city that’s close to your heart, why not take your photos there? Just walking though cobbled streets hand in hand is romantic and personal! Pamela Farrell, of Farrell and Chase, and her husband Alan got married in Rome last year and on one of their planning trips they decided to ask their photographer, Bella Lunardi, to take some photos. The cityscape was a perfect backdrop for their images.
We Met in…
Some couples choose to take their engagement photos in a place that is intimately significant to them, such as where they met. Pubs and coffee shops make a nice backdrop for photos, and the familiarity of the place will instantly make you relaxed and more ‘yourself’. You could tell the photographer how you met or what you talked about on your first date, they’ll be sure to get some lovely photos when you start to recollect your fond memories of that time!
On the road
If you are a very sentimental, romantic couple, this is a really nice idea. Roads, foot trails in a grass or corn field, stones across a river, or even wooden bridges in a playground, can represent the road you have now chosen to take through life together. Another theme for your engagement photos could be a poem/song/passage from a book that really means something to you. Take the visual imagery from the poem and recreate it the way it speaks to you. It might only be you two who understand what the true meaning behind the photo is, but that will only make it more personal.
All dressed up
How many times have you been all scrubbed up on a night out and only wished you had someone there to take some photos of the both of you in your Sunday best?! Well now’s your chance. If you are in the middle of wedding planning you probably haven’t had much time (or much money) to get all dressed up and go out to dinner or for cocktails with each other, so why don’t you glamorize yourselves for a few snaps? For the bride it can be a great way to try out her make-up for the day, and see how it’ll turn out on camera, and it will give the groom and absolutely stunner of a photo to show anyone asking about you (isn’t that what it’s all about after all).
Whatever you decide to do for your engagement photos, whether it be to two of you dressed as Tom & Jerry, or in your scruffies, have fun and enjoy yourself. You’ll be happy you did it (and if you’re the shy type –sure no one needs to know!)
Your engagement shoot should show you as a couple, naturally. Wear whatever you are most comfortable in, whether that be a shirt and tie, an evening dress, a pair of jeans, or your PJs! Try to forget you are being photographed and act like you would if you were alone…within reason of course!
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.