What are they for?
By Natalie Tsang
August 26, 2011
The purpose of the wedding photographer is pretty straightforward. But what are engagement photos? These are photographs taken before your wedding to help document this chapter of your life. Months before you even buy your wedding dress, you can post these photos on Facebook or on a blog as a way to celebrate your engagement (or show off the ring). You can submit them to a newspaper that runs wedding announcements. Most importantly, you can show them to your children and grandchildren one day.
They can also be used for your wedding. Couples tend to use the photos for save-the-date cards, wedding invitations or programs. They can also be featured during the reception in frames or via slideshow. And with modern technology, the images can be printed on just about anything and used for decorative items or wedding favors.
There are no rules in terms of the theme and style of the photos. But before you take them, you should develop some idea of what they will be used for. If you plan to include them in your wedding invitations, a picture of you two in the bathtub might be too risqué. If you're planning to use them for table decorations, you might want to be holding numbers or signs that will stand in for table numbers or names.
Once you have idea of what kind of photos you want and what you will use them for, you can start the process of finding a photographer. This person could be a friend who has a Nikon SLR or a professional photographer. Many wedding photographers include the engagement photos in their package these days, so don't worry about the additional cost. This also provides a great opportunity to get comfortable with your photographer.
The actual photo session varies in length and location. You could schedule your engagement shoot right after the proposal while you still have that awestruck glow or you can schedule it a month before the wedding after you test drive your makeup and hair.
You should try to take a variety of photos that include formal poses and silly candids. At your wedding, you won't have the option of being so open-ended because portraits will be the main emphasis. You will also be in a wedding dress, which will make running, jumping, and dramatic poses difficult. This is your time to let loose. This is also your time to document your relationship. One idea is to go to your favorite place and take pictures under street signs. Or you might want to recreate your first date before that old cafe gets torn down.