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Five Ideas to Make Your Outdoor Engagement Photos Pop

February 14, 2017

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After finding a photographer, picking the setting for engagement photos is the next decision. Here are some tips on making sure the photos are beautiful.
After the proposal, your mind can quickly start spinning with the beginning steps of wedding planning. But before you begin to work on the details of your big day you need to announce your engagement to the world. And in the age of social media that mean it’s time for engagement photos! Many engagement photo sessions are trending towards outdoor photo shoots, and here are some great ways to make sure your photos in nature come out perfectly.

1. Pick a Pro to take the Pictures

Choose a photographer you are comfortable with. Ask friends, family members and wedding vendors (especially your wedding planner, if you have one) for suggestions. Look at portfolios and don’t feel like you have to use the same photographer that you will use for your wedding. You can book and engagement session any day of the week that you and your fiancé are available and the most sought after photographers will likely be booked with weddings to shoot every Saturday. This is also a really good reason to book your photographer as soon as you have a firm wedding date.

2. Utilize the Weather and Time of Day

If it starts to rain during your shoot, or if the clouds are extra dark, don’t think of it as a bust. It could add a cool ambiance to your shot. It certainly puts the couple at the forefront against a dark sky, foreshadowing brighter things to come. No matter the outdoor location, it’s always a good idea to start either early in the morning when it’s still slightly cloudy and foggy (great for not having too much sun) or in the evening right before sunset for that “golden hour” glow. Regardless of your aesthetic, make sure the sun isn’t direct and too bright, so you’ll avoid harsh shadows. If you are worried about getting drenched or overly harsh sunlight make sure to choose a location that offers at least partial shelter from the weather such as a gazebo or pavilion. 

3. Flowers

Depending on the season, it’s wise to try and integrate any floral aspects happening in the background. If there are gorgeous pink blooms on some camellias nearby, utilize them! Posing in front of bright bushes or vibrant roses can enhance the photo color-wise, but it also provides a stunning background for engagement photos.

4. Be Active

Don’t be afraid to use props or get active outdoors. If there’s a stream, perhaps try walking in the water barefoot together. Run through a field while holding hands or play in the snow, if that’s the location you happen to be dealing with. Whatever shows you enjoying your company together will always be a wonderful photo. 

5. Make it Personal

Did you and your betrothed meet cute at some picturesque place? Do you have a favorite spot with the most spectacular view? Whether you are dedicated urbanites who posing in front of a cobblestones alley, dog devotees posing with your pooches, or literary lovers posing in front of the murals at the Linn-Henley Library, you and your photographer can work together to find a place that is meaningful for you and your fiancé. Do make sure that you contact the site where you wish to have your session to confirm that it will be allowed and to learn if there are any applicable fees involved with shooting photographs in the location.

6. Match the Outfit

Make sure your clothing coordinates on some level to your surroundings. You don’t want to be wearing long sleeves on the beach necessarily or having wild patterns compete with your gorgeous backdrop. It’s better to stick to simple, complementary colors that will be neutral and go with almost any setting. But be sure to get a few shots with the engagement ring front and center.

You will find a ton of inspiration for you engagement photos and wedding on Pinterest and if you haven’t started a Pinterest wedding board, now is the time. If you have worries where or when is best to schedule your engagement shoot, or you feel short on inspiration, talk to your photographer who will undoubtably have a wealth of advice. 

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