5 Tips for Your Engagement Photo Session | Jessica and Tyler | Charleston SC Wedding Photographer

The holiday engagement season has passed, and now is the time for the betrothed among us to do some major planning! Engagement photos are a wonderful way to celebrate this special time in your relationship, develop rapport with your photographer, and get those "being on camera" nerves out of your system before the big day! Not to mention, engagement shoots are a lower pressure experience allowing you and your sweetheart to just have fun and enjoy each other in the midst of all the pre-wedding frenzy.

Jess and Tyler met as students at UNC, and have been totally smitten since. We did their engagement shoot in Charleston, SC and I can't wait for their November wedding at the Asheville School Boyd Chapel in Asheville, NC!

Their engagement photos turned out so beautifully, I decided to feature them along with tips for a perfect engagement session. So, gather 'round lovelies, here we go!

1. Location, Location, Location!

Location and setting are central to getting fabulous results in your photos. Selecting a place with significance to you as a couple will help you both feel more comfortable and add a touch of sentimental sweetness to the mix. It is also important to choose a location with a variety of potential backdrops and settings. Bustling cities, beaches, mountains, or even a quaint farm could all make great locations for shooting lovely photos. We are so fortunate here in Charleston to be surrounded with both natural and architectural beauty, as seen in Jess and Tyler's photos. 

2. Activities, Hobbies, and Pets

Incorporating any of these will help you feel more relaxed, and will make your photos look natural and comfortable. Re-enacting your first date is always sweet, and activities like boating or fruit picking (if seasonally possible) look great on camera as well.  If you have any pets, bring them along! The furry ones are a part of your new family, and never fail to bring the fun. Jess and Tyler are both nature lovers (they met in a coral reef ecology class!) so taking advantage of Charleston's romantic beaches was a no-brainer.

3. Hair & Make-up

You want to feel your best in your engagement photos, so why not get that trim, blow-out, and manicure beforehand? While you may not need to hire a make-up artist, make a point to wear a little more than usual (without going overboard!) since it doesn't show up as well on camera as it does in person. 

Most importantly, get a good night's rest. It's the most tried-and-true beauty trick in the book, and will help you both feel energetic, happy, and healthy. A hangover looks good on no one, so don't pick the night before your shoot to indulge and stay out late!

4. Wardrobe & Props

Wear colors and patterns that complement each other without competing visually.  Be sure to avoid large logos and anything too trendy, as these will both date your photos with the changing fashion tides. This is the time to break out those classic looks. Weather-appropriate layers are a great idea, and will make it easy to change up your outfits and stay comfortable. Props should fit the the desired "feel" of your photos, and can be as simple as the brilliant rust autumn leaves Jess & Tyler playfully picked up for this kiss shot.

5. Be yourselves!

Your photographer will help coach you on poses, but it's important to avoid stiffness and rigidity. If you want to smooch or tickle your sweetie, go for it! Don't be afraid to add your own personal touches. Playfulness and genuine emotion will better serve to show your love for each other than "place your hand on his left arm" alone ever could. 

Remember: This is a beautiful day for you to share. Have fun!