Where are all the newly engaged couples at? Drop everything because man have I got a great post for you today! I'm sure one of the first things that popped into your wedding brain was capturing your engagement with a photo session. Good for you because thats one big task checked off the good ole' to do list once you have this on your calendar.
But I want to challenge couples to start thinking outside of the box with the new trend I am just LOVING...a "styled" engagement shoot. Let's get real for a second...engagement sessions are stale and generic. There I said it! But with the help of your photographer & planner there is so many more elements that can be incorporated into these photos, which help take your pictures from boring to beautiful pieces of art. But brides may feel easily intimated when thinking about how they can "style" their session. This is where your team and my tips come in! No worries, we've got you covered!
Before reaching out to your team spend some time together thinking about what story you want these images to tell. You want them to represent you and your love story of course, but expand on that. Where do you want to tell your story? What parts do you want people to experience? Do you want to include a theme or styling that has significance to you both?
Pick A Place
During the planning stage choose not just one location but a few locations near you that you think represent your love or a special time in your relationship. The nice thing about styled engagements is that a lot of times it will feature multiple locations since it is telling a story vs. one location with a few outfits changes. I would even advise reaching out to your photographer if you have any trouble with this. I know a lot of my favorite photographers are always scouting locations in their area and have beautiful places in mind that they really want to shoot but haven't yet.
This is the fun part! Work with your planner on creating a mood board. Mood Boards are collages made out of related colors, images & textures to create a design palette specifically for you. Try starting with an image that is central to your relationship or your theme and then work off of that. Then once this is created share it with your photographer and other team members so you are all on the same page.
Focus on the Details
Now that you have your inspiration its time to bring in some details that will bring your story to life. Use props or other items to add an engaging element. Think of these details as the thing that brings your shoot together. Personal props like family heirlooms make for great props as well as a rented gown like Katherine's. If you have a florist booked for your wedding already consider reaching out to them to provide a beautiful creation. If you don't have a florist yet consider testing one out that you've heard great things about by collaborating on this project together. Work with them to create items like floral for your hair, a unique backdrop, or even a installation of cascading flowers hanging over you two if the location allows. Your photographer will also focus some of their energy on capturing these details around you which will make the shots feel more artistic.
Wardrobe & Styling
One of the first questions couples ask their photographers is what should we wear? And of course this is a great question! But keep in mind most photographers are not stylists. Stylists like Anastasia with Icon Stylist are the perfect resource for those couples looking for hands on help. Stylists will help you style your wardrobe from top to bottom including accessories and will even work with your planner & photographer on the day of the shoot to style you both in person and keep you looking fresh as the shoot progresses. They are also there to help you transform with each outfit change which takes the stress off of you and lets you enjoy this time together. They work closely with your mood boards creating their designs and will even work with your hair & makeup artist to help you feel and look your best.
I know this is going to sound crazy but remember this isn't just about the photos. It is also about you both enjoying this time together and getting comfortable in front of the camera before your big day. You want to feel pampered during this shoot so that you can focus on opening up in a big way to family and friends. Consider reaching out to your photographer and asking them for a recommendation for hair and makeup. Corianne Cowan is seasoned in providing these services for styled shoots and works with Michelle Scott often to turn blushing brides into bombshells.
I would also recommend taking this time to test out a artist for the wedding. Most brides try and schedule their hair and makeup trial before their shoot which is ok, but I would try and go for a completely different look so you aren't giving away anything about your wedding day or giving your groom a sneak peek.
Ultimately just don't forget to have fun together and be yourselves, thats the key here! Bring in elements that represent you both as a couple, and don't feel like you have to do a shoot like everyone else. Think outside the box!