Engagement Shoots 101
Congratulations! He popped the question: got down on bended knee and slid the diamond ring onto your finger and now you’re officially engaged! One of the first things people like to do as a newly engaged couple after making it official is organizing an engagement photo shoot. Jacolette Mostert, Senior Functions Co-ordinator at the sought after KZN wedding venue, Prince’s Grant, lays out the basics for getting this shoot right!
“Not everyone wants to do an engagement shoot and if you don’t, that’s okay too. You know who you are as a couple and you shouldn’t feel forced into doing it. However, if you do want one, there are so many ways to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Jacolette. “Even though you will have photos of your big day, an engagement shoot documents this usually short but special phase in your relationship.”
The first step to booking an engagement shoot is the most obvious: you need to find the best photographer for you. What works for one couple may not work for another and you need to find the person who will bring out the best in you and your relationship. Meet with the photographer for a coffee or lunch and spend time talking to them so that they can get to know you and figure out the best way to capture your spark on film. Your photographer will also appreciate you taking the time to do this.
Jacolette says that another bonus of doing an engagement shoot is that you get to ‘try out’ your photographer for the big day. If your engagement photos come out exactly right, then you know you made a good choice and you can rest assured that your memories of your wedding day will be captured the way you want them to be. If not, it’s time to do more research.
There are many things to prepare before doing your engagement shoot. The location, setting and time of day will play a major role in the outcome of your photos. Once again, keep in mind who you are as individuals. For example, photos on the beach may sound cheesy to one person but if the sea is a shared passion or means something special to both of you, then that is the ideal place for your shoot.
“Why not try something completely different for your engagement shoot,” suggests Jacolette. “Have a date night and let the photographer get intimate shots that aren’t necessarily posed. Another idea is to make your engagement shoot a part of your engagement party, that way you will have your ‘couple’ photos, as well as professional photos of your engagement party itself.”
What you wear to your shoot is also important. Try not to wear exactly matching colors but be careful of colors that clash as well. Ask your photographer what they suggest you wear, depending on the location and time of day. Some colors, for example khaki or beige can fade into the background and you want to stand out in these photos, they are all about you! Take a few different outfits with, to give yourself more options. A different area in the same location can make photos look like they were taken in completely different places and a change of clothes for different areas will be an added extra touch.
One of your responsibilities for your engagement shoot is to be vocal. Speak up for what you want or don’t want. Have fun with it and be comfortable with each other as well as the photographer and your photos will look natural and your personality will shine through. Don’t feel like you should do something just because “everyone does it”. If you’re not a naturally affectionate couple, don’t be all over each other in every photo. There are many ways to stay connected to each other in every photo without overloading on the PDA. If, on the other hand, you are a couple that naturally shows affection even in public and you want a lot of kissing and holding in your photos, then that is your choice. This shoot is all about you, not what other people will think.
The last piece of advice Jacolette has to give is, “Remember what this is all about. You were lucky enough to find one person who you never want to be without and your engagement shoot is one of the ways you can express and share your relationship. Have fun with it and enjoy it and your photos will take you back to this unique time in your life for many years to come.”
If you are thinking about getting married at Prince’s Grant, a visit to the Estate for your engagement shoot will tie in perfectly with a tour of their venues. The Estate boasts a variety of different settings for photos including a private beach, coastal forest, tranquil lagoon, and colonial style clubhouse and for the groom who golfs – an 18-hole Peter Matkovich designed golf course. For more information, visit www.princesgrant.co.za. For enquiries, call +27 (0) 32 482 0005 or email email@example.com for more information.