Picture Perfect: Guide To Nailing Your Engagement Shoot

Step One: Choose a phenomenal wedding photographer. Easier said than done. Pictures are extremely important to me, especially in my line of work, so I just knew that I had to find the right person. I needed to find someone that was within my vision of how I wanted to be photographed with my groom. A few months prior to getting engaged, I was introduced to Colin Gordon  .  We met through fellow creatives in Buffalo and instantly hit it off! We even worked on a downtown Buffalo photo shoot together, as seen on his blog here!

Once I was engaged, I knew I had to call Colin and schedule some time to sit down and talk. We met on a very rainy day in Buffalo at SPOT Coffee- a local favorite. Colin brought his iPad to show me his most recent wedding that he had shot. One of the many things I love about Colin is that I never felt pressured to choose him as my photographer. His gentle and kind demeanor always makes me feel comfortable when I'm around him. I knew right then and there that he was going to be a great fit. We blended so well together! I also really loved his style and the way he works with natural (day) lighting. 

Step Two: Schedule your engagement shoot. Fast forward a few weeks, we met on a Friday in August for our engagement photos. As soon as we got out of the car, it started pouring raining. We must have a thing with rain... let's hope we steer clear of that on our wedding day! We (Brian, Colin, my sister Kristen and our dog, Walter) jumped into my car and looked at the radar. As you can see in the photo below, it wasn't looking good (the green represents the storm moving through). Step Three: Stay calm?!?!?


After about an hour of sitting in the car, we decided to reschedule the shoot. I was especially disappointed because I spent the afternoon getting my hair & makeup done at Groom Service. It was also a process to figure out my outfits, Brian's outfits and to get out of the house on time. We said our goodbyes to Colin and agreed to reschedule. Just as Colin drove away, the sun decided to peek it's way through the clouds. I told my sister that we should just go outside and take a picture anyway since we were all dressed up.  As we were walking around, the weather became really beautiful. I called Colin and asked him if he'd be willing to come back. Thank goodness he did - we got some beautiful shots!

Step Four: Make it work! Here are a few of my favorites:

A little back story on our field / picnic theme... Brian proposed while on a picnic back in June at Buffalo's Outer Harbor. So, we wanted to recreate that in our engagement pictures. You can read our engagement story here. I also wanted to do two different looks! For our second look, I envisioned a city vibe. I think we nailed these ones, so happy with how they turned out!

Step Five: Smile! And wait patiently for the pictures back from your photographer.

I couldn't be more grateful to Colin for rocking out this incredible shoot within an HOUR AND A HALF! He was crazy fast, I couldn't believe that we got the amount of shots in the time that we had. OK now here are some real words of advice to anyone scheduling their engagement shoot:

  1.  Relax. No matter what, it will be okay. I'm not going to lie- I was very stressed about this shoot. We're going to have these pictures FOREVER, after all. However, something that I kept telling myself is that all you need from the shoot are a few good ones. That's really all you need. Not every picture needs to be perfect, which it won't! They never are. 
  2.  Color coordinate your outfits. Do not feel obligated to match but instead focus on coordinating colors within your outfits.  As you can see from our photos, we went with a very simple color palette. Brian & I always wear blue so I knew that we needed to incorporate that into our outfits. I also highly suggest avoiding large prints/ patterns. Sometimes they don't photograph as good as they look in person. Brian's shirt was a small gingham and it worked because it looked like a solid from far away. I also highly suggest having two outfits/ looks. It is great to have such variety. Especially if you plan on using the photos for different things. 
  3. Get your hair & makeup professionally done. I'd like to think that I do a decent job of doing my hair and makeup. However, I just didn't want to worry about it looking right the day of. There's just something special about having it done by someone else. You can always schedule your hair and makeup trial for this! Shout out to the ladies at Groom Service for making me feel fabulous for my shoot. If you're in the Buffalo area, I'd highly recommend checking them out!
  4. Make an evening of it. You're all dressed up, might as go somewhere nice! Brian and I celebrated the evening by going to one of our favorite fancy restaurants. I'm so glad we did! It was much more special than just going home. My kind of date night, when a professional photographer is there to document it! 😉
  5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! This is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life. Although the concept of photo shoots can be stressful for many people, try to have fun with it! Brian was certainly not excited for the shoot, but we ended up having a lot of laughs! If you feel awkward and miserable during the shoot, there's a chance that will show through the pictures. Take this as an opportunity to bond with your photographer too! They'll want to establish some sort of connection with you two before your wedding day.  

What are your favorite pictures from the shoot? Would love to hear what you think!