My {Raw} Take on Engagement Photos

It’s no secret that I’m not going to be a traditional bride. Before we even got engaged, I never saw myself as the “engagement photos” type. Maybe it’s because I take photos for a living, but I definitely thought it was something on my trusty WeddingWire Engagement Checklist that I thought we would just skip. But then we got engaged, and it was the happiest moment in my life and I felt like maybe we should!

We happened to be going to the Outer Banks a few weeks later and I went out on a whim and asked a friend I have down there if she would snap some causal photos for us. We don’t have a ton of nice photos together and so I figured it would be worth it to seize the opportunity of being newly engaged, in our favorite place. But I knew I had to do it my way. Well, my friend said yes and, long story short, I am OBSESSED with how they came out! And today I’m going to break down how I brought my vision to life for any fellow brides-to-be out there!

THE OUTFIT

I like to keep the boys simple. White button down, dark bottoms. Done. And for the girls – You know when you see something that you love but you don’t have anywhere to wear it to? Buy exactly THAT! For me, it was a silk Rat & Boa slip dress. I grabbed it during a 50% off sale, after purchasing the dress that I wore in my sister’s wedding. I love the silhouettes of their dresses, they’re all SO flattering to the body. They’re simple, but a little sexy and chic. After we got engaged I knew it would be perfect. The color is SO not bridal too, which I love.

THE SHOTS

You must, and I mean must, show up with some example shots that you like for your photographer to emulate. Otherwise they’re just going to do what they like and these are your photos and should reflect your personal style and your relationship. A lot of the typical poses, while they’re so cute, didn’t seem like our style. I searched Pinterest and Instagram for any sort of different poses and angles that I liked and saved them all to a folder in my phone. I love that we used a friend instead of a photographer too (she’s also a blogger though so she definitely knew her way around a camera). This also helped us achieve a less traditional vibe, I think.

THE LOCATION

I think you should pick something meaningful and, well, believable. Somewhere that you two would normally be. That will help the photos come off more natural and less staged. And always request “golden hour.” Make sure to check the exact time of sunset that day and start an hour before that. We were actually running late – shocker – and got the post-golden hour light, which I also love. And, as it got darker, we even took some photos with the flash too that are so fresh and romantic!

Bottom line, don’t be afraid to try something different than what everyone else is doing! That’s my take on it. 🙂

And for more tips and tricks for planning your wedding, be sure to check out the WeddingWire planning app! I’ve been using it to find venues, contact vendors, and stay on track and organized. I can’t recommend it enough!

Disclosure: While I’ve partnered with WeddingWire to share my wedding planning journey, they are a brand I trust and respect and would be using either way! As always, all opinions are my own.

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