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Engagement Portraits: What NOT to do

Sandra Grunzinger Photography, Tips for getting the most out of your engagement sessionIn this world of selfies and snapshots, some people are finding it harder to make a case for booking an engagement session with their wedding photographer. Not me! I always encourage my clients to strongly consider an engagement session for many reasons, which I talk about in another post, but today’s post is about how to make the most of your session. I have compiled a few tips through my own experience and the feedback of my past brides to share with you in hopes that your session is everything you dreamed of and more!

What NOT to do for your Engagment Photos, Sandra Grunzinger Photography, St Louis Wedding Photographer, Chesterfield Central Park engagement photos

Don’t overthink your wardrobe
I’m totally guilty of this one. Every time I have professional portraits done for myself or my family, I spend hours and hours trying to find the “perfect” combos until I’ve made myself crazy. Now, don’t get me wrong, a great set of outfits can really enhance your final images, but adding stress to the process is counterproductive. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident. For my super simple formula for great photo outfits, check out this post.

What NOT to do for your Engagment Photos, Sandra Grunzinger Photography, St Louis Wedding Photographer, Jefferson Barracks engagement photos

Don’t be afraid to ask!
Are you secretly wanting photos in the location where he proposed? Do you want to have a second outfit for your photos, but aren’t sure of the rules? Is your dog your baby and you want him to be in the photos too? Please ask! I love to accommodate as many requests as possible, because I know personally I would be quietly regretting never getting those things I wanted but was too shy to ask for. These are your images and I want them to make you happy when you look at them 5, 10, 50 years from now.

What NOT to do for your Engagment Photos, Sandra Grunzinger Photography, St Louis Wedding Photographer, Tower Grove engagement photos

Don’t try to be someone else
This one is tricky. We all want this “perfect” session with dreamy images that look like they belong in a magazine. However, one big thing (possibly the BIGGEST thing) is that these photos will be meaningless if the people in the photos aren’t you! If your location, wardrobe, props, smiles, etc. aren’t a true reflection of you, then what’s the point? This comment from a past client really explains it better than I could.
“I wanted something in a dress, but thought my fiance needed to be dressier too. And that was dumb, because I wear dresses all the time, but he doesn’t normally wear dress clothes so it feels unauthentic to us. I should have had him dress more casually. I forgot that this was our shoot, not Pinterest’s.”

What NOT to do for your Engagment Photos, Sandra Grunzinger Photography, St Louis Wedding Photographer, engagement ring

Don’t try a drastically different look on the day of your session
Who here has ever had this grand idea of a new hair or makeup style for a special event, then ended up fighting with your curling iron and/or liquid eyeliner right up until time to go and had to take the Hot Mess Express instead? Just me? Well, lets just say that this is a thing that can happen even with the best of intentions and best laid plans. For your sanity, unless you’re a hair and makeup artist, keep your look classic and true to you. If you really want a bold new look, book an appointment with your favorite salon and take the day to pamper yourself. Much more relaxing! (FYI, victory rolls take a lot of practice, and I’m not allowed to try a cat eye ever again.)

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Don’t “Just” pick the closest park…
IF that place isn’t special to you! The majority of my clients ask for suggestions on where to take engagement photos- and that’s great! I have my favorite places to shoot, and I’m happy to share. However, you’ll be so much happier if you pick a location that reflects you (see point No.3 again!) If you and your fiance love nature and the outdoors, a park is a great place, but if you would rather spend Friday night downtown, I bet we can brainstorm a better backdrop for the two of you.

There you have it! At the end of the day, your engagement session is to celebrate you as a couple, so let’s make some art that really represents who you are and what makes you special together. If you’re interested in booking a session, drop me a line and we can make it happen.

Sandra Grunzinger Photography is a St. Louis Wedding Photographer specializing in fine art wedding portraiture and emotional storytelling. To schedule a consult with Sandra, fill out the contact form below. 

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