I am based in Sydney, but also travel worldwide.
My aim is to be in the moment and capture love stories artfully and intentionally. Preserving emotions & focusing on the mood and feel.
You can check out more about my why here.
Engagement photoshoot may sound like a foreign term to us especially if you are just at the beginning of the wedding planning stage. Do I need an engagement session? What if I want some nice photos with my fiancé but he/she hates the idea? Is it worth the bucks to hire a professional photographer? What if I looked awkward or silly? There are too many question marks flying around and I totally get it!! Engagement photos can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if you are uncomfortable being in front of the camera. But hey!! I am here to help!! Whether you are having a session coming up or still deciding if you need to book an engagement photography session with a professional. Here I want to share a few tips I’ve learned over the years for helping you feel more comfortable and nailing your engagement photos. Let’s dive in!
There’s nothing more awkward than pretending that you are someone else in my opinion. If you wish your engagement photos looked more natural, relaxed, and more like you, then it’s a must. Let’s say you love surfing or basking under the sun, then why not document your beautiful mundane on beach or in water together? If you wish to have some photos done at your local cafe or in your love nest that you wake up every morning together, then do it . I believe the best chemistry happened to be right at your habitat.
2. Wear something would make you feel great yet comfortable
You have hired a professional to shoot your engagement photos and you might pick some of those to be on your save-the-date cards, or guestbook. Of course, you want to look good in the photos then here comes the questions: what to wear to achieve that effortless look without losing too much brain cells the night before. I would suggest you to try anything would make you feel like million bucks so you can have the confidence that you are going to look amazing in the photos. It’s so important to feel good about yourselves first so that you would be more loosen up in front of the camera. Then think about the location to pick something appropriate to set the scene. You don’t want to dress too formal in the fields, or at the beach, especially you might need to move around based on the scenario.
3. Trying something different or make it a date activity
Honestly, there are so many ways to nail your engagement photo session. But the key point is to be yourselves like I said before. If exploring something new together is your jam, then this could be a great experience for you two. Try cycling, painting, cooking or even tangle dancing together and make it a date. I am sure you will have so much fun laughing out loud together, and those stunning photos of you two would be the ultimate bonus.
4. Schedule your makeup trial on the same date
Try to schedule your makeup or hair trial the session prior. That way you would look fabulously in your session but also have a feel what your makeup will look like in photos.
5. Ensure there’s plenty of time
Most of us are not used to be in front of the cameras and got uber nervous even. Instead of jumping right in and feeling even more anxious and aim for a finishing time, I think it’s better allowing yourselves to settle in with more time in your hands. There’s nothing wrong if you don’t know what to do during the session, the professional will guide you, and show you how to be the best of yourselves and look good at the same time. But if you jammed pack your day, it’s hard not to let go of yourselves during the session.
6. Choose somewhere meaningful for you
While we tend to pick somewhere photogenic for our engagement shoots, don’t forget about the places that you used to spend a lot of time together! Whether it’s the campus you two firstly met, or it’s where you had the first date or being proposed. It adds more stories and life when you share these photos to your family and friends.
7. Hire an airbnb
Not sure about being smoochy in public? That’s okay, in-home session is just as cute. But what if we live in a small flat or with parents? Consider hiring a hotel room or airbnb provides you the privacy and skip the hassle cleaning up, not to mention these places adds the awesome vibes in the photos. Win-win!
8. Considering the props
The most natural and emotive photos are usually shot in motions. You can definitely see those beautiful couple photos walking, dancing, and even running. I love shooting my couples with all sort of movements, but I also found props can add more interesting perspectives as well. For instance, sparklers, fairy lights, bubbles, champs and picnic basket are all very good options to make your photography session fun and more engaged. Accessories are also great props, you can never fail with sunglasses, hats and even umbrellas. Just bring them along!
9. The traditional outfits
I know I have talked about being yourselves, and wearing something flattering yet comfortable before. But here I want to point out the different customs from other part of the world. Australia is a big melting pot and some of us might have traditional outfits back home. So if you wish to display these photos in traditional clothing on your wedding day, definitely bring them to your session!
10. Be open-mined and creative
Who says the engagement session has to be at somewhere photogenic and romantic? Once again, it’s all about you and only you. Whether you wish to share some pizzas at the roof top or screaming your lung out in a theme park, the sky is your limit. At the end of the day, these spontaneous moments will be just another fun stories that you can share with your close ones, WHY NOT?!
Finally, I hope these tips can make you feel more relaxed and excited for your engagement photo session. Honestly, every time I shoot engagement sessions with my couples, I feel sooo much more connected with them. I’ve always had big smiles when I stared at the photos. It also makes me super pumped for the weddings coming up because I already knew it’s going to amazing!
Please have a look at my engagement gallery to have a glimpse or shoot me an email if you have questions about the session. I am always happy to help!
Aka Innes is a Sydney based wedding & Editorial photographer, capturing wedding memories for free-spirited, adventurous couples in Australia and worldwide.