Growing up, I used to despise seeing photos of myself.
Fast forward to 2018. My fiancé Chris and I booked our engagement photos with my favorite photographer.
This may sound ridiculous, but practicing a smiling face and non-smiling face in the mirror can help you in finding an angle that you’re most comfortable with. You may feel like a goof at the time, but it can help once you get in front of the camera.
Remember, the camera will only be able to capture one point of view at a time. Take advantage and make it one you LOVE.
Envisioning the flow of your photo shoot or even doodling certain shots will help you in fulfilling it.
I LOVE using props. Props can not only act as a way to incorporate objects of sentimental value into your photos, but also can give you something to do with your hands.
Hold your favorite coffee mug. Use a succulent to add color to your photo. Don a hat to give yourself endless posing options (try bringing your hand to the brim for a sultry smile or tossing it off your head for a euphoric laugh). Having something to do with your hands can be a life saver when you have an hour of photo taking to fulfill 🙂
7. Lighting is everyyythang.
The more time I spend around photographers, the more I’ve come to realize how essential lighting is.
Too harsh of light can cast shadows, wash people out, and leave them squinty eyed.
Not enough light and well, you just can’t see anything in the picture.
Just before and after sunset tend to be the most ideal lighting times for photos.
Don’t go about your photo shoot willy nilly (I think I just sounded 80 years old. Going with it), get strategic with your timing! You can always reference your photographer who should be well-versed in lighting times (after all, they’re the ones dealing with too-dark of pictures days later in photoshop, haha).
I personally adored the ethereal halo of light we were able to capture in our engagement photos, just before sunset.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Try as I might, all my effort into artfully applying makeup just wasn’t showing up in photos! It was an odd phenomenon.
Things don’t always appear the same in photos as they do in real life.
If I ever have pictures that I really care about, I almost always book professional makeup application. False lashes, contouring, give me the works! What can look like a dramatic amount of makeup in the mirror, can actually translate perfectly in pictures.
The same can be said for hair if it’s not your forté. There’s no shame in booking professional hair and makeup services for photos as timeless and important as your engagement photos.
Heck, I say book it for any sort of photos, even if they are just for fun! And there’s always that one friend who is innately talented when it comes to hair and makeup. Leverage them for your special day, give proper credit, and save big time!
I hope these tips will come in handy next time you decide to get in front of the lens! Let me know if I missed any other secrets to taking amazing photos, post them in the comments below 🙂
Thanks so much for reading!
Dark colors are slimming, while bright colors and patterns help add volume.
Also, take pictures on your phone of your selected outfits before the shoot to ensure they photograph the way you had in mind.
Shop my engagement dress here. (It was under $30! You’ll never guess where it’s from.)
Photos by Danielle McBrayer, a local San Diego wedding and lifestyle photographer.