Seeing our engagements pictures hit my inbox this week felt like Christmas DAY! Ilir and I made a trip back to Chicago to shoot with our incredible wedding photographer, Lindsey Taylor, and have been so excited to have our film developed, Lindsey to work her magic, and to see the final results! And let me say: they did not disappoint!
If you’re a bride-to-be planning for your engagement pictures, my type-A self has some tips for you to help ease your nerves and make sure you feel like you are making the most out of your engagement pictures.
And then of course, I cannot wait to start sharing our ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS with you guys! Scroll down to the bottom for some of our favorites.
Five Tips for Making the Most out of Your Engagement Pictures
Plan Your Outfits and Location Ahead of Time
There is nothing worse than the onset of panic when you can’t decide on a shooting location, aren’t loving your outfits, or have no idea what to do with your hair and makeup just before your shoot. And take that from experience, because unfortunately, I have to say *guilty* to one of those I just listed… I ordered outfits a few weeks out, but because there are so many shipping delays worldwide right now, a few pieces came late, and others just weren’t fitting as I had hoped. So my advice to you: start ordering your outfits as soon as you can. You can’t go wrong with having things prepping ahead of time, but the dreaded subject line of “Your Package Has Been Delayed” can put you into a spiral!
I also suggest having your location planned pretty early out, as this can impact your outfit decisions, hair and makeup choices, any preps you might need, etc. – and when you have plenty of time, you can spend some of that searching your location on Instagram, finding shots you really love, and sharing these with your photographer, who will then get a better idea of your vision. (That said, your photographer will also have amazing ideas and shots in mind, but sharing what you love can never hurt. Communicating expectations is key! Which leads me to my next point…)
Pull Together a Vision Board
If you’re not sure what you’re envisioning for your engagement photoshoot, start Pinning photos you love, and eventually, you will start to see a theme. For example, when I did this, I noticed I was gravitating towards greenery, architecture, and lots of film photography! As for style, this European-inspired aesthetic very closely fit my normal feminine and airy fashion style and Ilir’s classic fashion, so it felt like a perfect match.
I shared my vision with Lindsey and she came back to us with some beautiful location suggestions! I also searched the #ChicagoEngagementPhotography hashtag and looked at Chicago photographers’ pages to source out more locations. Instagram hashtags can be your best friend for local inspiration! But above all else, trust your photographer! A location that might look beautiful on Instagram, might only have one or two good shooting shots, and if your photographer is local, he or she can help guide you through that. Only you know your vision, and only your photographer has the expert eye – make it a team effort.
I also think this is actually an important tip for every element of your wedding, because it helps set expectations. When you share your vision board with vendors, they have a clear picture of what you have in mind, and that way, they can either tell you if something isn’t realistic, or it can help guide them in the right direction, ultimately making you happiest. Of course, you’re hiring these vendors because you value their work and their art, but, sharing a vision is the perfect way to make sure you are both on the same page. Then trust them for their expertise.
Create a Posing Pinterest Board
Creating a Pinterest board full of poses that you love can be helpful for a multitude of reasons.
1. It helps your photographer understand the types of photos you love. Ilir and I love photos with movement and a sense of in-the-moment snaps. But maybe your style gravitates towards more classic portraits, or maybe you want a photoshoot full of laughter. Again, a vision board will help you find a theme.
2. It also helps you mentally prepare! Posing isn’t easy and doesn’t come very naturally. But look at the pictures you have pinned and pay attention to the body language. Where are his hands placed? Where is her head at? And honestly, it might feel weird, but practice with your significant other! You’re paying a lot of money for this photo session; be as prepared as possible. All of that said, your photographer will absolutely help you pose, and will walk you through every step of the process. But, if you’re to make the most out of your engagement pictures, put in a little work ahead of time so you feel prepared and don’t have to spend too long working through every shot. Most often shoots are hourly, not a specific number of shots.
Here are some of the poses I had pinned on my inspiration board. Lindsey did such a great job bringing to life several of these, and also using these as inspiration for our own unique shots.
Have a Hair and Makeup Plan And/Or Work with a Glam Squad
For our engagement pictures, I worked with my girls over at Hannah Elisabeth Beauty and I am SO glad I did. It was such a relief to sit back, relax, and let these talented girls work their magic – with, of course, a vision board to help give them an idea of what I was looking for. Their work photographed so beautifully, and it saved me the stress of having one of those days where I’m just not able to nail my winger eyeliner. You know how it goes… you do it every single day, but the day it really matters, your felt tip pen just won’t work in your favor.
I also loved working with the Hannah Elisabeth Beauty team for engagement pictures because it gave me a little glimpse into what my wedding day would be like, even before my trial! They were also kind enough to give me a code if any of you lovely gals want to work with their amazing team. They have glam squads across the country, from Dallas to California to Nashville. Code KYLIE will get you $10 off your services for engagement pictures, or 5% off your full wedding package.
But, you could also absolutely do your own hair and/or makeup too – my advice is just to practice, practice, practice. And not just in a mirror. Take pictures of your makeup and see how it looks on camera. Make sure there is no flashback, your contour still shows up, everything looks perfectly blended, etc. That’s so important! There are incredible engagement photoshoot tutorials on YouTube for how to do your makeup specifically for on-camera.
Do Extra Beauty Prep the Week Leading Up to Your Engagement Pictures
You want to feel your most confident during your engagement pictures (because it shows on camera, it really does!), so putting in some extra work the week leading up is so worth it. First, eat CLEAN! Cut back on sodium, up your fruits and veggies, and especially if you’re acne-prone, try to limit dairy. This will help decrease bloating, give you a natural glow and make you feel your very best while shooting!
As for your beauty routine, I would definitely recommend either booking a spray tan, or using a quality self-tanner. I used this one for our pictures and it always looks so natural. No need to go too dark, but a spray tan or self-tan will smooth out your skin and create an even complexion that will look great on camera. And this goes without saying, but book that nail appointment, girl. We had such a crazy travel week leading up, I did my own nails, and used Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs. by OPI (how fitting) with my favorite top coat by Lakur (pricey, but worth it).
The night before your engagement pictures and the morning of, grab your ice roller and roll, roll, roll. Get rid of allll that puffiness and watch your ice roller do magic for tightening up your pores, and dare I say, give you a snatched, tight base for your makeup.
And lastly, HYDRATE! Drink up, girl, and your hair, skin and nails will thank you. And when you feel your best, you look your best; when you look your best, your confidence SHOWS. And you only get your engagement pictures once, so make the most of it!
A Peek at Our Chicago Engagement Pictures
Alright, ON TO THE PHOTOS! Thank you so much, Lindsey, for these beautiful shots we will cherish forever.
Can’t wait to share even more with you soon!
Engagement Pictures Beauty Essentials